Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Detroit Free Press:
When Roberts should be avoiding the potholes of sentimentality and cliche ... he drives straight at them.
In the end Around the Bend isn't an awful movie. It's merely forgettable.
The movie, sadly, wants us to be all warm and cozy. It wants to tuck us into bed. Try not to fall asleep.
Ebert & Roeper:
This might have been a standard-issue, generational male-bonding road movie, if not for the amazing work of Christopher Walken.
This movie is too precious by half, but the smooth, unhurried performances of Caine and Walken (along with the sturdy work of Josh Lucas) allow plenty of room for forgiveness.
Of course, audiences need and deserve tales of family reconciliation, but that doesn't make this one any less bogus at its softly fluttering heart.
It's the showy story, script, and even staging that wear a fella out in this relentlessly precious feature debut by writer-director Jordan Roberts.
Dallas Morning News:
Sadly, this predictable film will not mean as much to audiences as it obviously does to its creator.
[There is] a final revelation which, however anticipated, however contrived, stings just enough to make it feel like life.
If you are not anesthetized by the ploddingly sincere direction of Jordan Roberts, the unrelenting country/ pop hit parade on the soundtrack will put you in a stupor.
It's a shame we only get a hint of substance at the close of the story, and have to sit through so many lame jokes and so much labored symbolism to get there.
New York Daily News:
Despite an absolutely wonderful performance by Walken as a man tortured by his conscience, the trip is a clunky affair, with strained moments of both humor and bathos.
New York Times:
Jordan Roberts's debut as a film director is a heavily padded, thinly conceived, well-meaning movie about four generations of men.
It's one of those films where the characters always seem to be Behaving, as if ordinary life has to be jacked up into eccentricity.
Globe and Mail:
In Michael Caine and Christopher Walken and Josh Lucas, [Roberts has] surrounded himself with a first-rate cast who, with one exception, seize the day.
A sentimental journey, to be sure, but is saved by bleakly humorous moments.
Around the Bend unflinchingly deals with grief and emotional scars, but it offers a life-affirming meditation on familial ties that bind.
Years of tinkering have left a residue of predictability -- a forced feeling of familial bonding burdened with an air of determined idiosyncrasy.
Veers deep into male-weepie territory even before the dramatic appearance of one character's baby picture provokes a climactic father-son confrontation.
First-time filmmaker Jordan Roberts worked on this project for years, but merely ended up with dreary cliche.
It's so programmatic, so dogged in hitting the right steps at the right time that it completely lacks spontaneity.