Film Review - The House That Jack Built
Film Review - Roma

Film Review - Ben is Back


A few months ago, there was “Beautiful Boy,” which took a look at the pains of substance abuse and the problematic march of recovery, aiming for a softer understanding of the bitter reality that drives such domestic discord. “Ben is Back” is somewhat similar in story, only here messages of self-harm and parental concern are harsher, offering a more frenzied take on the struggle of drug use and the challenges of unconditional love. Writer/director Peter Hedges (“The Odd Life of Timothy Green,” “Dan in Real Life”) strives to keep his picture as close to the heart as possible, but only for the first half. And then, suddenly, the screenplay doesn’t believe in the cinematic value of watching characters trapped in doubt, instead aiming for a more formulaic understanding of drug culture secrets and lies. “Ben is Back” has elements that absolutely work, but Hedges doesn’t trust himself in the long run. Read the rest at


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