Joe Conway

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Undertow Review


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However you may feel about David Gordon Green's movies, his strong suit is his ability to create powerful moments from the simplest daily activities. His characters feel like whole people, whether you're aware of their entire personal history or not. And the settings in which his films take place play an intricate role in the overall story without getting tedious or feeding into stereotypes.

The same could be said for Undertow, a richly filmed human drama of two boys being raised by single father John (Dermot Mulroney). Chris (Jamie Bell), being the stronger teen, is forced to do much of the labor around their small rural farm while little brother Tim (Devon Alan) eats poorly due to stomach problems. John's brother Deel (Josh Lucas) comes to stay after being released from prison to exact revenge for losing his woman and his inheritance to John, and Chris must forget his illusions of leaving familial obligations to ensure his and Tim's survival.

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