Ben is Back

Ben is Back

(2018)

Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) star in this domestic drama written by Oscar nominee Peter Hedges (About a Boy).... More

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.Hide

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The Press Reviews

  • 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. Full Review

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

  • 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. Full Review

  • 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. Full Review

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

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

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