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Overall Rating
3.94

Awesome: 33.33%
Worth A Look38.89%
Average: 22.22%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 5.56%

4 reviews, 30 user ratings


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Affliction
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by sean

"See it at matinee prices, maybe"
3 stars

I was in a really good mood, but I was bored. I decided to see what was playing. I chose this movie.

I am no longer in a good mood.
That pretty much sums up this movie. If Schraeder was trying to make it depressing, he failed, though. I was not depressed by the movie. I was disappointed and left feeling unfulfilled.
The three principle actors, Nolte, Spacek, and Coburn, were all great. [Although Coburn wasn't convincing as a younger version of himself, that's more a makeup flaw. I know what he looked like when he was younger, I've seen THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN.]
Willem Dafoe, however, was most assuredly *not* great. His role, the least difficult in the film, was also the one that was most essential to get right, and for an actor as great as he is (there are also references, intentional or not, to previous roles of his that provided me with a little comic relief) to play a role as badly as he did was sad.
And now we move onto the story. I'll say that I've never been a fan of Schraeder; the only movie he was involved in that I thought was good was TAXI DRIVER, and I feel that too is flawed (or at least dated). However, the dialogue in this movie had a simple grace to it, for the most part. [For the record, he deserved the Adapted Screenplay nod over THIN RED LINE, much as I loved that movie.] And his directing, I must admit, was very good. I think he did exactly what he intended to do. But I don't think his intentions were right.
For one thing, the movie is slow. Because of this, the climax is all but cut from the movie. (There is a smaller climax, but the climax that we all know is coming is shown briefly.) And, for a slow movie, Nolte's transformation is very abrupt. For the whole movie, he is a little on-edge, but he suddenly becomes a madman with about twenty minutes to go. Though everything else in the movie has been building to it, he himself has not, and the movie suffers a little more.
[Note: the following paragraph is somewhat spoiler-ish]
And there is an entire subplot that needs re-working. It involves a hunting accident that Nolte suspects is not an accident. Now, I sat watching and suddenly realized, "Wow ... that's a really cool thing, because you're supposed to assume he's right, and then they're gonna use it as an example of how nuts he is, that's he's just a paranoid fucker." But then, the evidence piles up. More and more things point to it not being an accident. Dafoe's character inexplicably pushes Nolte more and more towards thinking it was not an accident. So the audience *must* believe it is, simply because it would be silly to devote that much time and so many characters to something that's not an accident. But it was. They said as much. Suddenly, out of the blue, it was an accident, and the movie suffers a little more for trying to blindside us and making us sympathize more with Nolte, something I don't believe we should have been able to do. [Being an abusive, worthless drunk.]

I make one final plea to any and every filmmaker: Please stop adapting Russell Banks. Leave them in book form, they're better that way.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1198&reviewer=18
originally posted: 02/12/99 17:20:07
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User Comments

1/19/11 PAUL SHORTT BLEAK BUT WATCHABLE DRAMA WITH GREAT PERFORMANCES 3 stars
3/02/06 kevinliddy tough going but lingers and haunts 5 stars
12/22/05 Agent Sands Underrated Nolte leads a riveting cast. Good deadpan, creepy direction. 4 stars
12/09/05 Indrid Cold Story not the best, but unforgettable acting and general vibe. 5 stars
1/24/05 Ranga After repeat viewings, this is now one of my favorite movies. 5 stars
10/19/04 John brillainty written and acted - for serious dramas it's one of the best! 5 stars
6/07/03 Jack Bourbon Nolte's character is amazing. Coburn's character is the jackass to rule all jackasses. 5 stars
4/22/03 LIAM JACKSON Nolte inherits dad's brutal domestic tyranny. frighteningly brilliant 5 stars
1/04/03 Jack Sommersby Best film of the year. Nolte is galvanizing; Schrader's career-best. 5 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum Nowhere story anchored by good acting 4 stars
11/15/02 Stevo Nolte and Coburn are frightening and frighteningly good. 4 stars
3/22/02 R.W. Welch Less than fascinating assortment of losers; doesn't really go anwhere, good bit by Coburn. 3 stars
6/21/00 V.A.Rangarajan Excellent 5 stars
3/31/00 Matthew Smith way too heavy for my taste 3 stars
11/14/99 levon stasse wonderfully mad,such caractor and poosse would love to see sequl 5 stars
10/24/99 Amalia Illgner Plenty of powerhouse performances 5 stars
10/07/99 Frank Curigliano Coburn walks away with the film 4 stars
8/21/99 Olivia Neutron-Bomb See Nolte. See Nolte experience Paranoia. See Nolte kill some guy. See Olivia nod off. 3 stars
4/28/99 WotnHell Why the Hell did Coburn get an Oscar for this SHIT?! Jeremy Davies was ROBBED! 1 stars
4/26/99 Daddy Rich Nolte and Coburn give great performances. Plot was a little draggy. 3 stars
4/11/99 Alonzo (alc311@hotmail.com) Dry plot, but good acting. I was really hoping it would take off, but it never did 4 stars
4/08/99 Big Jimmy damn i wanted a drink after this movie 3 stars
3/28/99 DJ Andy I went thinking Ben Affleck was going to be in it...How fuckin dare they tease me like that 1 stars
3/09/99 Sarah Absolutely the worst I've ever seen,extremely disappointing at the end-slow and pointless 1 stars
3/06/99 Bridgette i hate to say it, but nolte is great. coburn-- amazing. see it for the performances. 5 stars
3/04/99 Bobby Luv Nolte is the man, Coburn is the old man 5 stars
2/27/99 grunter nails the bleak NH setting cold; awkward storytelling; needs more DaFoe 4 stars
2/18/99 Derek The inheritance of violence, literal and figurative, from father to son. Top-notch acting. 4 stars
1/12/99 Mr Showbiz Frosty and clinical, Affliction is tough to watch but true to itself. 4 stars
1/01/99 The Dude very cool acting but story it was ok. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Feb-1999 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  30-Sep-1999 (MA)


Directed by
  Paul Schrader

Written by
  Russell Banks

Cast
  Nick Nolte
  James Coburn
  Sissy Spacek
  Willam DaFoe
  Mary Beth Hurt



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