Tag Archive: Sons

august osage countyStarring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin & Benedict Cumberbatch
Written by Tracy Letts
Directed by John Wells

After their patriarch goes missing, a dysfunctional family reunites and finds themselves once again at odds with each other and their cancer-stricken, pill-addled mother.

A family so
messed up that incest is the
least of its problems.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
August: Osage County is playing now in theaters nationwide.



Haiku Review: Nebraska (2013)

nebraskaStarring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb, Bob Odenkirk & Stacy Keach
Written by Bob Nelson
Directed by Alexander Payne

A man reluctantly escorts his aging, alcoholic father to Nebraska when the old man becomes convinced that he’s won a million dollars in a sweepstakes.

(leave feeling like you) HAVE WON

Grade: A-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Nebraska is playing now in select cities.

way way backStarring: Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, AnnaSophia Robb, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Written & directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

On vacation with his mother and her emotionally abusive boyfriend, a shy teenager begins to come out of his shell after he befriends the employees of a local water park.

Although, most older
guys who friend kids at water
parks are pedophiles.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Way Way Back is playing now in select cities.


pinesStarring: Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Bradley Cooper, Rose Byrne, Bruce Greenwood & Ray Liotta
Written by Derek Cianfrance, Ben Coccio & Darius Marder
Directed by Derek Cianfrance

When the lives of a motorcycle stunt rider and a rookie cop collide, their children suffer the devastating effects.

The film opens on
Gosling’s abs and then just goes
downhill from then on.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Place Beyond the Pines is playing now in select cities.


guilt tripStarring: Barbra Streisand, Seth Rogen, Adam Scott, Colin Hanks & Yvonne Strahovski
Written by Dan Fogelman
Directed by Anne Fletcher

A son takes his over-attentive mother on a cross-country business trip to reunite her with a long-lost romantic interest.

Rogen makes a film
you can watch with your mom that
won’t mortify her.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Guilt Trip is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 4/23/13.


natural selectionStarring: Rachael Harris, Matt O’Leary, Jon Gries & John Diehl
Written and directed by Robbie Pickering

After her husband falls ill, a devout Christian housewife sets out to find the long-lost son he fathered many years ago.

If you’re an “every
sperm is sacred” guy, this film’s
got loopholes for you!

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
Natural Selection is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.


impossibleStarring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor & Tom Holland
Written by Sergio G. Sánchez
Directed by Juan Antonio Bayona

Based on the true story of a family who struggled to find each other after being separated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Hundreds of thousands
dead in Asia, but let’s hear
about some white folk.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
The Impossible is playing now in theaters nationwide.


Haiku Review: Elena (2011)

Starring: Nadezhda Markina, Aleksey Rozin & Elena Lyadova
Screenplay by Andrey Zvyagintsev & Oleg Negin
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

An ailing older man tells his second wife that the bulk of his substantial estate will go to his estranged daughter – a decision that causes the wife to take extreme measures in order to protect herself and her impoverished son’s family.

Pathos like only
the Russians can muster up
Chekov would be proud

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Elena is now playing in select cities.


Starring: Tilda Swinton, John C. Reilly & Ezra Miller
Screenplay by Lynn Ramsay & Rory Stewart Kinnear
Directed by Lynne Ramsay

A woman struggles with the increasing malevolence of her son and must cope with the tragic consequences of his behavior.

Swinton is subtle;
the directing not so much.
Bet the book’s better.

Grade: B-

By Daniel J. Hoag
We Need to Talk About Kevin is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 5/29/12.


(Blu) Haiku Review: Warrior (2011)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Jennifer Morrison & Nick Nolte
Screenplay by Gavin O’Connor & Anthony Tambakis & Cliff Dorfman
Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Two estranged brothers must battle each other in a winner-take-all mixed martial arts competition.

Been-there, slugged-that. Still,
this MMA Rocky packs
a powerful punch.

Grade: B+

By Daniel J. Hoag
Warrior is available on Blu-ray and DVD on 12/20/11.