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Down to the Bone (2005)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 2

A vivid portrayal of the effects of drug abuse that avoids cinematic clichés, Down to the Bone is a winning effort that features Vera Farmiga's breakout performance.

100

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 14 | Rotten: 0

A vivid portrayal of the effects of drug abuse that avoids cinematic clichés, Down to the Bone is a winning effort that features Vera Farmiga's breakout performance.

audience

71

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 26,256

My Rating

Movie Info

Independent filmmaker Debra Granik makes her feature debut with the drama Down to the Bone, based on her award-winning short Snake Feed. Vera Farmiga stars as Irene, a working-class mother living in upstate New York. She struggles to keep her marriage together and raise two sons while keeping her cocaine addiction a secret. Hoping to make a change in her life, she tries to kick her drug habit. However, this proves even more difficult with the oncoming winter and a developing affair. Also

R,

Drama

Oct 31, 2006

Laemmle/Zeller Films - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Down to the Bone

January 19, 2012:
Bone Gets a Director
P.J. Hogan ("Muriel's Wedding") will bring Jeff Smith's beloved comic book to the screen.
December 13, 2005:
Awards Season Gets Rolling with Crix Picks
If you're a fan of the late-year awards season, be sure to add Movie City News to your hit list,...

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (2) | DVD (1)

This downbeat story of blue-collar drug abuse becomes a moving portrait of people battling their inner demons, thanks to an outstanding acting ensemble.

March 16, 2006 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If there were an ounce of taste left in Hollywood, the magnificent Vera Farmiga would be a front-runner for the Best Actress Oscar.

January 6, 2006
Rolling Stone
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is so pitch perfect and realistic, it seems you are there with these people, watching their lives unfold before you as it happens.

December 16, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Down to the Bone achieves what only the best independent films have: making life, at its most unvarnished, a journey.

November 30, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Conventional movies, even independent ones, tend to get histrionic and judgmental about such drug-related setbacks. But Granik's film, though hardly a clinical case study, keeps a measured distance from the heavy-handed or simplistic.

November 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... a harrowing character study.

November 28, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie boasts a fantastic performance by Vera Farmiga and an exceedingly unhappy storyline. It's a movie you "appreciate" more than you "enjoy."

November 11, 2006 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

The movie takes us down an unexpected path with riveting skill and a refreshing lack of easy answers.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The movie seems to be about drug addiction and recovery, but it gradually shifts, becoming a look from an unusual angle at what a big job it is to be a parent and the priorities it requires.

March 16, 2006 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Farmiga effectively shows the fear, need and hope at war within Irene, how the false high of being clean for a week can fade when she realizes the second week isn't going to be any easier.

March 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Strong performances from Vera Farmiga and Hugh Dillon keep things from becoming overdramatic.

January 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

if you've ever wondered why people in 12-step programs aren't supposed to sleep together right off the bat, well, this movie is about to show you, in detail.

December 15, 2005 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

A quietly harrowing chronicle of addiction and fragile recovery anchored by Vera Farmiga's intense performance.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Vera Farmiga gives an astonishing performance in this complex chronicle of a drug addict who goes through rehab, yearning for redemption, but her experience is not tidy and there's no neat conclusion.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

This marks [Farmiga's] arrival as One to Watch. See her here, and you can say you remember the early days.

December 2, 2005 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

Debra Granik's independent drama "Down to the Bone" builds with a strong, quiet intensity.

November 28, 2005 Full Review Source: About.com
About.com

A glimpse into the private lives and dirty secrets of people trying to claw their way to a better place.

November 25, 2005 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Daily News
Los Angeles Daily News

Audience Reviews for Down to the Bone

More subtle than your usual drug addict movie. While desperate, this one doesn't end up on a street corner somewhere homeless, or into crime, but it does still show the devastation caused by addiction and is a moving and interesting film. I had never heard of Vera Farmiga before, but I will certainly look out for her in the future, her portrayal of this character was excellent.
May 8, 2009
romy861

Super Reviewer

Drawn out, but an extremely realistic film about drug abuse with some impressive performances, in particular Vera Farmiga, which is definitely a name I shall be taking notice of in the future, her role in this was faultless and she reminded me of Cate Blanchett in many ways.
March 28, 2009
76Majikat

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]In "Private" a Palestinian family is not only living in the battlefield of the occupied West Bank but now they must face the additional indignity of having the Israeli army occupy their house. The army gets the second floor(under no circumstances are the family to venture there) and the family must stay downstairs. After dark, they are confined to the living room. For the father, Mohammed, a learned, dignified man, being a refugee would be worse and he insists on staying.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Private" is a tense drama with realistic situations. The film boils the whole Arab-Israeli conflict down to a microcosm of a single house being occupied. Through the character of the father, other ways are suggested of fighting the Israeli army than violence. And the individual soldiers are not shown as being the villains.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Georgia][color=navy]In "Down to the Bone", Irene(Vera Farmiga) is a mother to two young sons and wife to a construction worker. She works as a cashier at a supermarket in upstate New York. She is also addicted to cocaine. And she has been using since high school. After one particularly embarrassing attempt to buy drugs fails, she realizes she needs help and enters rehab.[/color][/font]
[font=Georgia][color=#000080][/color][/font]
[font=Georgia][color=#000080]"Down to the Bone" covers some familiar ground but does so in a totally unglamorous way. The movie does not offer any easy answers or solutions. The movie is anchored by a very strong performance by Vera Farmiga.[/color][/font]
November 26, 2005
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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