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Aurora Borealis (2004)

tomatometer

69

Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 12

Deeply reminiscent of other, better films, Aurora Borealis nonetheless succeeds on the strength of winning performances from Sutherland and Jackson.

50

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 7

Deeply reminiscent of other, better films, Aurora Borealis nonetheless succeeds on the strength of winning performances from Sutherland and Jackson.

audience

64

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 15,101

My Rating

Movie Info

Duncan (Joshua Jackson), a depressed twentysomething living in a rundown section of Minneapolis, has just lost another job. He has another source of income, letting his brother use his apartment for extramarital trysts. On a rare visit to his grandparents, Ronald (Donald Sutherland) and Ruth (Louise Fletcher), Duncan meets Kate (Juliette Lewis), Ronald's spirited home health-care worker. Later, when Duncan learns that there's an opening for a handyman in the building, he takes the job. He begins

R,

Drama

Brent Boyd

Apr 3, 2007

Regent Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (41) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (12) | DVD (4)

Seems designed to reward Jackson with his biggest adult part to date, though it doesn't give the Vancouver, B.C., native a lot to work with.

October 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Good Will Hunting but in the Midwest and minus the tortured math genius, psychological breakthroughs, and convincing local color.

October 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Every bromide, plot twist and stock character arrives right on time and, to give director James Burke his due, function as well as they ever have.

September 29, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A sensitive and touching story about a distressed family and the emotional glue that holds it together.

September 28, 2006
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Most successful in capturing the emotional elements of its story, the film relies on its excellent cast to balance out sketchily drawn characters and the unfortunate obviousness of its plot.

September 21, 2006 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Aurora Borealis -- yes, that title eventually comes home to roost -- doesn't offend in any way, but it's so self-consciously quaint, so unwaveringly 'nice,' that you nearly wish it did.

September 21, 2006 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What holds Aurora Borealis together is the complex and very realistic relationships between the characters.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: DVD Review
DVD Review

What looks like a goopy, disease-of-the-week movie about Alzheimer's turns out to be a surprisingly well crafted, beautifully acted movie.

May 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

[A] tough, sweet and buoyantly funny drama about how we all grow up in different ways and on different timetables.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

The script offers neither character revelations nor plot twists. It unfolds by the numbers, like the product of an amateur screenwriter's salon.

October 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

A fair-to-middling coming-of-age tale [is] played by a stellar cast in an unusual locale [but] never escapes seeming rather ordinary.

October 2, 2006 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Boyd's observant script (Minneapolis guy: 'St. What?' Kate: 'St. Paul. It's on the other side of the river.') and fine acting smooth over most of the rough edges.

September 28, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Predictable but not preachy, its likeable types quirky and familiar, 'Aurora Borealis' is a good if undemanding watch.

September 22, 2006 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

The real surprise here is Lewis, who seems to have finally hit on a role that balances her usual flakiness with smarts and an offbeat poignancy, and she delivers the strongest work of her adult career.

September 15, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Fine acting distinguishes Aurora Borealis, a moderately affecting seriocomic character study marred by a weak, tidily resolved third act.

September 15, 2006
Reel.com

All in all, while this isn't a great film, it's quite nice.

September 15, 2006
Greenwich Village Gazette

Audience Reviews for Aurora Borealis

A good script, well performed by a really good cast...including Juliette Lewis (I say this even though I am not a fan). I was very impressed with Joshua Jackson, and Donald Sutherland in this film. The main plot deals with mortality, growing old, and the love of family...all with a touch of saddness, and humor together. Nice movie.
January 13, 2011
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Ronald: You look like your dad.
    2. Duncan Shorter: You do too.
    3. Ronald: I'm better looking.Grandpa's little helper.
    – Submitted by Frances H (13 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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