Movie Review: The Boys are Back

For those of you who live on Long Island and have Optimum’s Triple Play, you know that Tuesday is free movie night.  But only at Clearview Cinemas.  The choices at Clearview, for the most part, are slim.

Last week I slugged it out while sitting through Surrogates.  Tonight was shaping up to be no different.  Then I saw a title I had never even heard of (I’m a nerd, so for this to happen it must really be under the radar).  The Boys are Back.  A movie about a father grieving his dead wife and dealing with his two sons, starring Clive Owen.  Clive Owen in a film I’ve never heard about?  What is up?

So, deciding between that and… well, a Coco Chanel movie or some romance named ‘Paris’ – it was a pretty easy decision.

And I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was by no means earth shattering.  It was what I expected, story-wise.  Father must cope with his own loss, while helping his young son grieve.  In the middle of all that comes his teenage son from a first marriage who feels abandoned by his father.  Pretty melodramatic stuff on the surface.  But this film, directed by Scott Hicks, did an amazing job of painting a picture of a man at wits end.  It was sweet when it needed to be sweet.  Funny when you needed a moment of levity.  And sad, because life is sad sometimes.

Clive Owen, who also produced the film, was great.  It was easy to see him as the right choice for the part, someone who displays little emotion and that guard begins to wear on him.  A man who was present in his son’s lives, but now without a mother figure – is thrust into the spotlight and must play the role of both parents.  It’s not the bitter story of an estranged father reconnecting with his kids.  It is just the story of a man, trying to be the best father he can.

It genuinely touched me and I would definitely recommend seeing it.

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