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Imaginary Heroes
Imaginary Heroes
Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue
Director: Dan Harris
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
R     2005     1hr 51min

In this "mixture of poignant drama and quirky humor...delivered by a superb cast" (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune), the Travis family experiences a stunning tragedy which begins to unravel them. Teenaged son Tim...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue
Director: Dan Harris
Creators: Dan Harris, Art Linson, Deborah Lee, Denise Shaw, Frank Hübner, Gina Resnick, Illana Diamant
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Studio: Sony Pictures
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/07/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 51min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 17
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: French

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Member Movie Reviews

Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 3/4/2015...
Sometimes sad and often times very funny! Imaginary Heroes is about the dark side of being a teenager and also about how tragedy affects each family member when one take their own life.
The cast is superb and writing is excellent! Sigourney Weaver as I have never seen her before…. watch her learn to “appreciate” marijuana for the first time! Jeff Daniels as the father who removes himself from those near and dear to him and refuses to give up the son he lost so tragically. The high school friends, who are hurting and confused when one of their own takes his own life are very realistically portrayed by an excellent younger cast. A big dark family secret will be revealed and makes the family stronger than ever in the end!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Terry W. from AUBURN, ME
Reviewed on 2/20/2009...
About families functionality when everyone dysfunctional.
Shows how humans are so fragile.

Movie Reviews

A gem that deserved a lot more credit...
Lana Durbin | Riverview, FL USA | 07/13/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's always hard to find a good drama. I just happened to stumble across this one. Imaginary Heroes is a must-see and (in my case) a must-own movie gem.

Sigourney Weaver flat-out shines throughout the entire picture as does the rest of the terrific cast including Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch and Michelle Williams.

The story? True. There's nothing false about it. Don't mistake this for some horrific Hollywood mess where the characters are wooden, the plot is unrealistic and the acting is unconvincing. No, this is the real deal.

There is a website that I like to check out sometimes called Rotten Tomatoes. It's a little place where all the critics like to gather and tear apart movies as they release. They were alot less than kind with Imaginary Heroes. A movie has to be 60% or higher to recieve a fresh label. Heroes recieved a 34%, earning a rotten label. I was in shock. I even read some of the reasons the critics gave. One read "just too damn depressing." Here's my response: SHOVE IT. This person must obviously loves all the hollywood trash that takes up 99% of the room on the shelves at the local Hollywood or Blockbuster video. All the trash there today that paints pictures of perfect families, sending out messages that say things will always work out perfectly and everyone always goes home happy in the end. Life is not like that and that is what Imaginary Heroes is trying to say. Don't get me wrong, though. You can watch those other films for pleasure and enjoyment, but don't try and actually believe them. I really don't like critics. Being a critic shouldn't be a job, it should be a hobby.

Oh yeah, here's a note to all those who are looking for a good film, but can't find any. I began to realize this after I kept watching more and more films over the years (by the way, I'm 18):
MOVIES THAT ARE NOT WIDE-RELEASE FILMS, AND I REPEAT, MOVIES THAT ARE NOT WIDE-RELEASE FILMS USUALLY ARE THE MUCH BETTER FILMS. Movies like Imaginary Heroes and other unheard of or non wide-release films deserve alot more credit than they end up getting."
Imaginary Heroes - A Movie Of Character Studies, A Movie For
Mark | East Coast | 03/30/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Imaginary Heroes

It's amazing the contrasting reactions this movie has illicited. Some people dislike it's slow pace and some seem bothered that it's theme, the disintegrating American family, has been portrayed before by better known and more glamorous films. That's no surprise. All of those points are valid to a degree, but they do not take into account the main audience for this movie: actors or lovers of acting.

Yes, the pacing is rather slow, yet there are movies that are made where this is intentional. The end result is that you have no fanfare, no quick plot progressions. You are just left with the mundane feelings of everyday life. And really, for most people, isn't that what life is?

Yes it's true, suicide is a common theme, and the movie gives away the main plot element right in the beginning, so no spoiler there. Yet how do people deal with losing a brother, a son, a friend? Each character's reaction is a testament to great writing and great acting as well. And it takes great directing to bring those two things together.

This movie is hard to watch because it's supposed to be. While it's not a great "film-watching" experience, it is an excellent study of various acting techniques. Therefore, students of acting or actors will find a lot to admire here.

Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams and Emile Hirsh all show tremendous range here, and each does it using very distinct and different techniques. We have method acting, sense memory, character acting and some plain old amazing acting. Some of those differences are subtle but if you watch this a few times the effect is impressive.

Yes, the slow pacing and lack of groundbreaking themes perhaps make this a 3 star movie at best, yet the incredible performances and well written material deserve a 4 star rating.

Don't watch this movie with any other movie in mind. Let this movie stand on it's own. If you are able to reflect and enjoy studying how actors work, then this movie is for you. If you're looking for a fun Friday night movie, you may want to check out something else.

Uh-oh, something is amiss in suburbia - again
S. Cameron | 06/18/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"IMAGINARY HEROES plays a faded concept very well, your basic "quiet suburban family starts to unravel and buried secrets come to light" plot (AMERICAN BEAUTY, anyone?). Key players Sigourney Weaver and Emile Hirsch drag you by the hand through a story about suicide, betrayal, and love as it hides behind the prim lawns and clean windows of the two-story houses in America. You're probably getting bored already, but the story isn't what's captivating about this movie - it's the way the characters are drawn, how they connect with each other and the strong emotions they all have inside them.

When swimmer Matt Travis (Kip Pardue, who has little screen time but still manages to make an impact) shoots himself, the entire Travis family begins to disintegrate into its parts - emotionally detached office dad (Jeff Daniels), bored housewife experimenting with pot, the remaining son (around whom the story is centered), hiding some secrets about the late brother - who in his death is now exalted within the family, even so much that Jeff Daniels's character insists they set out a plate of dinner for him every night - and the independent college daughter (Michelle Williams). Sigourney Weaver's Sandy is battled against next-door-neighbor housewife Marge in a sixteen-year-old grudge that is important to the plot, though Marge's delinquent drug-running son Kyle bridges the enmity as the best friend of Sandy's son Tim.

The story mostly follows Tim's exploits as he tries new things to deal with his brother's death, to ignore the things his brother did to him, through casual drugs, a pushy girlfriend, and a brief, ecstasy-induced one night stand with best friend Kyle. When Sandy drops a bomb of a revelation on his head towards the end of the movie, Tim finally manages to confront the deep-seated resentment he feels for his dad and his brother, which brings the movie to a satisfying conclusion after a lot of tension and confusion.

It's worth a watch, at least once - and it throws a monkey wrench in the cogs of the suburban profile a few times, giving the viewer a few interesting surprises to digest - but it isn't going on my favorites list, it just isn't original enough."