Before and After - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Before and After Reviews

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Super Reviewer
November 18, 2010
Jacob Ryan (Edward Furlong has become adept to playing the disturbed teen-American History X and Terminator 2) plays a moody 16-year-old who is accused of murdering his two-timing girlfriend (Alison Folland) and has to suffers the consequences of his actions. Jacob's concerned parents are played by Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep who are caught between covering for their son and telling the truth. Also starring Alfred Molina as the stereotypical lawyer who is interested more in getting Jacob off the hook, than doing what is morally correct.
Super Reviewer
½ September 23, 2010
What would you do if your kid was accused of murder? Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep create very believable characters at odds with how to handle this very situation. With such a strong leading cast, and a thought-provoking storyline, it fell a little (just a little) short of my expectations.

Neeson and Streep play a very affluent couple in a small town whose lives are completely changed when a young womans body is found, and the police suspect their son of her murder. Neeson is great as a dad whose first instinct is to protect his son, even to the point of getting rid of supposed evidence. Streeps character, who believes totally in her sons innocence, is willing to give the police full access in hopes of finding her son; who has been missing since the event transpired.

Together they must face their home town that has not only abandoned them, but also has become hostile towards them. They must search for their son and find the truth. The beauty in this movie is watching a realistic transformation of a family facing, coping, and eventually moving forward after a crisis.
Super Reviewer
½ December 20, 2007
March 7, 2013
A family deals with their son being accused of murder. Not everything in the film works, but all the performances are strong and it's very much worth a look. CHECK IT OUT.
August 8, 2012
Before and After is not as terrible a story as some critics would have audiences believe. Anyone that watches television newsmagazines such as Dateline, 20/20, 48 Hours, and the ilk will see that the story behind this movie is not as outrageous as it seems. Nor are the reactions of the community surrounding Carolyn and Ben Ryan when it's announced that their son Jacob (Edward Furlong) is a suspect in the murder of his girlfriend, Martha. While this nation's justice system says that a person is innocent until proven guilty, the townspeople in the Ryans' community show the same reaction that people in the real world instantly show concerning any crime case that's spread across the various news agencies.

While Liam Neeson has rarely had very good acting roles, this is one time when he is actually at least somewhat convincing. And as always, veteran Meryl Streep impresses as the distraught mother trying to come to terms with and make sense of everything when her family's world is turned upside down. Alfred Molina shines, too, in the role of shyster lawyer Panos Demeris. Audiences will love to hate him when he tells Carolyn that Jacob is his client. And he will defend Jacob, even if it means throwing Carolyn under the bus.

The reaction of the townspeople around the Ryans' is entirely believable. One look at the news each night shows just how fast people are to judge, rather than sit and wait for the facts to come out about a case. They instantly take it on themselves to be judge, jury and executioner, when they don't have the full story. And their reactions to Jacobā(TM)s family are just as believable. Despite doing what he did, it makes Ben that much more of a sympathetic character to audiences. He wasn't thinking in doing what he did. He wanted only to protect his son.

That relationship between Ben and Jacob was the true heart of this movie. While the main story was a crime drama, audiences learn that a fight between the two is what led up to the alleged murder. Ultimately, the father-son relationship leads to an ending that is bittersweet at best. But considering everything that Jacob and his family endured thanks to Martha's death, it's understandable that the story would end how it did. That ending won't be given away. But it will leave any true movie lover moved as the last scene fades to credits.

