Return

"Good"

Return Review


An edgy sense of realism makes this back-from-war drama surprisingly engaging, even though it's never as original as we hope it will be. But solid, naturalistic performances and an urgent, intimate approach make it worth a look.

After a tour of duty, Kelli (Cardellini) is home with her husband Mike (Shannon) and their two young daughters. She dives right back into her factory job, but something doesn't feel right. After a couple of setbacks, she discovers that Mike has been having an affair with Cara Lee (Swencionis). And when she has her driving licence taken away and is court-ordered to rehab, Kelli's rebellious streak kicks in. It's there that she meets Bud (Slattery), a jaded fellow war veteran who refuses to play by the rules.

While keeping the camera close to Kelli, Dardenne-style, writer-director Johnson makes the film intensely personal that it's sometimes uncomfortable to watch. Kelli's inner turmoil is somewhat elusive, and yet we see how it emerges into every aspect of her life. Cardellini plays this transparently, never overplaying the drama or punching the emotion, and we feel every wrenching wave of pain that washes over her. It's one thing to endure unspeakable horror in battle, and it's another to find your homelife pulled out from under you.

Essentially, this is all the film has to say, and these same themes have filled cinema screens for a century. It's more observant than revealing, beautifully assembled and told with skill and intelligence. These are universal themes that almost everyone can identify with. Yet like the generic title, the film isn't hugely memorable because Johnson never injects something new. But it's still worth seeing, since Johnson follows the events with such a sharply focussed eye.

The camera rarely strays from close-up angles, usually following Kelli into yet another harrowing encounter or quietly confusing situation. And perhaps the best thing about this film is that it never offers easy explanations of her inner turmoil or simplistic answers to her problems. Instead, it's a rare film that actually lets the questions linger in the air for us to grapple with ourselves. And in this sense, it does offer hope even in its rather downbeat way.



Return

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th February 2012

Box Office USA: $6.7k

Distributed by: Dada Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 84%
Fresh: 31 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Liza Johnson

Producer: Noah Harlan, Ben Howe

Starring: as Kelli, as Bud, as Julie, Emma Rayne Lyle as Jackie, as Ed, as Shannon, as Brooke, as Mrs. Miller, as Mr. Miller, as Mike

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

Ice Age: Collision Course Movie Review

With its fifth feature-length adventure, this franchise continues its preposterous journey at full tilt. As...

Advertisement
Keanu Movie Review

Keanu Movie Review

An entertaining hybrid of satirical comedy and action thriller, this madcap adventure swerves wildly between...

Ghostbusters Movie Review

Ghostbusters Movie Review

It's been more than 30 years since the Ghostbusters first hit the big screen with...

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

Now You See Me 2 Movie Review

While the original 2013 magical caper was a big hit, it's style-over-substance approach didn't exactly...

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

The Legend of Tarzan Movie Review

It's been nearly 30 years since the last live-action Tarzan movie, and yet it still...

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

Maggie's Plan Movie Review

A New York comedy with vivid characters and a contrived plot, this feels rather a...

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Review

Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen...

Central Intelligence Movie Review

Central Intelligence Movie Review

After teaming up with Will Ferrell for Get Hard and Ice Cube for two Ride...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.