6.3/10
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30 user 40 critic

Mean Dreams (2016)

R | | Thriller | 17 March 2017 (USA)
Trailer
2:15 | Trailer
Follows Casey and Jonas, two teenagers desperate to escape their broken and abusive homes and examines the desperation of life on the run and the beauty of first love.

Director:

Nathan Morlando
1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Josh Wiggins ... Jonas Ford
Sophie Nélisse ... Casey Caraway
Joe Cobden ... Elbert Ford
Bill Paxton ... Wayne Caraway
Vickie Papavs ... Lynette Ford
Colm Feore ... The Chief
Ryan Blakely ... Proprietor
George Buza ... Pawnshop Clerk
Tara Nicodemo ... Pharmacist
Mike McPhaden ... Father
Richard Waugh ... Bus Driver
Blaise Blaise ... Blaise
Learn more

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Storyline

Mean Dreams is a thriller about a fifteen-year-old boy who steals a bag of drug money and runs away with the girl he loves while her corrupt cop father hunts them down. This coming-of-age fable brings together the desperation of life on the run and the beauty and wonder of first love.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The law won't protect you See more »

Genres:

Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last major film for Bill Paxton. See more »

Goofs

Boom mic visible in car window when Jonas steals the chiefs car. See more »

Quotes

Casey Caraway: You pray?
Jonas Ford: No.
Casey Caraway: Now might be a good time...
See more »

Soundtracks

Dry Bones
Lyrics by Rennie Sparks
Music by Brett Sparks
Performed by The Handsome Family
Published by Handsome Family Music (BMI) and administered by Music of Virtual.
Administered outside of North America by Touch Tones Music.
Courtesy of Carrot Top Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

 
This film is well worth a look – to see Paxton in his last major role – and for the overall quality of the movie itself.
19 March 2017 | by dave-mcclainSee all my reviews

The American-Canadian thriller "Mean Dreams" (R, 1:48) is one of two posthumous film releases for Bill Paxton (in addition to 2017's "The Circle", in which he has a small role). When Paxton died suddenly of complications from heart surgery at the age of 61 early in 2017, celebrity expressions of sorrow struck one consistent chord, well represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger's tweet that Paxton "could play any role, but he was best at being Bill – a great human being with a huge heart." In Paxton's most famous roles, he was an ordinary, basically decent guy caught up in extraordinary circumstances (as he was in "Apollo 13", "Twister", "Titanic" and "U-571"). He was also very good at playing tough and/or morally ambiguous characters (as he did in "Aliens", "A Simple Plan", "Edge of Tomorrow" and his award-winning HBO series "Big Love"), and some of his best work was as a basically bad person (as in "Weird Science", "True Lies", "Frailty" (which he also directed) and "Training Day", the TV series he was acting in when he died). "Mean Dreams" is another great example of Paxton playing against his true personality.

In this film, Paxton plays Wayne Caraway, a rural Michigan police officer and single dad, who is pretty bad at both roles – and a pretty bad person in general. When local boy Jonas Ford (Josh Wiggins, the star of 2015's "Max") starts seeing Wayne's teenage daughter, Casey (Sophie Nélisse, who played the title role in 2013's "The Book Thief"), Wayne is pretty… mean about shattering Jonas' dreams of getting closer to Casey. Mostly it's because Jonas isn't shy about trying to protect Casey from Wayne's abuse, and because Wayne doesn't want Jonas nosing around and discovering any of his other... activities.

After Jonas fails to get his father (Joe Cobden) or Wayne's boss (Colm Feore) to intervene on Casey's behalf, he takes matters into his own hands. When he witnesses an example of just how bad a man that Wayne is, Jonas steals some money, grabs Casey and hits the road. Of course, Wayne comes after his daughter – with a (literal) vengeance. As Jonas and Casey struggle to get away from Casey's dad for good, they confront the harsh realities of life on the run (especially as it pertains to two teenagers in the middle of nowhere), break some laws and put their safety and the safety of others at risk along the way.

"Mean Dreams" is a small, but entertaining coming-of-age movie. The two teen protagonists aren't quite Bonnie and Clyde, but their saga is engaging and their love story is affecting. Nélisse and Wiggins are two rising young stars whose emerging talents shine through in sympathetic roles and Paxton does his usual expert work as one really bad dude. The script (by Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby) and the direction (by Nathan Morlando) keep the action and dialog both unusually grounded and fairly unpredictable, especially for this kind of film. The score and the cinematography (filmed creatively and beautifully in northern Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie) are also very good, especially for a movie made on a small budget. The film is a bit lacking in gravitas, but it's worth a look – to see Paxton in his last major role – and for the overall quality of the film itself. "B+"


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Details

Country:

Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 March 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mean Dreams See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$36,146
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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