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Enjoyable enough...but it doesn't quite hit the mark.
MartinHafer9 April 2016
"Little Men" is a film I just saw at a film festival. While I have nothing against the movie, I did find that it left me feeling a bit the film just didn't quite hit the mark. The ending certainly contributes to this feeling.

When the film begins, a family moves to Brooklyn from their home in Manhatten. This is because the grandfather has died and they've decided to move into Grandpa's home. The son, Jake, is a loner who loves to draw and you assume this move will be tough on him. However, their downstairs renter has a son, Tony and the boys soon become best buddies. But when a rent dispute occurs between Jake and Tony's family the story comes unraveled and just ends.

The picture has some nice things going for it...such as Michael Barbieri's nice performance as Tony. But the ending left me and some others in the audience a bit disappointed as the resolution just seemed flat.
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A severely underdeveloped wasted potential
pauliecorleone-726286 January 2017
Had this movie been more about the boys and less about the hard-to-like adults, it could have been something pure, fresh, exciting. Unfortunately, it turns out to be nothing but a constant skidding into the margins of a plot that never gets past the original idea.

Was this filmed with the sole purpose of indulging the viewer with a superbly shot, colorful urban reality? It gains ground there. Maybe we were supposed to pour out our emotional responses on account of Greg Kinnear's, admittedly very talented, ever-downcast writhing eyebrows? Because that would be another minor win for Little Men.

Alas, I don't think either of those points carry any sort of validity so, all in all, it all wraps up into a sad 'no'.
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Awesome acting but completely unrealized potential
riesel729 February 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The negatives: I have no idea what the themes of this story are, and the two or three that come to mind is depressingly cynical (friends come and go & trying hard/never giving up on your goals is bad ??). It is all over the place! Nothing said or seen has anything to do with anything else. The father, while having a very unique point of view - and probably reveals why his career is where it's at, gives the most random bad advice,.. twice. Also, had the father simply told it like it is, the plot would have been resolved in about 60 seconds. The shop owner seems to be living in her own universe or is even more intellectually-challenged than we are led to believe (which creates the tension for the entire "plot".) The positives: the acting is outstanding from every cast member!! Natural and believable. The actors take what little they are given and take it to another level that, frankly, the plot doesn't deserve. The performances are simply entertaining from start to finish. (There is one scene in particular between the aspiring actor and his acting coach that is absolutely phenomenal!) The cinematography is both beautiful and realistic at the same time. Overall, I really really wanted to like this movie, I truly did. And it is not bad, but it barely gleaned of potential and never really went anywhere with it (which I think was the point.) I'm all for realistic movies, but there needs to be a point if there is no (strong) plot. Thankfully the acting & cinematography were outstanding enough for this not to be a waste of time.
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A film which should never have been made
ackroydstephen8 February 2019
Where do I start? Pointless, boring, totally lacking ANY emotion from anyone. Simply no purpose to it whatsoever. I decided to give my lounge another coat of paint and stand watching it dry. Much much more entertaining. Nominated for awards! As another has said. The King's New Clothes! Watch and be bored. Your choice.
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Movie that I thought would be good but really made me upset
benghill16 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I was expecting the movie to be more about the kids, but it was mostly about their horrible parents.

Tony's mom was dumb, rude, and sexist. Jake's dad needed money that was rightfully his to support his family. He tried to be as reasonable as he could and offered her a fair deal, which he was not legally obligated to do. She argues that she doesn't owe him anything, even though she does, and continuously insults him. She claims that his father cared more about her and thought it was wrong for a woman to financially support her husband. When she finds out his family needs the money she says that it's not her problem, even though it technically is. She also brings her son down into the feud.

Jake's dad is not much better. He evicts Jake's best friend without considering how it would affect Jake. He doesn't want Jake to hang out with the only friend he has. When he yelled at Jake in the car, I wanted to kill him. He calls Jake selfish when all Jake wants is to keep his best friend. He gives no regard to his own actions. He even insults Tony's acting skills. He is supposed to be the adult, but his son was the real adult in the family. I was disappointed at the end when Jake apologized to his father, as if he did something wrong.

