• PG-13, 1 hr. 32 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    James C. Strouse
    In Theaters:
    Dec 7, 2007 Wide
    On DVD:
    May 27, 2008
  • The Weinstein Company

Opening

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72% Life Of Crime Aug 29

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Coming Soon

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Grace Is Gone Reviews

Page 1 of 79
Drew S

Super Reviewer

September 28, 2010
Grace is Gone would fall completely, totally flat without Shelan O'Keefe. Full stop. The one interesting part of the movie, and it is a very interesting part, is maneuvering through her psyche, trying to figure out at any given time what she does or doesn't know. Though the movie's political ideologies aren't particularly interesting or insightful - a half-baked conservative one as espoused by John Cusack, and an immature one by Alessandro Nivola - watching them both germinate and clash in Heidi Phillips' mind to produce a whole lotta confusion makes for an entirely watchable result. Though Cusack is inarguably the main character of the film, his inability to tell his daughters the truth and his quiet struggle with his wife's death is by no means the dramatic fulcrum of the film. We know that he eventually will; he must, because he's ultimately sympathetic and being dishonest to his daughters would lose the audience's faith. There's no surprise there. The true viewing experience is watching all of these tiny revelations unfurl in his daughter's brain. We get the sensation that she's known the truth all along, but watching her partition it away or deny it or try to probe her father for more information is what really keeps the plot moving. Otherwise, this would just be eighty minutes of a long, solemn road trip.

As is likely evident from the above, the performances are great, even against the disservice of some flabby character work. I'm still not entirely sure that Cusack was the best fit for this character, as someone who evinces emotional intelligence playing someone who doesn't know what the fuck he's doing. He convinces more as the reality of the situation begins to sink into the character - I thought his attempts at playing shell-shocked when he first learns the news were a little transparent - and the raging, crying, monologuing mess he becomes actually feels pretty organic. It's like, this guy's sort of lame...he WOULD have these big histrionic outbursts after bottling in his emotions. How expected! I sort of thought the younger daughter was obnoxious, but I guess she was supposed to be, and kids crying always makes me sad because I love kids and I'm secretly a woman. I guess that sort of betrays Grace is Gone's true intentions, because despite its half-there attempts at creating political dialogue, what it really wants to be is a weepie. I didn't weep, but it was reasonably engaging and sort of sad, and not entirely stupid, so it does better than most of its contemporaries in the genre.
Lanning :

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2010
I say again, John Cusack will win an Oscar for Best Actor. His time is coming. A very understated performance here, but he really is good. One of my problems with this movie is that the grieving process has suffered a Hollywood make-over. For any of you who've lost a spouse or a parent, especially in such an unexpected manner, is the grieving process ever this easy? In fact, does it ever end? What this movie does very well is show us a loving relationship between a father and his two daughters. It's often more likely that we see father-son or mother-daughter bonding. And I give this one big points for Clint Eastwood's soundtrack. There is some very good music in and behind the action.
LWOODS04
LWOODS04

Super Reviewer

July 21, 2009
John Cusack, Shelan O'Keefe, Gracie Bednarczyk, Alessandro Nivola

A husband whose wife has just been killed in Iraq doesn't have the courage to tell his two young daughters that their mother has died, so instead he decides to take them on a road trip, not to just make it easier on the girls but to make it easier for himself.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yes another story of another loved one being killed in Iraq. But this movie takes on a whole different story. This story is more of how it affects a family who has lost their mother/wife to a war that they sometimes question if they supported, or even understood. John Cusack is brilliant in this movie. Something very different from his past roles, and he does it justice. This movie is built by it's performances. No special affects, no nothing. Just the road and these great performances. There is a moment between Stanley and his brother that you can just feel the strong emotions reflecting off of them. You will shed some tears in this film, but its hard not to. These actors made you feel their characters pain. The two young girls were so good. So glad I found this movie. Heart breaking.. A MUST SEE...
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

April 10, 2009
Good movie, I didn't actually expect to like it, but I did. Sad without being depressing, whole cast was really good. I also liked all the shots out on the road while they were driving.
deano
deano

Super Reviewer

December 5, 2007
Quiet emotionally drama story about the power of family and John Cusack is brilliant in his performance.
boxman
boxman

