Ben is Back

Ben is Back

Ben is Back

Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) star in this drama about a mother and her drug-addicted son, written by Oscar nominee Peter Hedges (About a Boy).

19 year-old Ben (Hedges), in recovery, returns to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve. Ben's mum, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, her undying love for her son is tested as she struggles to keep him safe.

2018Rating: M, Drug use & offensive language103 minsUSA
Drama
Director:
Peter Hedges ('Pieces of April', 'Dan in Real Life', 'The Odd Life of Timothy Green')
Writer:
Peter Hedges
Cast:
Julia RobertsLucas HedgesKathryn NewtonCourtney B. VanceAlexandra ParkMarquise VilsonTeddy CañezEmily Cass McDonnell
87%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Vulture

Vulture

press

Ben Is Back makes you dream of a world in which no one needs movies like Ben Is Back.

0
Variety

Variety

press

Most movies are focused directly on the present moment, following along with a story as it unfolds, but "Ben Is Back" is different, creating the sense that the lives of each of its richly shaded characters continues even when she or he is not on-screen.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

What is so moving and effective about Roberts's work here is her shrewd subversion of her long-established persona.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

There are good intentions and good performances here, but they're squandered in a movie that isn't quite sure what it should be and how far it should go.

2.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Addiction dramas are a tough ask to get right. Make them too gritty and real and they'll never be seen. Too white-washed and they're betraying their own subjects. It seems to me that Ben is Back walks a mostly successful line between the two.

4.0
0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

Julia Roberts blasts through this family reunion drama-turned-thriller with one of the most forceful performances of her career.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

"Ben Is Back" may lose its way early and often, but it is rarely in danger of losing hold of your attention.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The film is aware of the weight of its subject but loathe to behave like an "important" film - focusing instead on the specificity of one sick young man and the family that loves and fears him in almost equal measure.

0
Vulture

Vulture

press

Ben Is Back makes you dream of a world in which no one needs movies like Ben Is Back.

0
Variety

Variety

press

Most movies are focused directly on the present moment, following along with a story as it unfolds, but "Ben Is Back" is different, creating the sense that the lives of each of its richly shaded characters continues even when she or he is not on-screen.

0
The New York Times

The New York Times

press

What is so moving and effective about Roberts's work here is her shrewd subversion of her long-established persona.

0
The Guardian

The Guardian

press

There are good intentions and good performances here, but they're squandered in a movie that isn't quite sure what it should be and how far it should go.

2.0
0
Stuff

Stuff

press

Addiction dramas are a tough ask to get right. Make them too gritty and real and they'll never be seen. Too white-washed and they're betraying their own subjects. It seems to me that Ben is Back walks a mostly successful line between the two.

4.0
0
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

press

Julia Roberts blasts through this family reunion drama-turned-thriller with one of the most forceful performances of her career.

0
Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

press

"Ben Is Back" may lose its way early and often, but it is rarely in danger of losing hold of your attention.

0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

The film is aware of the weight of its subject but loathe to behave like an "important" film - focusing instead on the specificity of one sick young man and the family that loves and fears him in almost equal measure.

0

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