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Ben Is Back (2018)

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A drug addicted teenage boy shows up unexpectedly at his family's home on Christmas Eve.

Director:

Peter Hedges

Writer:

Peter Hedges
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Popularity
768 ( 134)
1 win & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Holly Burns
Lucas Hedges ... Ben Burns
Courtney B. Vance ... Neal Beeby
Kathryn Newton ... Ivy Burns
Rachel Bay Jones ... Beth Conyers
David Zaldivar ... Spencer 'Spider' Webbs
Alexandra Park ... Cara K.
Michael Esper ... Clayton
Tim Guinee ... Phil
Myra Lucretia Taylor Myra Lucretia Taylor ... Sally
Kristin Griffith ... Mrs. Crane
Jack Davidson ... Dr. Crane
Mia Fowler ... Lacey Burns-Beeby
Jakari Fraser ... Liam Burns-Beeby
Cameron Roberts ... James Lamson
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Storyline

Follows the charming yet troubled Ben Burns (Hedges), who returns home to his unsuspecting family one fateful Christmas Eve. Ben's wary mother Holly Burns (Roberts) welcomes her beloved son's return, but soon learns he is still very much in harm's way. During the 24 hours that may change their lives forever, Holly must do everything in her power to avoid the family's downfall.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language throughout and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 December 2018 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Ben Is Back See more »

Filming Locations:

New York, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$80,733, 9 December 2018, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,703,184, 21 February 2019
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The choice of Christmas Eve was a metaphorical setting of great strength for BEN IS BACK, but due to the winter atmosphere, the team had to face harsh weather conditions. --Teddy Schwarzman remembers having to deal with a cyclonic snowstorm that paralyzed all roads in New York and Yonkers, where the team planned to shoot a scene.-- Julia Roberts, who has lived in New York for eighteen years, says she has never experienced a winter on the East Coast equivalent to the one that hit the set for BEN IS BACK. See more »

Quotes

Holly Burns: Why don't you take care of *our* kids and I'll deal with mine.
See more »


Soundtracks

Cool Yule
Written by Steve Allen
Performed by Louis Armstrong with The Commanders
Courtesy of The Verve Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Ben is Back (2018)
11 December 2018 | by rockman182See all my reviews

So, Lucas Hedges is having quite a year. A bully in Mid 90s, a gay teen who must endure conversion therapy in Boy Erased. And now in Ben is Back he is a recovering addict whose opioid addiction has caused major problems between him and his family. Directed by Peter Hedges, who also happens to be Lucas' father, this is a simple but effective film that deals with a crisis that many parents have to face. This one quietly arrived in theaters but its one to watch.

The film is about Ben, who recently returns home having been sober for 77 days. His mom wants to give him the benefit of the doubt although she is weary about whether he is using or not. Ben soon realizes that his old ways catch up to him and it causes a danger to his family. Ben tries to wrong the rights and fight off the temptation of the past, and his mom (played by Julia Roberts) strives to remain at his side to make sure that she doesn't lose her son.

I like the recent waves of films that are covering drug addiction. Working in that counseling field I see it daily and see what a problem it is. You can never be clear of your demons and relapse is a normality. I think Lucas Hedges has one of his strongest performances yet, not that that's a surprise because he's good in everything. Best Julia Roberts performance in a while as well, at least for me. Its a simple plot and takes place over the course of a day or so but its a deep story that engulfs you from the opening scene.

I don't know if this is going to get award season love but I'd like for it to get nominated for its original screenplay and some acting plaudits. Its easily identifiable, and the characters are strong and driven, a testament to the actors who commit to the performances. Wouldn't have minded this thing being 10-20 minutes longer because not a minute is wasted here.

7.5/10


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