I loved the kids. They were both really lovable characters and really cute. I admired their friendship and that they didn't let anything destroy their friendship even when their parents actively tried to. If this movie focused just on the two of them, it could have been great.
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What on earth was this about? And whatever it was, does there need to be a movie about it?
mamlukman27 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I'll give it an extra point for the acting, so it gets a 2 instead of a 1.

Just before the final couple minutes of the movie, the screen goes black, and I leaned over and said to my wife "If this is the end, I want my money back." Well, it had a little epilogue, but that simply served to put the nail in the coffin.

Many say this movie was from the boys' point of view. No. It wasn't. A lot of the action centers on them, but they are almost always interacting with teachers, parents, other students, etc. and there is nothing that indicates the boys' point of view is being given. That's pure pretentious fantasy.

Since we are subjected to several scenes from "The Seagull," where Greg K. is playing an actor in the play, we might expect some relevance to the action in the movie. Maybe I'm just not smart enough, but it drew a blank for me. I even looked up "The Seagull" in Wikipedia to see if I missed something. Nope. Nothing.

Similarly, Greg K. gives a little father-son talk at the end of the movie. You would think this would also sum up the point of the movie. He gave some long story about a childhood acquaintance who wanted to be a dancer but keep practicing so hard she was constantly injured and never became a dancer at all. The moral of his story--as he explicitly said--was that you achieve success not by hard work, but by knowing when to pull back and simply go with what you've got. Great. Nice moral. But...what did it have to do with the movie I just saw? Nothing.

Then we've got the main conflict in the movie: the dressmaker who occupies the store had a great relationship (sexual? maybe, but there's no real hint of that) with Greg K's father, who never raised the rent in eight years. Greg and his sister inherit the building; Greg and his family move into his father's old apartment, and Greg and his sister want to raise the rent on the dressmaker. They justify this by saying "the neighborhood is changing" and, as with many families, although Greg's family has gotten an apartment to live in, the sister wants her share of the inheritance. (Now you'd think that the obvious way to solve this is to do what most people do: buy the sister out. In other words, instead of a "free" apartment, Greg K. should be paying his sister a monthly "rent" until she has gotten her half of the inheritance. But no, that seems not to have occurred to anyone. And of course Greg had been paying rent before, so....) The dressmaker simply doesn't have enough money. And by the end of the movie, she's gone. Probably to some Booklyn sweatshop to end her days in misery. Terrific.

Throughout the movies we are told about Greg's faults: he doesn't contribute enough money to household expenses--although his wife doesn't seem to mind. He has a hard time making friends. Yup, that's pretty clear from his relationship with the dressmaker. But how all this fits together and how it makes sense of the movie is a mystery.

The boys become friends quickly. They seem to part just as quickly at the end. Is this what the movie is trying (unsuccessfully) to say? That friendship is fleeting? That it's rare? Who knows.

To me, a movie should start at point A, go to point B, and along the way you should have some internally logical action. Here we have a movie that starts at point A--the death of the father-- but then meanders all over the place. None of the action is fantastic, it's all logically possible, but it's random. There's no discernible point to it all.

So if you like movie that ramble all over the place and make you leave the theater saying "What was that all about?" this is the movie for you.
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About the miracle of friendship
howard.schumann28 August 2016
American philosopher William James said that, "Reality, life, experience, concreteness, immediacy, use what word you will, exceeds our logic, overflows, and surrounds it." This statement is especially true for children whose goals and dreams are subject not only to the real problems they face but are in part determined by their parent's ability to handle their own life. Ira Sachs affecting drama, Little Men, looks at life from the point of view of two young men on the cusp of adolescence whose friendship is threatened by a family squabble that has no easy solution. Co-written by the director and Mauricio Zacharias, the film follows on the heels of Sachs' 2014 Love is Strange, the story of a gay couple and how they are forced to vacate their New York City residence as a result of gentrification, a theme that plays also role in Little Men.

