64% The Maze Runner Sep 19
56% This Is Where I Leave You Sep 19
—— A Walk Among the Tombstones Sep 19
82% Tracks Sep 19
92% The Guest Sep 17

Top Box Office

13% No Good Deed $24.3M
73% Dolphin Tale 2 $15.9M
92% Guardians of the Galaxy $8.1M
19% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $4.9M
20% Let's Be Cops $4.4M
88% The Drop $4.1M
37% If I Stay $3.9M
36% The November Man $2.8M
33% The Giver $2.6M
67% The Hundred-Foot Journey $2.4M

Coming Soon

68% The Equalizer Sep 26
69% The Boxtrolls Sep 26
86% The Two Faces of January Sep 26
—— Two Night Stand Sep 26
91% Jimi: All Is by My Side Sep 26

Premieres Tonight

—— Brickleberry: Season 3
—— The Mindy Project: Season 3
—— New Girl: Season 4

New Episodes Tonight

88% Finding Carter: Season 1
67% Matador: Season 1
83% Sons of Anarchy: Season 7

Discuss Last Night's Shows

71% Dallas: Season 3
62% Under the Dome: Season 2

The Boys Are Back (2009)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 119
Fresh: 85 | Rotten: 34

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


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 34
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 10

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 21,799

My Rating

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



Allan Cubitt

Jan 26, 2010


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now


Latest News on The Boys Are Back

September 24, 2009:
Critics Consensus: Surrogates Is A Passable Thriller
This week at the movies, we've got robot clones (Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis and Radha...


Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (119) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (85) | Rotten (34) | DVD (3)

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

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As the film grapples with the tension between the ideals of parenthood and the realities, the script fumbles some key moments.

November 12, 2009 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If The Boys Are Back takes some emotional shortcuts, it still manages to convey some of the more mystifying aspects of parenthood.

October 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Owen, not chasing Julia Roberts or anyone else for a change, is pleasant enough making this 100-minute argument for unconventional parenting.

October 14, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A classy, intelligent, low-key affair and a fine reminder of what's really essential to most lives: family.

October 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It manages to veer from touching to humorous (Warr has some rather unconventional parenting techniques) without being overly mawkish, and the sumptuous cinematography by Greig Fraser is perhaps the best commercial ever for South Australia.

October 9, 2009
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 21, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

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

January 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

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

October 24, 2011 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
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.

October 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Moviedex

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

April 14, 2010 Full Review Source: Concrete Playground
Concrete Playground

Takes pain and loss and gives it a slightly glossy treatment that holds the drama but doesn't quite get to the point of complete emotional puppetry.

February 27, 2010 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Boys Are Back shows unexpected resolve to approach the central conflict with sincerity, and that small effort takes something with the potential for dispiriting routine and makes it a truly responsive motion picture.

January 24, 2010 Full Review Source:

Clive Owen turns a tear-jerker into a meditation on fatherhood in The Boys Are Back

January 24, 2010 Full Review Source: What Would Toto Watch?
What Would Toto Watch?

Owen reveals a rarely glimpsed warmth and the father and son dynamic has charm, but sappiness keeps the film nice, rather than as good as it might have been.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Aggressively life-affirming, unashamedly sentimental and tear-jerking with industrial efficiency.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Times [UK] | Comment (1)
Times [UK]

If you could order a heart-tugging movie about a widower single dad from the Boden catalogue, accessorised with emotional moments purchased online at, it might look like this excruciatingly artificial and prettified film.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Guardian

Hicks's hand with these relationships is more than sure enough to guide this unexpectedly observant movie over its occasional rough spots.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

The Boys Are Back strains admirably against the stereotypes which tend to weigh down such tales of the expected.

January 22, 2010
Little White Lies

A quintessential boys film to admire with no explosions or pixelated action sequences.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

Heartwrenchingly sad, yet ultimately uplifting, Shine director Hicks more than matches the film that made him famous with this deeply moving tale.

January 22, 2010
Heat Magazine

Visually sharp but dramatically flat, The Boys Are Back plays like a montage of Kodak moments that engage the eye but rarely the heart.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Often touching, more often infuriating account of an ex-pat Brit journo in Oz exploring the how-to of father-son bonding. But even if you're grinding your teeth, the film's brash exuberance and its lead actor will keep you watching.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

The quality of the acting is impressive and serves to at least give some substance to a rather flimsy plot.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The plot is mundane and relatively dull... The result is an experience that's amiable but underwhelming.

January 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Boys Are Back

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.
February 3, 2013
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...
August 22, 2012

Super Reviewer

Good acting but slow and dull.
January 19, 2012
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

You know going into this it will be a sentimental movie - and it is! But sometimes these movies have there place and this one is done in a way that I enjoyed it.
June 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Boys Are Back on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

100 pics from Toronto Film Fest

Hunger Games
Hunger Games

New Mockingjay - Part 1 trailer

New on DVD & Blu-Ray
New on DVD & Blu-Ray

Godzilla, The Fault in Our Stars

Boardwalk Empire
Boardwalk Empire

New reviews for "Good Listener"

Foreign Titles

  • Sólo ellos (ES)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile