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Lebanon, Pa.

Lebanon, Pa. (2011)

tomatometer

44

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 5

No consensus yet.

audience

47

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 318

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Ben Hickernell explores the deepening divides in American culture with this sweet-and-sour comedy drama tracing the growing bond between a Philadelphia advertising executive and his second cousin, a pregnant teenager. Will (Josh Hopkins) is preparing to bury his father in Lebanon, PA, when he strikes up a conversation with CJ (Rachel Kitson), a distant cousin who has recently gotten pregnant. Her life at a crossroads, CJ isn't quite sure how to handle the situation. Responsibility has

PG-13,

Drama, Comedy

Feb 13, 2007

$44.7k

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All Critics (16) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (8)

Since the crux of the tale is a teenager's decision about an unwanted pregnancy, "Lebanon, Pa." can't possibly please everyone. But Hickernell doesn't strain to be provocative.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Not perfect, but vastly superior to most of the Hollywood dreck we've been getting lately, Lebanon, Pa. is a thoughtful and perceptive film well worth recommending.

May 11, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As long as the pic remains rooted in a specific locale's rhythms, it imparts a sense of discovery; but when local color wears thin, bald ideological small-town/big-city oppositions intrude.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Plays out like one of those dull message movies that TV networks used to crank out almost weekly, but the earnestness is at times almost appealingly old-fashioned.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kitson, who plays CJ, the mouthy, forthright teenager at the center of the storm, illuminates a movie that is otherwise so studiously balanced an examination of teenage pregnancy that it deserves a medal for evenhandedness.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The real casualties are momentum and narrative cohesion.

April 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Starts off like a self-serious Garden State and ends up like a self-serious Juno.

May 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

An intriguing, beautiful film by a promising young director.

May 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

This is a plea for self-described indie filmmakers to stop utilizing hyper-polished technique to talk about human misery.

May 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Displays the delicate touch of a sledgehammer on an old sidewalk.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

For the most part it's your classic character-driven movie - the antithesis of an "issue" drama - until a contentious issue surfaces that threatens to overwhelm the story.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Lebanon, PA is a beautiful film with powerful characters and a story you can really connect with in a way that won't make you feel gross or manipulated.

April 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A transitional time in the life of a 35-year-old ad agency executive when he has a chance to take a hard look at his life.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

Audience Reviews for Lebanon, Pa.

I actually liked this nice, touching, thought provoking little film. Made me smile at the end, and I like when movies do that. I really liked the scene where they set the boat free. There was something very comforting about that. Maybe I should try it....
April 3, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

Cast: Josh Hopkins, Samantha Mathis, Mary Beth Hurt, Rachel Kitson, Ian Merrill Peakes

Director: Ben Hickernell

Summary: Urbane Philadelphia ad man Will (Josh Hopkins) heads to small-town Lebanon for his father's funeral, and the road leads not only to closure but to a revelation when the 35-year-old meets his precocious teenage cousin, CJ (Rachel Kitson), and her winsome teacher, Vicki (Samantha Mathis). As his friendship with CJ deepens and his warmth for the married Vicki grows, Will comes to realize that life can't always be summed up in a catchphrase.

My Thoughts: "The film was OK. The story is one we've seen before. I didn't like the camera work at all. There was too many very close, close ups. I also didn't like how half of the faces were sometimes on the screen or not at all. Besides that, I did find CJ's story the most interesting. I thought Rachel Kitson portrayed her character CJ very honestly. Her story in the film is quite heart breaking. Not everyone is going to like the outcome of her story. Will is trying to grieve a father he really didn't know because he was brought up to hate him by his mother. The scene with them at the cemetery was pivotal for Will. He gets to confront her and she comes off a bit selfish and only worried about herself and still not owning what she did to her son. I thought Josh Hopkins did a good job in his role. Not the best indie film I have seen, but surely not the worse one either."
July 7, 2011
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

    1. Will: I mowed a lawn today. I hadn't mowed a Goddamned lawn in a decade. It felt friggin' awesome!
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Will: You always want to market to children. To a child, to an adult buying something to a child, or to the child inside that adult. Now there is usually a reason why the customer shouldn't buy your product.There is something cheaper, better, prettier. But with a child, you don't have to ask them what they need. No, you can tell them what they want.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
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