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BEN IS BACK

BEN IS BACK

Peter Hedges · USA · 2018 · 103 mins · 14A
IMDbRotten Tomatoes

Suburban mother Holly Burns (Julia Roberts) cautiously welcomes her 19-year-son Ben (Lucas Hedges) home for the holidays. Why the hesitation? The young man has gone AWOL from rehab. Mom may be mollified by her son’s vow to return to treatment after Christmas. But will he keep his promise? And can he stay clean until then?

That’s the premise that fires up this drama from writer-director Peter Hedges (a.k.a. Lucas’s dad) about a mother and son dancing around the issue of trust over 24 hours of fraught tension. Through it all, Roberts runs a gamut of emotions that remind us of what a powerful actress she is. Her vital and touching teamwork with Hedges, who keeps getting more impressive with each role, is what makes the film work; the heart and soul they put into this familial story almost make the overly familiar addiction-drama beats beside the point. It’s unflinching and unforgettable.

--Rolling Stone

“Refreshingly understated, ‘Ben Is Back’ subverts family drama stereotypes - and provides a forum for terrific performances.”  --Rotten Tomatoes
“It's fair to say the movie belongs to Roberts. It's a career peak, and a performance that deserves to be seen.” Associated Press
“Hedges is a flayed nerve, jittery and raw. Roberts may be the true revelation, though.” Entertainment Weekly
Cast Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance
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