13-year-old boys, Jake (Theo Taplitz), a non-observing Jew and Tony (Michael Barbieri), who goes to Catholic school, are drawn together when Jake's parents, Brian (Greg Kinnear) and Kathy (Jennifer Ehle), move into an apartment in Brooklyn vacated by the death of Jake's grandfather. The apartment is located above a dress shop owned by his grandfather's long time friend, Chilean seamstress Leonor (Paulina Garcia, "Gloria"), who has been paying a lower rent as a result of their friendship. The boys possess exceptional artistic talent. Jake is a painter who hopes that his portfolio will land him in the LaGuardia School of the Performing Arts, even as his drawing of yellow stars against the background of a green sky is dismissed by his middle-brow, middle-school teacher.

Compared to the sensitive Jake who keeps to himself and has few friends, Tony, an aspiring actor, is outgoing with excess energy to burn, a dynamo whose best scene is a back and forth exchange with his drama coach, an exercise in letting go of restraint and reaching for full self-expression. Speaking rapidly with a Brooklyn accent, Tony, who wants to join Jake in the LaGuardia School, puts on a good act of being on top of things but the sadness stemming from the lack of a father in his life is visible. One is reminded of the Nigerian poet and novelist Ben Okri's reflection that, "the need to create art is often connected to a need to heal something." Brian informs Leonor that he has to triple her rent because his acting roles bring in little money and he does not want to have to completely rely on his wife's income. Though he tries to reach an amicable agreement, his position strengthens Leonor's intransigence and encourages Brian's sister (Talia Balsam) to push for her eviction in order to bolster the family's income. As their families bicker, Jake and Tony try their best to stay away from the conflict, riding their roller blades and scooters around the neighborhood with joyous abandon to the energizing score of Dickon Hinchliffe suggesting that this moment of their youth will last forever. Unfortunately, however, their parents only dig in their heels, Leonor snarkily asserting that she was closer to Brian's father than he was and Kathy tells Leonor that she is trained in conflict resolution though she does not offer any such resolution.

As Jake and Tony's friendship becomes strained, they embark on their secret weapon - the silent treatment - but the children's weapons against their more powerful parent's ends, as it often does in heartfelt tears. Little Men is a thoughtful and moving film that contains some of the year's most honest and nuanced performances from Taplitz, Barbieri and Kinnear. There are no villains in the film and each character has what is on the surface a reasonable position, but what is lost is the compassion to step back and see things from a broader perspective, one that transcends immediate needs.

Brian shows some awareness of this when he breaks down in tears while alone, suggesting that looking out for one's own self-interest while admirable in many respects may cut us off from relationships we cherish. Little Men operates on several levels. It is about gentrification and class interests, but its most potent message is about the miracle of friendship and coming to terms with growing up. Jake and Tony have found the kind of friendship that is rare for any age. Though they are different people with different interests, they have a bond that is akin to love, one that, like other attachments in life, will not last even though it will always contain moments so real that they may forever remain etched in the core of their being.
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Don't waste your time watching this film!
howard_alex6 January 2017
What can I say about this film except it is the "Emperor's Clothes". Why do I say this? There is nothing to it, except the potential to be average. Some of the acting was good, some of the plot lines were OK but are never developed past the superficial. There are 3 areas of disappointment. 1) The relationship between the boys has no emotion or energy, it seems false so we don't engage. The reference to an absent father and the pain to the boy was a hook to his future failure, which was too obvious and shallow. Reinforced by the truly awful father and son scene where the father states that hard work and effort isn't worth it if you have the talent, what rubbish, talk to anyone who has reached the top of their profession, hard work as well as talent gets you there. 2) What really was the relationship between the dressmaker and the grandfather? Half hinted at and yet we are meant to be emotionally drawn to her plea to stay and not pay the going rate. Really? 3) What was the director trying to do with this film, it definitely wasn't about the relationship between the 2 boys, it wasn't about the relationship between father and son, present or absent,nor about families,stay at home husband with working wife, struggling immigrant entrepreneurs. Sorrow, loss, sex, growing up, getting old, nothing, was developed or built on! There was never a point when you emotionally engage with the film, it was slow and said nothing about friendship, love, loyalty, sorrow, duty, growing up or the central core of the film, coming of age and leaving behind childhood.
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Great Film
Mark-petrolis23 May 2016
I just saw "Little Men" last night at the Chicago Critics' Film Festival. Wow, what a touching and wonderful film! The New York Writer/Director of "Little Men" was in attendance and spoke before the screening, where he thanked one of the local Chicago producers, which was Fathers Rights' pioneer Jeffery Leving. He is the top family law attorney in the nation. Leving is a huge advocate for the powerful positive force of paternal involvement in children's lives. There are countless statistics that show the positive effects of father involvement, which is what I suspect why Leving got involved in this movie.

