6.9/10
38,733
116 user 220 critic

Labor Day (2013)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 31 January 2014 (USA)
Trailer
2:34 | Trailer

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Depressed single mom Adele and her son Henry offer a wounded, fearsome man a ride. As police search town for the escaped convict, the mother and son gradually learn his true story as their options become increasingly limited.

Director:

Jason Reitman

Writers:

Jason Reitman (screenplay), Joyce Maynard (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
3,196 ( 1,471)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kate Winslet ... Adele
Josh Brolin ... Frank
Gattlin Griffith ... Henry
Tobey Maguire ... Adult Henry
Tom Lipinski ... Young Frank
Maika Monroe ... Mandy
Clark Gregg ... Gerald
James Van Der Beek ... Officer Treadwell
J.K. Simmons ... Mr. Jervis
Brooke Smith ... Evelyn
Brighid Fleming ... Eleanor
Alexie Gilmore ... Marjorie
Lucas Hedges ... Richard
Micah Fowler ... Barry
Chandra Thomas ... Bank Teller
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Storyline

A depressed mother's husband has left her for she could not bear a second child. Living alone with her only son, she has an unlikely meeting with an injured escaped convict, and reluctantly takes him into her own care. The man proves to be better than his criminal image as the three bond over Labor Day weekend. The only problem? Everyone in town is looking for him.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic material, brief violence and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 January 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aires de esperanza See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,175,282, 2 February 2014, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,362,308, 16 March 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kate Winslet and Josh Brolin agreed to do the movie, but Jason Reitman and Brolin had to wait for Winslet for over a year to begin shooting. See more »

Goofs

A limited edition (video store / retail outlet) plastic raised 3D VHS video cassette promotional poster ("Available on Videocassette") of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial seen in Henry's room. This movie takes place in September 1987, however it was not until May 1988 when it was announced that E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial's long awaited VHS home video release date would finally be on October 27, 1988. (It sold for $24.95. A $5 rebate from Pepsi-Cola reduced the price to $19.95). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Adult Henry: It was just the two of us after my father left. She said I should count the baby he had with his new wife Marjorie as part of my family too. Plus Richard, Marjorie's son. For the most part my mother never mentioned my father, or the woman he was married to now.
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Connections

References Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Going Home
Written by Arlo Guthrie
Performed by Arlo Guthrie
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
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User Reviews

Surprisingly entertaining for this time of movie year.
30 January 2014 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

"I'm a lot stronger than you think." "I don't doubt that." Adele and Frank.

Director Jason Reitman is no stranger to unusual family stories (Juno) or character drama (Up in the Air), so his enjoyable Labor Day is a bit of both without the humor. Because this is January, a dead-zone time for releases, it's even more impressive as an audience-pleasing drama about an escaped convict Frank (Josh Brolin) and a mother he kidnaps, Adele (Kate Winslet), along with her 7th grade son, Henry (Gattlin Griffith).

Let's get the formula out now: she falls in love with her captor and the son willingly learns about life and baseball. The real life, however, is hounding them as the law closes in on their 5 days of "family" bliss. However, the authorities are too slow to stop the best family pie making scene ever, domestic stuff just one of charming murderer Frank's gifts and a Reitman specialty.

Recently Mud is similarly about the coming of age and criminal motif and Revolutionary Road with Winslet about a disintegrating family. Yet Reitman and novelist Joyce Maynard have crafted a story that slowly makes believable the growing love between captive and captor, a relationship helped by the classy acting chops of Winslet and Brolin. Although everyone knows helping an escaped criminal leads to serious jail time, this case actually cuts Adele a great deal of slack in the guilty category. As Reitman slowly reveals their mutually grim backgrounds, we are aware that her needs for the touch of a lover are so acute that even this gamble could be worth the risk.

Although Labor Day comes close to Nicholas Sparks' sentimental claptrap, Reitman preserves everyone's dignity, lets love grow, and ushers a kid into a complicated world of love and danger—a labor of love, so to speak, on the film's titular weekend, typically American and hard work: "I sensed my inadequacy," says the adult Henry in voice over. In matters of the heart, we're all inadequate and need films like Labor Day to help us move on.


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