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Imaginary Heroes (2004)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 103
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 67

Imaginary Heroes is a muddled, melodramatic and unconvincing drama.


Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 33
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 21

Imaginary Heroes is a muddled, melodramatic and unconvincing drama.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 9,111

My Rating

Movie Info

A shocking and tragic event causes the members of a quietly dysfunctional family to reexamine themselves and their lives in this drama. Ben and Sandy Travis (Jeff Daniels and Sigourney Weaver) are a couple whose troubled family begins to crumble when their eldest son, star college athlete Matt (Kip Pardue) commits suicide. Sandy's naturally cynical nature becomes all the more prickly, and while she tries to bond with her surviving teenaged son, Tim (Emile Hirsch), they seem closest when they


Drama, Kids & Family, Comedy


Dan Harris, Daniel Harris

Jun 7, 2005

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (117) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (67) | DVD (13)

Although she comes across as bordering on insufferable, we are expected to understand that Sandy is the touchstone of honesty in the film because, like other American films of the Sundance variety, eccentricity signifies emotional authenticity.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Weaver pretty much keeps Imaginary Heroes aloft.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Failed ambition is still ambition. Imaginary Heroes may overreach, but it challenges us as it does. That's heroic in any filmmaker.

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An ambitious, uneven directorial debut.

March 11, 2005 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sigourney Weaver is impeccable as a distraught mother who resorts to pot to barricade her emotions in writer/director Dan Harris' diamond-sharp treatise on American family dysfunction that makes "The Ice Storm" look like a walk in the park.

July 2, 2009 Full Review Source:

Dan Harris e suas criações habitam um universo repleto de incidentes absolutamente artificiais e de clichês risíveis.

November 21, 2005
Cinema em Cena

It's unusual and faintly disturbing to see Jeff Daniels play such an unlikeable character.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Especially forceful performances make it well worth watching, even if it becomes a bit too much at times.

June 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

A "personal" sort of story that might just hit you like a ton of bricks. Me? Not so much.

June 3, 2005 Full Review Source:

Sigourney Weaver stands out as the heart of Imaginary Heroes, a depiction of a troubled suburban family.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Not a great movie, by any means, but it is an always-interesting one - even when it veers off the rails.

May 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Sigourney Weaver is magnificent in Imaginary Heroes ...

May 13, 2005 Full Review
Atlantic City Weekly

Harris cannot justify this family of misfits contrived for the screen.

April 14, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Writer-director Dan Harris' script is so disjointed that Heroes rambles for most of its nearly two-hours.

April 8, 2005

With that much baggage, Tim doesn't need a loving family. He needs a Smarte Carte.

April 7, 2005 Full Review
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Stumbling between failed comedy and stilted drama, Imaginary Heroes never finds a convincing tone.

April 1, 2005
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Writer-director Dan Harris ... runs Tim and the Travises through the dysfunctional-family checklist.

April 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Sigourney Weaver gives a terrific performance in this impressive film.

March 21, 2005 Full Review Source:

If the film had been about Weaver rather than her family, Harris might have scripted an ending that represented a risky individual choice instead of a communal retreat.

March 18, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

...chisel away the superfluous, and there is a very fine movie here.

March 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Has a third act that consists almost entirely of skeletons tumbling out of the closet, but Weaver's and Hirsch's flawless performances elevate the film above and beyond the ranks of 'Ordinary People' pastiches, and in the end it stands on its own merits.

March 13, 2005 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for Imaginary Heroes

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Emile Hirsch, Jeff Daniels, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue, Deirdre O'Connell, Ryan Donowho, Suzanne Santo, Jay Paulson

Director: Dan Harris

Summary: The seemingly stable Travis family crumbles when one of the children kills himself in this wrenching drama about long-buried secrets and lies, and ties that bind too tightly. Soon after the tragedy, patriarch Ben (Jeff Daniels) distances himself from everyone else, intent on coping with his pain alone; his wife, Sandy (Sigrouney Weaver), turns to pot for release and escape; and their restless son, Tim (Emile Hirsch), longs to be elsewhere.

My Thoughts: "Great movie with a great cast delivering great performances. There is a scene near the end of the movie between Jeff Daniels and Emile Hirsch that just blew me away with the strong emotions it generated through the screen. I felt every bit of it. This movie is relatable to anyone who has lost someone close to them, who feels very small in a big world, or who has never fit in. I am sure we have all had those moments. Loved Weaver's and Hirsch's mother and son relationship. Just a good movie about a family fighting to hold on. Struggling to make sense of life and where it's going, and if they will make it to another day."
February 22, 2012

Super Reviewer

This family drama should have focused more on the emotional impact of the tragedy on the characters. Instead it goes for artificial conflicts and pathetic clichés, suffering also from an excess of information with many unnecessary details added at each moment to create new useless twists.
August 26, 2011

Super Reviewer

Such a tough topic, but Sigourney Weaver is the Lifetime movie character actor of real movies. Great acting from all of the cast, but the subject is not a cheerful one.
June 28, 2011

Super Reviewer

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December 7, 2004:
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