I mention this, because this great written and directed film highlights the contrast of a family unit where there is father involvement in one family, and father absence in the other. Tony hardly sees or has contact with his father in the film, because his father lives in Africa. The lack of Tony's father being present in his life negatively affects him in this film. Jake, the other boy, has his dad in his life, played wonderfully by Greg Kinnear, and is able to get the support he needs from his father in the hope of achieving his dreams. Tony, who so dearly wants a father in his life even reaches out to Jake's Dad to give him advice and support for his future. This film highlights the positive effects an involved father can have on their children. Bravo!

I always wanted to write film reviews, and this powerful film has moved me to do so. Go see this film!
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The acting & writing are good, but it felt a little flat at some parts & really just came to an abrupt end, which hurt the movie
cosmo_tiger12 December 2016
"The neighborhoods changing." Brian Jardine (Kinnear) is a struggling actor who has just lost his father. He heads to Brooklyn for the funeral and to deal with his fathers estate. He discovers that a small business was costing his father money, and is unable to continue the same deal. This causes tension with him and the owner of the business, which is further enhanced by the fact that Brian's son and the son of the owner are best friends. This is a really good movie that makes you think. You really struggle to decide who is in the right and can see both sides equally. The dynamic of the adults and the kids relationships are really fleshed out and are the true heart of the movie. That said, the movie could have been really good but it stayed a little monotone and the end just kind of happened. When you watch this you will see what I mean. Overall, the acting and writing are good, but it felt a little flat at some parts and really just came to an abrupt end, which hurt the movie a little bit. I disappointingly give this a B-.
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A bore
Gordon-1124 September 2016
This film tells the story of a boy who moves to a new place after his grandfather died. He befriends the neighbour and is very happy with his life, but grown up troubles get in the way, as his parents get into a rental dispute with the neighbour boy's mother.

I thought "Little Men" would be sweet and touching, but unfortunately I was not. The title may suggest that the film is the reality through the youngsters eyes, but the story is really viewed from a third perspective. The pace is slow, and not much really happens. I find Greg Kinnear's character indecisive and unassertive, as he does not deal with the rental problem quickly. It is as if the whole story is unnecessary because it would not have happened if he dealt with the rental problem quickly. I was bored by the film, and was disappointed.
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A gem of an indie dramedy coming of age story
george.schmidt10 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
LITTLE MEN (2016) ***1/2 Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri, Paulina Garcia, Alfred Molina, Talia Balsam. A gem of an indie dramedy coming of age story about two new friends (engaging newcomers Taplitz and Barbieri) whose relationship comes to a challenge when their parents wind up in a sticky predicament involving rent disputes while attempting to keep the peace intact. Filmmaker Ira Sachs - who co-scripted with Mauricio Zacharias - offers a nice parable about the niceties among the socioeconomic pitfalls in life with a suggested novella feel to the storyline with great NYC & Brooklyn location shots as well as his aforementioned young cast. Kinnear delivers the low-key goods as a conflicted man trying to do the right thing while being caught in the middle of of social graces and responsibilities to family. Worth seeking out.
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Making friends ... and conflict
ferguson-61 May 2016
Greetings again from the darkness. There is a lot going on in this latest from writer/director Ira Sachs, and every bit of it provides some commentary on the basic everyday life struggles faced by normal folks. There is also a continuation of the ongoing NYC vs Brooklyn "friendly competition", as well a reminder of the downside of gentrification.

