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Worth A Look: 29.79%
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8 reviews, 46 user ratings

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You Can Count On Me
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by iF Magazine

"Why directing your own script isn't always a great idea."
3 stars

Every so often there comes a film that is good, sometimes very good, but could be better with one small change ... a tidy cutting of about 20-25 minutes out of the film. Many, many, many directors fall victim to their own hand when writing AND directing.

In this case Kenneth Lonergan is to blame with YOU CAN COUNT ON ME, a good, though easily improvable movie about two siblings who lost their parents when they were very, very young and now that they are all grown up are still struggling with their losses. Lonergan falls under the “every word I write is gold category,” a big danger when directing from your own script. Cut! Cut! Cut!

Laura Linney plays older sister Sammy (Samantha) who can’t help but mother her hopeless and going-nowhere brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) who moved out of the town they both grew up in only to be overwhelmed with what the big, bad world has to offer him. Sammy wishes her brother would come back to live in Scottsville where she is raising her son Rudy (Rory Culkin) alone and in the very house they used to live in with their parents. When Terry comes home for an unexpected visit the two find they have grown apart and grown up in very different ways. And finally coming to terms with the death of their parents will be a unique journey for both of them.

The first part of COUNT flows smoothly with a good rhythm mostly but at times one may feel the urge to yell at the screen, “I got it already.” Lonergan insists on overplaying some of his scenes to a full 10 or 15 minutes. Points are made clear early on and yet Lonergan has no faith or trust in his audiences' ability to “get it.” He continuously uses the older sister trying to save her younger brother theme into the ground. It’s too bad because the film holds some very good writing and acting.

Most impressive is little Rory Culkin – the latest and youngest of the Culkin family actors - and Ruffalo who is wonderful as the immature brother who treats his 8-year-old nephew as if he were his equal. Also Matthew Broderick is great fun bringing some much needed life and energy to every scene he’s in.-- Pamela Harland

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=3907&reviewer=119
originally posted: 02/22/01 02:04:38
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User Comments

4/03/12 David Hollingsworth Intelligent, uncliched look at sibling rivalry 5 stars
6/04/07 Bitchflaps Admittedly well made, but overdeliberate drama didn't hold my attention. 3 stars
2/01/07 adam khan fantastic 5 stars
2/28/06 sbpat21 a perfect movie 5 stars
1/11/06 tatum Very good, realistic look at dysfunction 4 stars
5/04/05 Indrid Cold A subtle, intelligent drama; not exactly edge-of-your-seat entertainment. 3 stars
2/21/05 James Wood Very realistic quiet film with outstanding performances 5 stars
5/18/04 Lisa Brost One of the Best Movies I've Ever Seen! 5 stars
3/22/04 daveupho stunning writing + superb performances = awesome film 5 stars
1/22/04 Brendon One of the best films made. Unforgettable! 5 stars
9/07/03 R.W. Welch Existential family drama, convincingly done. 4 stars
7/07/03 Jack Sommersby A near-perfect masterpiece. Linney is extraordinary -- and so is the film. 5 stars
5/31/03 JoeSco Very Good - Laura Linney is excellent and should be an A-List actress on looks and talent 4 stars
12/31/02 Andy Todes finest american film in last 10 years ... easily 5 stars
11/26/02 swahid malook the best film i have seen in a very long time 5 stars
6/14/02 Simeon Briggs Pure high quality, pacing, character development all of the highest standard 5 stars
5/22/02 Phil M. Afficianado Engaging and "real" --- almost perfect, but the "boss affair" didn't have the ring of truth 4 stars
1/23/02 Paco Quiet, mature film. Heartbreaking, funny, and real. 5 stars
1/06/02 daniboy really enjoyable little film 5 stars
12/06/01 swahid malook it was the best film i had ever seen for along time since mac films 5 stars
9/30/01 David Swinton Great storyline and excellent acting (though can be slow in places) Go see it soon... 5 stars
9/26/01 SJKelley Well acted, well written, engaging. 5 stars
9/18/01 Jim Renwick To many this would be boring but it is simply a very good story on relationships 4 stars
8/18/01 G absolutely boooooringggggg 1 stars
8/07/01 Pierce Lanson A most remarkable unremarkable movie. Laura is extraordinarily beautiful 5 stars
8/06/01 Norm DePlume For fans of psychbabble, the film provides a testbook case of Adult Children/ACOA Syndrome 5 stars
7/12/01 bobbuttons i really enjoyed it 4 stars
7/07/01 Reini Urban The best "major" 2000. Only "Eureka" beat it. 5 stars
7/05/01 Sue Takes a good look at sibling relationships 4 stars
7/03/01 Monday Morning Loved Laura Linney. As for story, too many issues felt unresolved at end. 4 stars
7/02/01 The Bomb 69 good but overrated, solid story and performances, ending was weak though 4 stars
5/12/01 kenstillman ken lonergan hates all the current clichés I hate and avoids every single one of them 5 stars
4/11/01 Jay By far the best film I've seen all year. 5 stars
4/02/01 Kirsten So very true. Love, love, love this film. 5 stars
2/19/01 puckfreak Wait for video 3 stars
2/11/01 Jake Excellent film. A refreshing change from the mainstream. Great cast and story. 5 stars
2/06/01 Angela the most amazing movie that I've ever seen --- I went to the theatres 4 times! 5 stars
1/29/01 janelle see it. you WILL like it. 5 stars
1/11/01 Katsat Very real, touching. Linney has star quality--a prettier, more appealing Helen Hunt 5 stars
12/29/00 Charles Linney & Ruffalo convincingly depict the love/hate tension of sibling relationships 5 stars
12/17/00 Politicsman A good indie in a crappy year does not make this awesome 3 stars
12/16/00 Angus moorehead Now, people who can actually act. Mel Gibson should learn from this movie 5 stars
11/28/00 vitamin_D not one to whip out "fucking awesome" -- this is solid writing, good acting 4 stars
11/26/00 cathyz wonderful, funny, totally engaging 5 stars
11/26/00 lissa hugely affecting--a totally original movie about everyday life 5 stars
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  10-Nov-2000 (R)
  DVD: 26-Jun-2001


  05-Jul-2001 (M)

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