The Boys Are Back (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Boys Are Back (2009)



Critic Consensus: Great performances by Clive Owen and The Boys save this melodrama from entering into the sappy territory it might have in less competent hands.

The Boys Are Back Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

"The Boys Are Back" is the true story of a man who must suddenly raise his two sons alone after the untimely passing of his second wife. The ill-prepared Joe, who is dealing with his own loss, is confronted with the daily challenges of parenthood while coping with his young son Artie's expressions of grief. They soon are joined by Harry, Joe's teenage son from his first marriage, who brings his own personal "baggage" into the mix. Without a roadmap for how to move forward, the three boys decide its best to leave the conventional rules and responsibilities of the grown-up world behind and lead a life based on the mantra 'just say yes.' When things go terribly awry, Joe is forced to step up and behave like a parent, but must figure out how to do so without completely abandoning the joy and exuberance shared in their more child-like world.more
Rating: PG-13 (for some sexual language and thematic elements)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Allan Cubitt
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 26, 2010
Box Office: $0.8M
Miramax Films - Official Site


Clive Owen
as Joe Warr
Julia Blake
as Barbara
Steven Robertson
as School Housemaster
Daniel William Carte...
as Digby & Paula's Son
Adriana Conde
as Digby & Paula's Daug...
Chantal Dwarka
as Digby & Paula's Daug...
Connor Marinos
as Digby & Paula's Son
Elysia Markou
as Digby & Paula's Daug...
Briana Richards
as Digby & Paula's Daug...
Donna Lean
as Artie's Teacher
Johnny Frisina
as Goldfish Boy
Cody Faucett
as Kangaroo Boy
Nathan Page
as Headbutter
Kate Cullen Roberts
as School Secretary
Susie Collins
as Newspaper Office PA
Michael Allen
as Man on Beach
Andy Ciencela
as Man on Beach
Eliza Lovell
as Woman on Beach
Grace Sodeman
as Woman on Beach
Rainey Mayo
as Birthday Party Mothe...
Alexandra Schepisi
as Birthday Party Mothe...
Anni Finsterer
as Tennis Journalist
Susie Small
as Smart Party Hostess
Lizzy Falkland
as Editorial Meeting Jo...
Susie Fraser
as Editorial Meeting Jo...
Ezra Juanta
as Editorial Meeting Jo...
Adam Morgan
as Editorial Meeting Jo...
Nick Pelomis
as Editorial Meeting Jo...
Terry Rogers
as Editorial Meeting Jo...
Krystle Sansom
as Beach Girl
William R. Cox
as Beach Kid
Tim Giessauf
as Beach Kid
Klayton Stainer
as Beach Kid
Tommy Bastow
as Harry's Friend
Rupert Simonian
as Harry's Friend
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Boys Are Back

Critic Reviews for The Boys Are Back

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (35)

Hicks's directing style is straightforward and unfussy - a description you could apply to this big-hearted film as a whole.

Full Review… | January 22, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

I felt a level of exasperation with how the character of Joe handled his own children. I'm not a fan of men who have a problem stepping up to the role of a parent.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
7M Pictures

Clive Owen gets in touch with his sensitive side in the heartbreaking drama, The Boys Are Back.

Full Review… | January 6, 2012
Matt's Movie Reviews

It's a fairly standard premise that is, for the most part, employed to middling effect by filmmaker Scott Hicks...

Full Review… | October 24, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

The Boys Are Back is poignant in dealing with the stages of grief but lets up with a bit of fun. Scott Hicks really is back in town.

Full Review… | October 29, 2010

A deeply resonant film, driven by strong performances and displaying an open affection that is too rarely depicted between fathers and sons.

Full Review… | April 14, 2010
Concrete Playground

Audience Reviews for The Boys Are Back

A touching drama with a great melancholy soundtrack by Sigur Rós and an outstanding performance by Clive Owen as an adorable character whose actions you may not agree with but still you empathize with his honest efforts to raise his sons the way he believes to be the best.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer


Clive Owen is one of my favorite actors, and I've wanted to watch this for quite a while, just never had time and just kept passing it up. Finally got around to watching it and it's just ok. It's a drama about a sports journalist whose wife dies and he is left to raise their son, along with a son who decides to live with him from a previous marriage. Now he has to juggle his grief, his songs grief, his career, being a single dad, and life in general. The movie has some very touching scenes and sad situations. However, the movie is slow and the characters aren't developed enough that you really feel for them. I'm a sucker for movies where kids are heartbroken("Finding Neverland" or "Incredibly Loud and Extremely Loud"), but here the scenes where the boys have breakdowns didn't effect me much. Having said that, the acting is all very good, it's just the story and direction just didn't work all that great for me. It's worth a watch if you are in the mood for a decent drama, but otherwise just skip over it.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer


Would earn a higher rating if not for the overly drawn-out and weepy first act - fair enough, the movie had to show us that the hero really loved his amazing wife so that, when she spoke to him from beyond the grave later on, (or seemed to), the viewer would care... but 30 minutes could have been 10 and the filmmaker could have gotten right down to it, and shown us what is really here: a story about a man emerging from his selfishness and facing what he's done wrong to become a good father again. With beautiful cinematography, excellent child acting, and a standout performance by Clive Owen, you'll be glad you stuck with it to the end, but yeesh, that first half-hour...

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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