Mr. Sachs and his frequent collaborator and co-writer Mauricio Zacharias kick off the story with Greg Kinnear's Brian awkwardly exchanging greetings with Paulina Garcia' s (so terrific in Gloria, 2013) Leonor while the son's of these two share an equally awkward meeting. Leonor is the long-time tenant in the dress shop located below the apartment where Brian's recently deceased father resided.

Jake (Theo Tapitz) is an aspiring artist who doesn't easily make friends. Tony (Michael Barbieri) is a brash, fast-talking kid who is a bit more street wise and outgoing. The two boys quickly bond … while at the same time, the parents begin a quiet battle. Brian's sister (played by Talia Balsam) demands her fair share of their father's estate through higher rent on Leonor's dress shop. It turns out their dad never raised the rent despite the number of years and the developing neighborhood. Kinnear's wife Kathy (the underrated Jennifer Ehle) tries to play peace-keeping negotiator so that the boys' friendship is not affected. As is often the case, the kids handle the situation better than the adults.

The film's best scenes feature the two young boys … a blossoming childhood friendship that is all too rare on the big screen. If the boys weren't so severely impacted, the adult interactions could almost be white noise. Themes of money vs love, greed vs emotion, as well as recurring and various instances of rejection, all play a part in this multi-faceted story. Examples of rejection include a girl rejecting a boy, Brian's rejection as an actor, and the multiple rejections in the negotiations for the shop. Mr. Sachs has a real knack for putting real people in real situations that result in difficult decisions.

All of the acting is top notch, including Alfred Molina in a small role as Leonor's attorney and adviser. But it's the boys – Tapitz and especially Barbieri – that elevate the film. Watching the boys grow closer despite the all-too-close conflicts reminds a bit of the friendships in Rob Reiner's classic Stand By Me. Young Mr. Tapitz already has a few short films under his belt as a director, and Mr. Barbieri is certain to get many more opportunities to flash his on screen talent.
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Near perfect portrayal of adolescent friendship
kevbee10 October 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film is a joy. I'm a long way from age 13, but this film reminded me of the ups and downs of teenage relationships. Two boys, one shy, one feisty thrown together by circumstance. They form a strong bond just as their respective parents grow apart. The boys don't have the emotional experience to understand the reasons why there is a rift between their respective parents. They resort to childish ploys to restore the status quo. Clearly this doesn't work. I won't give away the ending. But please go and see this film for the two outstanding performances from the two boys. Just breathtaking. And familiar. And a brilliant light touch from the director. I just want to see it again.
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Stunning family/neighbors relationship drama is one of the year's best movies
paul-allaer7 September 2016
"Little Men" (2016 release; 92 min.) brings the story of two young men, Jake and Tony. Jake is a 13 yr. old only child and after his grandfather passes away, his dad inherits the Brooklyn building. It's not long before mom Kathy, dad Brian and Jake move in (more room than their cramped Manhattan place). At the ground level of the building there is a small store (a tailor/clothing store) rented out to Leonor, a Latina woman who has a 13 yr. old son Tony. As it happens, Jake and Tony immediately hit it off and become fast (and inseparable) friends. All seems well, until one day Jake's parents need to confront Leonor over the sweetheart (and below market) lease deal which Brain's dad had given to Leonor... At this point we're 15-20 min, into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from writer-director Ira Sachs, best known for the unexpected modestly successful indie movie "Love Is Strange" a few years back. Here he goes a very different tact, examining how 13 yr. olds deal with their parents getting into a business dispute. The first 15-20 min, of the movie, when everyone gets along with everyone, cleverly set you up for some unexpected but very real life issues: money is tight for everyone, and you like all the major characters, yet some (or perhaps all?) will get hurt down the road. The movie is helped immensely by top notch acting performances, starting with the two boys (played by newcomers). Greg Kinnear brings an eye-opening performance as the struggling actor/dad/Brian. I can't recall Kinnear displaying such a conflicted state of mind as in this one. Also mega-kudos to Chilean actress Pauline Garcia, who delighted us a few years ago with her performance in "Gloria" (and which should have garnered an Oscar nomination, frankly). The role she plays here couldn't be further from "Gloria", but it is an equally stunning performance.

