Around the Bend 2004

Critics score:
28 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: When Roberts should be avoiding the potholes of sentimentality and cliche ... he drives straight at them. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: In the end Around the Bend isn't an awful movie. It's merely forgettable. Read more

Erik Lundegaard, Seattle Times: The movie, sadly, wants us to be all warm and cozy. It wants to tuck us into bed. Try not to fall asleep. Read more

Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune: Roberts sat on his script for years, and it has gone stale. Read more

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle: Would be a much bigger treat if dramas like this weren't already plentiful on cable television. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: This might have been a standard-issue, generational male-bonding road movie, if not for the amazing work of Christopher Walken. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A somewhat predictable tale of family bonding, given some grit and grace by Christopher Walken and Michael Caine. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: 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. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: 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. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Gentlemen, it's a male chick flick -- 'The Dirty Secrets of the Ya-Ya Brotherhood.' Read more

Houston Chronicle: Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: 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. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Sadly, this predictable film will not mean as much to audiences as it obviously does to its creator. Read more

Ron Stringer, L.A. Weekly: [There is] a final revelation which, however anticipated, however contrived, stings just enough to make it feel like life. Read more

Jan Stuart, Newsday: 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. Read more

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: 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. Read more

Jack Mathews, 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. Read more

Manohla Dargis, 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. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Calling this 'tired' gives fatigue a bad name. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: 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. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: There are a couple of minor detours, but on the whole the movie never loses its way. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Rick Groen, 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. Read more

Susan Walker, Toronto Star: A sentimental journey, to be sure, but is saved by bleakly humorous moments. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Around the Bend unflinchingly deals with grief and emotional scars, but it offers a life-affirming meditation on familial ties that bind. Read more

Eddie Cockrell, Variety: Years of tinkering have left a residue of predictability -- a forced feeling of familial bonding burdened with an air of determined idiosyncrasy. Read more

Joshua Land, Village Voice: Veers deep into male-weepie territory even before the dramatic appearance of one character's baby picture provokes a climactic father-son confrontation. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: First-time filmmaker Jordan Roberts worked on this project for years, but merely ended up with dreary cliche. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: It's so programmatic, so dogged in hitting the right steps at the right time that it completely lacks spontaneity. Read more