• R, 1 hr. 23 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:    Jordan Roberts
  • In Theaters:    Oct 8, 2004 Wide
  • On DVD:    Feb 22, 2005
  • Warner Independent

Around the Bend Reviews

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Tracy Allerton
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
October 28, 2004

Bend does provide some mild chuckles and gorgeous scenes of rock formations, ruins and blazing sunsets, but it isn't very engaging beyond that.

| Original Score: 0.5/4
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher
October 28, 2004

[W]alks a fine line that many films fall to navigate: the one that divides wacky-for-wacky's-sake from the wacky kind of oddballness that characterizes, you know, life.

Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
October 27, 2004

The dynamo performance Walken provides is akin to what Michael Jordan did on the basketball court, making everyone around him better.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
October 27, 2004

Given the plotline, how about a KFC promotion in which their chicken is sold in a bucket that's shaped like an urn?

Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Angela Baldassarre
Sympatico.ca
October 27, 2004

Endearing performances and a witty script make up for the awkward pacing and maudlin premise. **

Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central
October 26, 2004

An ugly secret changes the mood of the piece from maudlin and trite to jarringly maudlin and trite.

Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
October 24, 2004

Jordan Roberts' feature debut pulls off the dizzying high-wire act of being both a misty-eyed glimpse into four generations of the men in the Lair family and a steely meditation on manhood, parenting, and the pitfalls thereof.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Susan Walker
Toronto Star
Top Critic
October 22, 2004

A sentimental journey, to be sure, but is saved by bleakly humorous moments.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
M.E. Russell
Oregonian
October 22, 2004

It's a particularly precious form of art-house entertainment, well-acted but ultimately mawkish and forcibly odd, the indie-film equivalent of a Hallmark card.

Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
October 22, 2004

Uneven, with too much going on and too many distractions.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
October 22, 2004

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
October 22, 2004

Walken manages to deliver something pure and heartfelt here. Unfortunately, he's doing so in a film weighed down by coincidences and quirks.

| Original Score: C
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic
October 22, 2004

Seems to think it's extra-crunchy, but winds up a pretty regular affair.

| Original Score: C
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic
October 22, 2004

When Roberts should be avoiding the potholes of sentimentality and cliche ... he drives straight at them.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Carlo Cavagna
AboutFilm.com
October 22, 2004

Around the Bend has outstanding acting and a short running time, and still the story runs thin.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
October 21, 2004

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.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
October 21, 2004

The premise is one of those only-in- the-movies deals: Walken, Lucas and Bobo take off on a road trip during which old family wounds are instantaneously healed while the sun sets in the west.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
October 21, 2004

There are a couple of minor detours, but on the whole the movie never loses its way.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
October 20, 2004

While undoubtedly well-intentioned...just too forced to strike more than a glancing blow to the heartstrings.

Full Review | Original Score: C+
James Verniere
Boston Herald
October 19, 2004

Altogether too whimsical and contrived.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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