"Little Men" opened with positive buzz at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, and it finally opened this past weekend at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Wednesday early evening screening where I saw this at turned out to be a private screening: I was literally the only person in the theater. That is a darn shame, as this movie truly deserves to be seen. In fact, I'll just state it: this movie is one of the five best movies I've seen this year (and I see a lot of them). If you are in the mood for a top-notch family/neighbors relationship drama with loads of top acting performances, you cannot go wrong with this, be it in the theater, on Amazon Instant Video, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray. "Little Men" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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Subtle, observant, heartbreaking
tinkjf15 December 2016
I think this is the best Sachs film I've seen yet. In many ways, it feels more like a French film, or Japanese. And yet, like Linklater's "Boyhood" it is quintessentially American--far more truly American than all those violent and overwrought Hollywood blockbusters. It is IN America and ABOUT America in a way that most of Hollywood isn't. What makes it so wonderful is that it finds what is important in the minutiae of ordinary life. It's a trivial movie in the sense that it is about the trivia of life, but it is great in the sense that it draws out what is humanly important and beautiful and moving in that trivia. Personally, I find most of what Hollywood produces dead boring- -collections of clichés clamoring for attention and thrills, but with no heart and nothing to say. Rather than make stuff up (copying what others have made up before) this film observes what is.

Wong Kar-wai's "In the Mood for Love" is probably one of the most turgid movies of all time--slow, uneventful--but it is also one of the most beautiful and memorable and arresting. This movie is not as staggeringly beautiful, but it has the same capacity to find what is beautiful in the ordinary--in OUR lives, not in Captain Marvel's or Superman's or Batman's. This film is about life, and it affirms life. We could use way more of this kind of film.
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Ira Sachs is on an Ozu roll.
freekyfridays15 March 2016
Sundance veteran Ira Sachs continues to use legendary Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu as his starting point to explore contemporary New York City. Like his previous gem LOVE IS STRANGE (2014), which structured itself around Ozu's TOKYO STORY (1953), Sachs tackles the difficult issue of gentrification and makes it especially challenging to his viewers by presenting the story from the gentrifier's perspective.

Using both of Ozu's films I WAS BORN BUT… (1932) and GOOD MORNiNG (1960), the moral dilemmas of modern society encroaching on the present (and perhaps old fashioned) world is explored from a child's viewpoint. Sachs seems to have nestled himself nicely into a mature genre of strong character-driven, social issue films.

With standout performances by both the glorious Chilean actress Paulina Garcia (from 2013's Gloria) and newcomer Michael Barbieri, who plays the wise-talking "little man" Tony with the kind of natural charm that Anthony Michael Hall projected in John Hughes' SiXTEEN CANDLES (1984) and Jodie Foster in Martin Scorsese's ALiCE DOESN'T LiVE HERE ANYMORE (1974). Ira Sachs is on an Ozu roll. Let's hope he reimagines LATE SPRiNG (1949) or EARLY SUMMER (1951) next.
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Quiet Yet Powerful Indie Drama
larrys314 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I found this to be a quiet and effective indie drama, with characters and dialogue that came across to me as real. It contains excellent acting, very able direction (Ira Sachs), and a sharp screenplay from Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias.

After the passing of his father, Brian Jardine (Greg Kinnear), his wife Kathy (Jennifer Ehle), and their 13-year-old son Jake (Theo Taplitz) relocate from Manhattan to the apartment left to Brian (and his sister) by his dad. They'll also be the new landlords for the store below the apartment, a small dress shop.

The dress shop is owned and operated by Leonor Calvelli (Paulina Garcia), who lives nearby with her son Tony (Michael Barbieri) Leonor was very close with Brian's father and he made sure her store rent stayed the same, despite the new bohemian upsurge in the neighborhood. I might mention seeing Garcia here reminded me of her mesmerizing performance in the 2013 movie "Gloria". By the way if you're expecting to see a lot of the superb actor Alfred Molina, he only appears briefly in 2 scenes as Leonor's friend and attorney.

