4 user 13 critic

Dead Dad (2012)

Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 11 October 2012 (USA)
1:53 | Trailer

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When their dad dies unexpectedly, estranged siblings Russell, Jane and their adopted brother, Alex, come home to tend to his remains. The three must overcome their differences to achieve a ... See full summary »


Ken J. Adachi
2 wins. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Kyle Arrington ... Russell Sawtelle
Jenni Melear ... Jane Sawtelle
Lucas Kwan Peterson ... Alex Sawtelle (as Lucas K. Peterson)
Allyn Rachel ... Hailie Tyler
Ben Hethcoat Ben Hethcoat ... Brandon Blake
Brett Erlich ... Eli Casey
Fred Stoller ... Jon Jones
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Brennan Murray ... Party Go-er
Tom Sasinowski Tom Sasinowski ... Party Go-er


When their dad dies unexpectedly, estranged siblings Russell, Jane and their adopted brother, Alex, come home to tend to his remains. The three must overcome their differences to achieve a proper goodbye and discover what it means to be a family without their dad. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The perfect goodbye doesn't exist.


Comedy | Drama


Not Rated


Official Sites:

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Release Date:

11 October 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Dead Dad LLC,Hansen Films See more »
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Technical Specs



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User Reviews

Great Family Drama Sans the Sap
4 February 2014 | by Billy Ray BrewtonSee all my reviews

The problem with family dramas (particularly family dramas that deal with death and grief) is that they usually fall victim to the melodramatic. It's a slippery slope and there's just something inherently natural about death being treated with that heightened level of emotion. Countless films have fallen victim. "Dead Dad" is not one of them.

Here's a film that's as light as a feather. Now, that's not to say there isn't substance - it just means that it's treated so effortlessly and so naturally that you lose track of the fact that you're watching a film and not a real conversation or interaction. The story is a simple one: Three siblings father together after the death of their father and have to decide what to do with his ashes. That's a synopsis for a website but the film goes much deeper than that. We learn who these characters are, what makes them tick and what makes them work and not work with one another. We learn about their father through their recollections and end up with a firm hold on the family dynamic.

The film that came to mind, as I watched "Dead Dad", was a film from several years back -- "The Puffy Chair" by the Duplass Brothers. It was a film about brothers on a road trip to deliver a large chair to their father for his birthday. It was an unconventional family picture that had the same tone to it as "Dead Dad". I remember having this great sense of optimism after watching that film and I got the same feeling here. Honesty in film is difficult to achieve. It's difficult to earn and it's difficult to sustain. "Dead Dad" wears its heart on its sleeve but it's a beating heart and that's what makes it work.

I highly recommend you check out this picture. Don't expect fireworks, at least not the kind that light up the sky. This movie isn't about explosions and cinematic trickery -- it's about taking a family, opening them up, seeing what makes them tick and then putting them back together again. And I had one hell of a rewarding time experiencing it.

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