Before and After is not a terrible movie by any means. Is it the most memorable movie ever made in the crime drama genre? No. But it is still a movie that's worth at least one watch. Odds are that it was unappreciated by so many critics was that it was based so much in reality, rather than being just another over sensationalistic oversexed crime drama/thriller. It's a movie that any fan of more realistic crime dramas will enjoy.
½ August 30, 2010
This movie was pretty decent. But also pretty bleak, dreary, yet gritty. Just an interesting storyline in all. Oh how people barricade the truth.. and how strangely others decipher it.
May 1, 2010
This was good....Streep and Neeson, what's not to like? I kept wondering if their young son was a killer or not? It gave me a creepy sickening feeling, so if that's what was intended they hit a homerun.
January 1, 2008
this was a good movie, but liam neeson's character drove me it's a very unique crime movie b/c i've never seen one where they do what they do in this film.
January 1, 2008
Amazing Film!! Shows the true Relationship on how much parents should love thier children no-matter what mistakes they make.
December 21, 2007
Meryl Streerp brings class to any movie. Liam Neeson is also a great actor. But sometimes no matter what, you just can't bring it off. This movie lacks that extra push.
August 17, 2007
It was actually and interesting movie with alot of conflict, character development, and emotion. This murder mystery/family problems/right vs. wrong walks a thin line, and ends up on the right side. It us a movie that you should only see when you are prepared for a non-comedic performance and story, but it does present top-rate performances and plot.
June 19, 2007
This movie is very deceiving in a way. You have a doctor (Streep) & an artist (Neeson) presenting the perfect life in a rural New England town with their kids. But after the son is accused of murder everything seemingly falls apart under a web of deciet. How these two charecters manage to stay married is a wonder to me. Ultimately what saves this movie from being an unqualified disaster is Edward Furlong, who as the troubled Jacob, runs the gamut of emotions & who is ultimately responsible for bringing this family together. Particularly touching are the scenes between furlong & his onscreen sister, however if you read the book that this film is based on, you'll very quickly realize that the relationship is severly toned down for the screen (In the book, the brother sister bond boarders on incestuous, sorry if I'm giving too much away.).
July 7, 2015
The movie starts off strong and suspenseful. Meryl and Liam play a very convincing couple, and the mystery plot to this movie is VERY interesting. However after a while, the mystery gets boring, somewhat unrealistic, but most of all: unsatisfying. I wanted the plot to have a few more shocking twists like it did in the beginning. Unlike most mystery films, you understand almost everything half way though the movie, but I would have preferred to be kept in suspense until the very end. Regardless, Meryl and Liam make this movie worth watching with their usual magical acting, and although the plot gets boring towards the end, it does start off quite strong. I would recommend this movie for a rainy day.
½ June 13, 2014
Saw this on 13/06/14
It begins well, but ends in a bland manner. It's an uneven film with nothing much to make of. The acting from Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep are good and the supporting actors doesn't disappoint as well. The film makes no point after all and ends up being mawkish and boring. The ending lacks the punch and this film can't even be grouped into any genre.
½ January 22, 2014
Before and After is a decent film. It is about two parents who deal with the effects when their son is accused of murdering his girlfriend. Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Barbet Schroder did an alright job directing this movie. I liked this motion picture because of the drama and mystery.
December 28, 2013
Gives a pretty honest look at how any loving parents thrust into such a horrible position might react. Very well acted by a good cast and much better than the critics credited.
½ October 14, 2012
Before and After directed by Barbet Schroeder. Based on the novel of the same name by American writer Rosellen Brown. Starring Liam Neeson and Meryl Streep, Edward Furlong.

Carolyn (Meryl Streep) and her husband Ben (Liam Neeson) live with their two children Jacob (Edward Furlong) and Judith. Their world is shattered one evening they come to know that witnesses have seen their son fleeing the scene where a girl was found murdered. The battle of parents to fight for their accused son starts, with townsfolk harassing the whole family.

Liam's character was sound and it did bring back memories of his film Taken. However, plot was misinterpreting qualities and abilities of Liam Neeson. I am not becoming rude or hostile while saying this but apart from some American families nowhere in the world should you find loved-ones giving up on their blood-related kith and kins, especially if you're son/brother/daughter/sister. But here we have a mother who is rather trying to be 'Mother India'(although in case of Birjou he really was most-feared decoite) and a daughter-cum-sister who is (I don't even know what she is trying to be). An average film, with good ending thank-God.
½ April 22, 2012
Maybe it was in part due to the film's frozen atmosphere, but this one left me feeling alternately lukewarm and cold. Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson were both good as they have always been, but neither one was great (suffice it to say, the odds of Streep getting Oscar #3 for that performance were nil) and their characters weren't very memorable or likable (Neeson's character, in particular, was the second least-likable person in the whole film, beaten only by Alfred Molina's obnoxious and reprehensible, albeit well-performed, lawyer). The dialogue was also teeth-grindingly irritating at times; when will screenwriters realize that people do NOT talk the way they do in movies like this? There were bright spots, however. Any scenes featuring Edward Furlong and/or Julia Weldon were sufficiently compelling and moving. It would be nice if I could say Weldon's lack of much of a career after this movie was the most disappointing thing about it, but seeing as how a great cast and a talented director were wasted on a mediocre script, that simply isn't the case. Maybe if we'd gotten to know Jacob a little better, or if he'd been a bit more charismatic, the movie would have some resonance. I'm sure a great movie with a plot like this exists... but this isn't it.
April 2, 2012
A good story that unfortunately didnt end on such a great note. Good casting and watchable
March 13, 2011
Meryl Streep plays an untrustworthy mother and wife in this movie about trust between friends, lovers and family.
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