One of the main themes of the film will be the immediate friendship that springs up between Tony and Jake. They both aspire to go to LaGuardia High School for Performing Arts, with Tony for acting and Jake for illustration and art.

With the dress shop lease coming due and Brian being under financial pressure, as well as pressure from his sister, the proposal to bring the rent up to market conditions for the struggling small business will bring immediate friction and tension to the 2 families' relationships, and especially the strong bonding that had developed between the two teens Jake and Tony.

All in all, my interest was captured from the start by this quietly powerful drama and its believable characters, and I was engrossed till its conclusion.
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I thought it was OK.
subxerogravity15 August 2016
So, when I saw the trailer, I think I may have been mislead about what the movie is really about. They used the star power of actor, Greg Kinnear to sell the movie, and even though he's a big (very big) part of the movie, his story is not the focus.

The heart of the movie is the instant bond that happens between the two young boys in this movie (From the trailer, I thought the title Little Men came from the fact that Kinnear was a man-child, which was not the case).

The kid that played the character Tony was the absolutely best. Watching him in the scenes interacting with all the characters was fantastic. He was not the main boy among the two boys, but he was steeling the show without trying.

Other than this kid, the movie does not grab me at all. The main plot of the two boys bond being tested by their parents disagreement over prime real estate in Brooklyn felt really superficial in it's attempts to get everyone on broad, and although every actor is talented, the delivery of the whole film is too bland.

So the kid Tony was the best part of the film that was overall too dry for my taste.
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tomcaton2 January 2017
There are three main types of movies, good ones, bad ones and ones that are overlooked by the public. Yes, it is not a masterpiece and has flaws, but still I enjoyed watching this and I was shocked to see the IMDb rating and the box office result. Though independent movies like this don't make much back it still should of made it's 2 million budget. The performance were almost all good, with the exception of a few, it was well paced so I could truly experience the chemistry growth between the two children who come from two entirely different backgrounds.

To conclude it is an underrated movie that brings out a range of emotions, but yes it is not perfect.
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The movie critics on Metacritic that gave this an overall 86 must have been paid off.
jwbeller22 August 2016
My wife and I go to all types of movies. For example, we recently saw Jason Bourne, Bad Moms, War Dogs, The Innocents, Indignation, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Captain Fantastic, Hell or High Water, and Florence Foster Jenkins. All of which were well done. That brings me to Little Men which we saw today.

Little Men is about two families, one that inherited a building with an apartment and a store below it, when the father's father dies. The other, a single mother who has rented a dress shop for a number of years from the deceased father. The family that inherited the building moves into the apartment above the dress shop. Both families have 13 year old sons who become fast friends. The new building owners are considering raising the rent on the dress shop.

In my opinion, there isn't enough story her to make a movie. At best this should have been a play. Although the acting is decent, neither the story nor the acting were good enough to develop any empathy for anyone in the movie. The bottom line is the movie was not enjoyable (unfortunately not something critics consider when rating a movie). And, by the way, the sound was at best only fair. The bottom line is the movie isn't any good. My best recommendation is to skip it. You won't have missed anything.
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Effective and honest
Red_Identity6 January 2017
I feel like this film was kind of marketed as a comedy, and perhaps that's why the seriousness of the situation at the core of the film really surprised me. It's not that the film is a tragedy, but instead it takes an honest and very real look at these kinds of situations. It's a very carefully and deliberately paced film, and the director has a great handle of the film's tone and atmosphere and is able to really bring the dramatic beats of the story to life. The ensemble cast also seems to have a great handle on the material, never overplaying or underplaying the situation to become unbelievable or become a melodrama. I definitely recommend this and I think it really gives a fascinating portrayal of family and the bonds that exist and how real life can get in the middle of that.
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This film seemed to go nowhere, and I'm still not sure if I'm fine with that.
shawnwu30 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This film seemed to go nowhere, and I'm still not sure if I'm fine with that. It opens with a friendless Jake drawing a green sky in class, and after finding and then losing a best friend, it ends with a slightly older pony-tailed Jake contently sketching alone in a museum. Between these bookends, the film accurately portrays an awkward friendship between the two titular little men, but also manages to indulge in prolonged unnecessary shots of rollerblading set against an excessive soundtrack. The intriguing moments come from the more volatile relationship between parents. Leonor's caustic one-liners, seemingly out of place in this indie movie, were easily the most engaging moments.