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2008
[font=Arial][color=DarkRed]Street Kings - This is a wildly overwrought and sleazy drama is hoping to come across as edgy but everything is so overdone. It fulfills all the requisite elements of the modern crime picture; double crosses, forlorn anti-heroes, bloody violence, but [i]Street Kings[/i] misses the mark big time when it comes to any nuance. Every beat of this murky, convoluted dirty cops mystery is plain and obvious. If you cannot guess within minutes who the eventual culprits will be then you haven't seen enough movies. Every character is a cliché of a cliché, every unrestrained actor is constantly speaking in nothing but exclamation marks, and the dialogue is some of the worst I've heard all year. Keanu Reeves is a listless leading man who is blank and lifeless, unable to wrestle the dark and complicated emotions needed for a "cop on the edge" role. I can practically feel Forest Whitaker's spittle every time he speaks. [i]Street Kings[/i] feels like a route retread of rogue cop pictures, which are director David Ayer's specialty. It wants to shine a light on the seedy underbelly of the law but it can't stop from feeling like a lobotomized version of [i]L.A. Confidential[/i] (Note to Ayer: Jay Mohr + mustache = an arrangement that benefits neither party).

Nate's Grade: D


21 - Glitzy, breezy, and 100 percent predictable, [i]21[/i] is a simple con movie that goes through the motions with hyper realism. The most interesting part of the film, by far, is learning the systems that help these coeds fleece Vegas for thousands of dollars. In fact, the true story is far more interesting than this typical tale about a good kid who gets a big ego, pushes his true friends away, is humbled, and then learns a lesson while getting the girl too. What's a MIT engineer want to go to Harvard med school for? And for that matter, you're telling me there are no scholarships out there to brainy MIT students? Whatever the case, [i]21[/i] will pass the time nicely without damaging your brain. The card games are ramped up with zooming camerawork and flashy special effects by director Robert Luketic ([i]Legally Blonde[/i]), but it's all window dressing to an interesting story that was white washed into a bland but undeniably commercial movie. It's a fine time but, like Vegas, will leave you empty in the end. Still, you could do worse than overly stylized con movies about math whiz card sharks.

Nate's Grade: C+


Be Kind, Rewind - [i]Be Kind, Rewind[/i] is a celebration of the love of movies and moviemaking, but it wants to shoot for a deeper message and stumbles. When the movie concentrates on remaking famous movies like [i]Ghostbusters[/i], [i]Robocop[/i], and [i]Rush Hour 2[/i], the movie has a ramshackle charm and great comedic spirit. When the film strays to tell a tale about community pride is when the movie gets dull and leaden. The concept of cheap, quick, homemade versions of Hollywood movies (the YouTube-ification if you will) is fun and Jack Black and Mos Def are definitely having fun in the process. But the movie has too many other elements that just don't work together. The history of a local jazz legend feels awkward and bogs down the movie's enjoyment. Director Michel Gondry can only do so much with his quirky visual sensibilities before you start to get bored. [i]Be Kind, Rewind[/i] is occasionally entertaining and works best when it's ripping off other movies than trying to stand on its own merits.

Nate's Grade: C+


Grace is Gone - This Iraq War drama means well but it comes across as manipulative and morally questionable. John Cusack stars as a former military man who just found out his wife, on active duty in Iraq, has been killed. The bulk of the film's conflict deals with how Cusack will tell his two daughters that mommy is not coming home again. Instead of being upfront with his children, he takes them out of school and whisks them away on a family trip to an amusement park. His reasoning is that he wants to squeeze in a few more happy memories before the kids hear the news. To me, this is irresponsible and psychologically damaging; those kids will resent their father holding onto such important information while he encouraged his kids to shop in ignorance. The film is about 80 minutes of watching a guillotine hang over someone's head, just waiting for the moment to hit. It can get rather uncomfortable. Somewhere in this misguided drama is a poignant look at the domestic cost of the Iraq War from the family's perspective, a perspective yet to be fully articulated by the movies. Instead, [i]Grace is Gone [/i]is a well-acted but contrived drama that favors delaying the pains of reality to the point of incredulity.

Nate's Grade: C+


Lust, Caution - Ang Lee's period romance is no [i]Brokeback Mountain[/i], though there is a heavy supply of thrusting and grunting. [i]Lust, Caution[/i] is an NC-17 rated peak into life in China under Japanese occupation in the 1930s. Most of the film follows a school drama club that decides to become freedom fighters. They scheme to murder Chinese officials working with the Japanese government, and one gal (Wei Tang) is tapped to seduce and then kill a high-ranking official. For such a controversial movie, the sex scenes don't even begin until 90 minutes into the flick (though our undercover heroine is deflowered by her drama club peer for the good of her mission). The movie is exquisitely shot, handsome in its details, and the lead performance by Tang is exceptional, simmering with conflicting emotions and some real sensual heat. The sex scenes doe have an erotic potency to them and they are more explicit than the kinder gentler fare found in typical Hollywood movies that consist of only seeing the slow-motion ecstasy result from a man on top. The offbeat love story gestates too late in the film's run, leaving little time to delve deeper. Too much of the movie concerns back-story following the drama club's road to becoming revolutionaries, and while it's interesting it's also rather needless on second thought. There's a nine-minute difference between the R-rated version and the theatrical NC-17 cut; what's in those nine minutes I do not know since I saw the edited version, but I've been told it's a lot of thrusting. In lusty terms, the movie is heavy on foreplay and too short on a satisfying climax.

