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Undertow
Undertow
Actors: Jamie Bell, Kristen Stewart, Robert Longstreet, Terry Loughlin, Dermot Mulroney
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2005     1hr 48min

A brilliant cast, including Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot), Josh Lucas (Sweet Home Alabama) and Dermot Mulroney (About Schmidt), rips into this tense and edgy film from David Gordon Green, the "gifted director" (Roger Ebert) of...  more »
     
     

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Movie Details

Actors: Jamie Bell, Kristen Stewart, Robert Longstreet, Terry Loughlin, Dermot Mulroney
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/26/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 48min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 2
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Donald W. (Noboss17) from ELMHURST, IL
Reviewed on 8/7/2009...
Very interesting movie. Roger Ebert Thumbs Up
2 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sarah F. (Ferdy63) from DALTON, GA
Reviewed on 9/21/2008...
The plot was a bit muddy to me at the beginning but it did get better as the movie progressed. Family drama in which the sins of the father are visited on the sons by a crazy uncle who has just shown up after being in jail for a long stretch. The father and his two sons didn't have the greatest relationship going to start with. The wife/mother died and the father fell apart and moved his family to a ramshackle farm in the boonies. Then the uncle shows up and ignites a whole new set of problems.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Down and Dirty, Literally, Rural Gothic Thriller.
mirasreviews | McLean, VA USA | 04/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Undertow" weaves together gothic horror and boys' adventure tale into a down and dirty rural thriller. Following the death of his wife, John Munn (Dermot Mulroney) took his 2 sons to "live in the sticks like hermits", shut away from the world. The oldest, Chris (Jamie Bell), is now a teenager who does much of the work on the family's small farm, in spite of trying his father's patience with a string of petty offenses. His younger brother, Tim (Devon Alan), is sickly, downright peculiar, and isn't expected to do his share. One day John's brother Deel (Josh Lucas) shows up for a visit, just out of prison. John and Deel have a bitter past, but John invites Deel to stay on until his new job starts. But Deel's intentions toward his family are less than honorable. When the situation turns violent, the boys are left to fend for themselves.

Director David Gordon Green gives the vague impression that "Undertow" is a true story by claiming at the beginning that the film was made with the cooperation of Drees County law enforcement and the "family of John W. Munn". In fact, screenwriter Joe Conway based "Undertow" on a story told to a runaway hotline which was thought to be a highly embellished version of some underlying truth. From the start, the characters and their actions don't ring as true or credible, but their emotions are real and powerful. If there is enough suspense and menace in a thriller, the question of plausibility falls by the wayside, as it does here. The film places the burden of credibility on its principle cast of 4, and they all come through. John is afraid of the world. Deel thinks it owes him something. Chris is Deel's naive but strong opposing force. Tim becomes increasingly sympathetic as the film progresses. "Undertow"'s corrupted innocence, isolation, and evil bring gothic horror to Hicksville.

The DVD (MGM 2005 release): Bonus features include a making-of documentary, 2 deleted scenes, a theatrical trailer, a photo gallery, and an audio commentary. "Under the Undertow" (30 minutes) is a documentary full of on-set footage and interviews with director, cast, and crew, made by the cast and crew -most notably actor Josh Lucas- during the film's 30-day shoot. "Animated Photo Gallery" (5 minutes) is a slideshow of on-set photos. The audio commentary is by director David Gordon Green and actor Jamie Bell, who is seeing the film for the first time. This is a general commentary about directorial decisions, filming, and Green's and Bell's experiences making the film. Subtitles for the film are available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Dubbing is available in Spanish and Portuguese."
Short thumbs up
Nellie | New Zealand | 07/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"if you are a fan of night of the hunter or certain films 0f the 1970s this is for you. it can be slow [comparatively to current Hollywood ADD standards] but it is filled with beauty, malice and understanding. Tough kids and heavy swamp, following the river. Hellyeah."
RL Stevenson & Twin Peaks & David Gordon Green = UNDERTOW
Cj D. Vries | CapeTown, RSA | 04/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I read an article a while back, discussing some overlooked movies of the past few years. "Undertow" was one of them, and for some reason I took a chance and ordered it. As I always try not to read too much about a movie beforehand (it's such an irritation when reviewers give away essential elements of the plot), I wasnt quite sure what to expect. I had an uneasy feeling that it might turn out to be a slow moving artsy fartsy movie about Hillbillies. After the first few seconds my trepidations were gone and I was happily lost in the strange, eerie and entertaining world created by Mr Green. He truly is a remarkable talent and because of this movie I have also ordered "George Washington", his first feature film. I was very impressed by the four leads of UNDERTOW, each portraying their characters with gusto and visible dedication. The cameos are wonderfully off beat, and well acted. The commentary track by Green and Jamie Bell provides insightful and amusing facts about the project and is well worth a listen. It's a good story with believable characters and some nailbiting moments! But, because of David Gordon Green's artistic touches, the movie is elevated to more than just a commercial flick. I do hope more people will become aware of UNDERTOW in future as it really deserves more credit and attention."