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Overall Rating
4.28

Awesome51.06%
Worth A Look: 29.79%
Average: 17.02%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 2.13%

8 reviews, 46 user ratings


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You Can Count On Me
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by Jason Whyte

"Sibling Love...and Rivalry."
4 stars

I adored the honesty of Kenneth Longergan's "You Can Count On Me." The film feels all to real with human emotion and insightful to how we react to people around us, be it family members, our boss at work or strangers passing on the street. After watching this movie and thinking about it for a few days, Longergan has made a movie about reality that is equally funny and revealing, as well as shattering.

The opening scenes of the movie are proof of the power of this film: a car crash kills two parents instantly. Cut to the house of their children who are being babysat by their oldest daughter Samantha. The police arrive, and Samantha goes outside. Cut to a shot of the policeman's face, as he begins to bear the news. Instead of hearing the exposition of the officer, instead we cut to the opening credits at a funeral, where only the music can be heard.

The character of Samantha (Laura Linney) is an interesting one. We see her again as a full grown adult with one child and a wandering brother who is coming home for a few days. He is Terry (Mark Ruffalo), who comes home wiped out and confused and to the aghast of Sammy, who in turn has her own problems with a would-be fiancee (Jon Tenney) and her boss at work (Matthew Broderick).

The plot of "You Can Count On Me" is routine and basic on the outside. Troublesome mother who has hard times deciding, the son without a father who finds one in his uncle, after hour rendevous, the confronation of the boys' natural father, and so on. But these things happen, and what is so fascinating about this film is everyone is real and honest. I've really seen and interacted with people that appear in the movie, and I will admit I share some of the characteristics of some of the characters. I'm sure you do, too.

Another thing that is really unique to the movie is it's selection of edits, where every so often we'll just see a shot of a character sitting, sleeping, driving, or doing something. Longergan wisely chooses these shots to add to the reality of these characters. I've always wondered what characters do between scenes, and this film has it in spades. Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo, too, deserve much acclaim for their believable performances, and Matthew Broderick, last seen in "Election," is again as good in that role as he was in this.

"You Can Count On Me" is a little rough at times, and some of those above mentioned edits don't work (a scene where Broderick's boss brings in his pregnant wife goes on for far too long) but it is overall a strong effort about real people in real situations.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3907&reviewer=350
originally posted: 04/01/04 04:12:38
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User Comments

4/04/12 David Hollingsworth Intelligent, uncliched look at sibling rivalry 5 stars
6/22/08 PAUL SHORTT VISUALLY FLAT, UNINTERESTING AND TOO OFTEN FEELS LIKE A FILMED PLAY 1 stars
6/05/07 Bitchflaps Admittedly well made, but overdeliberate drama didn't hold my attention. 3 stars
2/02/07 adam khan fantastic 5 stars
3/01/06 sbpat21 a perfect movie 5 stars
1/12/06 tatum Very good, realistic look at dysfunction 4 stars
5/05/05 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
5/19/04 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
1/23/04 Brendon One of the best films made. Unforgettable! 5 stars
9/07/03 R.W. Welch Existential family drama, convincingly done. 4 stars
7/08/03 Jack Sommersby A near-perfect masterpiece. Linney is extraordinary -- and so is the film. 5 stars
6/01/03 JoeSco Very Good - Laura Linney is excellent and should be an A-List actress on looks and talent 4 stars
1/01/03 Andy Todes finest american film in last 10 years ... easily 5 stars
11/27/02 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
1/24/02 Paco Quiet, mature film. Heartbreaking, funny, and real. 5 stars
1/06/02 daniboy really enjoyable little film 5 stars
12/07/01 swahid malook it was the best film i had ever seen for along time since mac films 5 stars
10/01/01 David Swinton Great storyline and excellent acting (though can be slow in places) Go see it soon... 5 stars
9/27/01 SJKelley Well acted, well written, engaging. 5 stars
9/19/01 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
8/07/01 Norm DePlume For fans of psychbabble, the film provides a testbook case of Adult Children/ACOA Syndrome 5 stars
7/13/01 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
7/04/01 Monday Morning Loved Laura Linney. As for story, too many issues felt unresolved at end. 4 stars
7/03/01 The Bomb 69 good but overrated, solid story and performances, ending was weak though 4 stars
5/13/01 kenstillman ken lonergan hates all the current clichés I hate and avoids every single one of them 5 stars
4/12/01 Jay By far the best film I've seen all year. 5 stars
4/03/01 Kirsten So very true. Love, love, love this film. 5 stars
2/20/01 puckfreak Wait for video 3 stars
2/12/01 Jake Excellent film. A refreshing change from the mainstream. Great cast and story. 5 stars
2/07/01 Angela the most amazing movie that I've ever seen --- I went to the theatres 4 times! 5 stars
1/30/01 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
12/30/00 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
12/17/00 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
11/27/00 cathyz wonderful, funny, totally engaging 5 stars
11/26/00 lissa hugely affecting--a totally original movie about everyday life 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  10-Nov-2000 (R)
  DVD: 26-Jun-2001

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Jul-2001 (M)




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