Nate's Grade: B-[/color][/font]
Tim S

Super Reviewer

September 15, 2008
Though Cusack is amazing, the performances that really impressed me the most were the kids. Even though the ending goes towards the predictable side, I have to recommend a movie that made me cry like a baby for the last twenty minutes. I don't think the two rum and cokes that I had while watching it helped either.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

September 11, 2007
Heart warming and breaking all at the same time.
movieguru12
movieguru12

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2008
Just FANTASTIC,and AMAZING
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

December 6, 2007
Grace is Gone is graceful, for the lack of a better word. When Stan (Cusack) receives ill fated news of the death of his wife in Iraq, he decides to take his two daughters on a road trip to somehow at least temporarily forget his wife's death and to think of ways to tell the sad news to his daughters. This film is full of emotions much thanks to John Cusack's riveting performance as the widowed husband. His performance here is so underrated, he deserves much much more than that. The two child leads were awesome as well.

The biggest thing about this film is that the music is supervised by Clint Eastwood. Like, Dirty Harry "Make my day" Clint Eastwood I kid you not. Nice move there Clint you supervised the music really well. Its sad, emotional, riveting, wonderful, glorious and magical. This short 80 minute film delivers. Its satisfying.

4
Al S

Super Reviewer

November 19, 2007
A magnificent, gripping, original, touching and heart-breaking film. A powerful, passionate and unforgettable movie. A triumph. It's brilliant, remarkable and astonishing. A beautiful story of loss, family, devestation and moving on. Clint Eastwood writes the stunning musical score that moves us in every teriffic scene. John Cusack is extroadinay, giving one of his best performances of his career. It will move you and take your breath away.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

April 21, 2009
[font=Century Gothic]"Grace Is Gone" is a slight movie that has headier ideas than its apparently thin plot would seemingly allow for. Stanley(John Cusack) would rather be anywhere than a support group for spouses of soldiers, especially considering that he was once a lifer in the army until he was forced out due to poor eyesight. Now, with his wife Grace serving in Iraq, he sits on the sideliness, working as a manager for a home furnishing store. Ironically, he is unable to talk about the war in Iraq with his daughters Heidi(Shelan O'Keefe), 12 going on 35, and Dawn(Gracie Bednarczyk), 8. His rigid and reserved stance makes it even harder for him to deal with the news of his wife's death, not even telling his daughters. To delay the inevitable, he instead agrees to take them to Enchanted Gardens in Florida through a landscape of chain motels and restaurants. Or do they? There is something entirely symbolic about a man who cannot tell the truth about a war, driving to a fantasy land. On the way, he stops at his parents' house where there is no sign of them but his brother John(Alessandro Nivola) as Stanley probably thinks of him as a leftist layabout. The reality is probably much more complex.[/font]
Sean G

Super Reviewer

August 30, 2010
Great job by Cusack. A very emotional and sad film.
SC007
SC007

Super Reviewer

April 5, 2009
This is one of John Cusack's best performance that he has done so far. He should have gotten an Oscar nomination for the film. I don't know why the studio didn't push for him to get the nomination. The 2 actresses that play his daughters in the film, also shine in the film. I was really surprised that Clint Eastwood did the music score for the film. I definitely recommend the film. This is Cusack at his best.
Nicolas K

Super Reviewer

December 18, 2007
The film is about loss and ultimately you feel down having watched it. However the film feels real mainly attributed to the exceptional acting of both Cusack and the 2 girls. War has much more casualties than thosefalling on the battle ground...
Anastasia B

Super Reviewer

October 29, 2008
Excellent drama even though a bit too much for my taste. if you are a John Cusack fan and you don't mind him in roles where he's not supposed to be comical, this is for you. best seen as tv material.
Sarah P

Super Reviewer

March 29, 2009
John Cusack was excellent. He brought a lot of depth to the role.
Nikki M

Super Reviewer

March 19, 2009
Very slow progression of storyline.
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