The Take: We're not movie critics, but we might be better.
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Friendship or business!
Reno-Rangan14 June 2017
This is a pure drama. Like a real life event, though there's no documentary style narration influenced. Thematically very, very simple, and also the characters, but too flat when it comes to entertainment value. Of course, drama-films usually does not entertain its viewers, except for who are ardent fans of that genre. Apart from depicting the real life, sometimes they carry messages with them. But this film has no tick marks on any of those boxes. So it is a boring film if you pick it to watch when you're on the average or in the bad mood. I did not feel that way, just hinting out it could do that for others.

The storyline had no focal point. It is neither a children's film, nor about the grownups' issues. But kind of mix of both on a small scale with strong outcome. Pretty much like on the two topics it was developed on. One was the 'death' which initiated everything and followed by the 'shop' that helped to make further progress in the tale. So using these, the film characters bloomed. Even though, these topics come into play occasionally and in the meantime, the scenes were wasted or you can say it followed the character to their daily routine to fill the film runtime.

So what's that mean is the screenplay, which was not at its best. It does not follow the traditional film way on the character developments. Like I expected the friendship between two boys like how they find each other as to emerge a strong bond. That did not happen. It was just like I said in the real life, too casual and understandable.

The same goes for the adult characters as well. When they decide to handle the shop issue, it was like hesitation like any average concerned family does. So this film will be good if your life is/was close to the events in the film. Like either it is your friendship that tested or dealing the sensitive issue as a grown-up that affects deeply those concerned ones.

❝Once again, our warm, lovable, unwise father has left us a big mess and no instructions.❞

Now you might think what this film is all about. This is the story of the two families connected with a building. Opens with a small Manhattan family arriving in Brooklyn to conduct the last rite to their deceased father. They are received by another family who rented the shop in the ground floor. Both the family has the young boys of the same age and following the ceremony, the two become very close. But when their parents decide to sort out the shop issue, it's all fall hard on them and their friendship. The remaining is to reveal the outcome of whatever happened.

You might be familiar with the quote that goes like this, 'a friendship founded on business in better than a business founded on friendship'. Basically, that's where the film inspired from. But it expanded to two sets of the characters, between the youngsters and the adults. These two categories are exactly opposite in mindset. Youngsters usually does not care about money that involves friends, but for adults, money is a serious matter to handle. The 'business' is attached to the parents and the 'friendship' drawn between their children.

Now that's the complication involves as many people as to solve without affecting anybody. But most of the film was overwhelmed by scenes of other than this issue. They ignored to focus completely on where it had calibre. I felt the casting was the best thing happened in the film, particularly those boys. Alfred Molina, who played one of the main characters in the director's previous film was appeared here in a guest role for like a minute. The rest of them were decent as well, including Greg Kinnear.

The film was just under the 90 minutes, yet too slow paced narration. Does not fit for everyone to watch. Imagine if this film was played on the television, with all the commercial breaks, you won't able to finish it off. Not without patience, because it is already dull, and if you will run out that, that's it. A lot like a product for the film festivals and it did fared decently on those platforms, but surely some people would find it good. So now you might think what my stance is. I liked it, also didn't. An average film with a slipped away opportunity. I am not sure, but still feel like I want to suggest it.

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The problem is that I'm not interested in anything
Andres-Camara28 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I'm watching this movie and the biggest problem I see is that I do not care what it tells me. It does not get to me. I think it's not enough to make a social movie so that it becomes interesting. It makes me very long The actors are very well, they all do a good job, but they can not catch me.

I think it's due to the tempo of the movie. It is as if it were at idle. There is something about her that she can not walk.

I do not like photography. It is a white photograph that is always done in independent projects. I do not know if they do not realize that everything matters.

Let's not say the address, it's like it's lost. He does not see that he has no rhythm, no time. His plans are simple, neither compound nor beautiful.

For me it will be a movie that will not reach anything else.
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