Lebanon, Pa. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lebanon, Pa. Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 3, 2012
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....
Super Reviewer
½ September 15, 2010
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."
½ September 29, 2012
A thought-provoking indie flick about the choices we make in life and how we can always change our direction. Well-acted and directed, this movie is an enjoyable
change from fantastic action hero save the world Hollywood blockbusters, instead dealing with issues that everyday people really deal with in everyday life--something to which we can all relate.
½ January 11, 2012
Well-paced, genuine, great balance of bittersweet. Earnest, but has its edges, too. All players hit it right (except CJ's Dad). Well done.
½ January 11, 2012
awful, inaccurate (EVERYTHING about Lebanon, PA is wrong), boring, terribly acted, apparently every Christian (at at least Catholic) in Lebanon is a bigot and a moron, and truly, this movie just sucked. A train wreck from start to finish. I want my 100 minutes back. UGH.
½ September 4, 2011
3.5/5 Stars; it has a Juno-ish feel only more indie and less clever. Nice performances, three dimensional characters, and the fact that it is set in small town Pennsylvania vaults it a bit for me.
August 22, 2011
well-done small key story - characters are really drawn with deep meaning
½ July 9, 2011
If they really wanted to make an accurate movie about Lebanon, PA they should have cast a lot more Puerto Ricans. I find it ironic that this entire movie is all about values and morals, when nobody in Lebanon has any. This movie should be about driving around and smoking shitty weed. More Ghetto Mobil on 12th street please!!
½ July 3, 2011
acting is really bad and the story cliche as hell. I know it's low bud but it doesn't have to be utterly cliche.
May 20, 2011
Not one likable character and 100 minutes of an agenda being pushed with bad writing and worse editing. Not worth it.
May 14, 2011
Excellent quiet film; well-written, acted, directed.
May 8, 2011
Ben Hickernell, the writer and director, has done an excellent job of exploring the anxieties and fears of a teen age high school student who has become pregnent. The character development is well done and the conclusion of the film has left us thinking about an important problem facing many of our young people. The filming and editing is interesting and keeps the film moving at a rapid pace. An important film about an important subject.
May 1, 2011
This has been a few years in the making (I watched a few scenes being filmed what seems like eons ago), and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Great, nuanced performances by the whole cast, it's beautifully shot in Philly and Lebanon, and there's a terrific score by Matt Pond PA. I'm very proud and happy for my friend Ben and his terrific movie. See this!
October 18, 2010
At first I was weary of this movie. I knew nothing about it going in, and the set up had me feeling uneasy about the story, the direction, and even the production value. But what emerged was an honest portrayal of the human experience on film. It feels real. The characters feel like humans making human decisions when they are forced to step beyond their boundaries. It could have easily been a political statement, but it's light-years beyond that. We spend a lot of time debating points of view. I had my guard raised at first, but once I realized that the fight is not mine, I was completely captivated by every character. Loved it!
½ June 13, 2010
The cinematography of the war from only the inside of the tank and what the crew can see thru there scopes was very effective for telling this story.
June 7, 2010
Winner of the Golden Lion award at the 2009 Venice Film Festival; 'Lebanon' was met with extraordinary reviews from critics and jury members alike. For a simple story, one set almost entirely inside a tank, 'Lebanon' is one built around superb performances from the four crew members, centred deep within the Israeli war. It's incredibly rare these days to find a film that focuses mainly on character development. However, when it's done right, as it is in 'Lebanon', it can make a film much more effect and profound. Samuel Maoz clearly knows his information, managing to, somewhat forcefully, express what being on the front line is like for anyone deep in the heart of a war. It's a story that challenges all cinematic rules that have been put in place, forcing the viewers to engage with these four central leads, however uncomfortable that may be. It takes you as far into war as you'd want to be, making you feel everything the characters are feeling, coming away when the film eventually draws to a close. 'Lebanon' was certainly an arrestingly tense affair, but one done with beauty, it's hard not to engage with. The visuals are spot-on, making it feel authentic in it's portrayal of a gritty, intense world some of us are completely oblivious to. It's truly magnificent to be able to make a film like this one, one that challenges, and forces the viewers to battle with their emotions in order to find the heart within the picture. Astonishing.

'Lebanon' was a visually overpowering and arrestingly tense piece of cinematic flare. Samuel Maoz bestows a fascinating focus on narrative and character development. Intensely beautiful.
June 5, 2010
Samuel Maoz directs this intense, energy sapping but superbly rewarding war drama which is shot almost entirely from inside a small tank that 4 very different men share as they battle to stay alive during the First Lebanon war in 1982. This is a strong anti-war film; Maoz experienced this war first hand, and was so affected by his experiences, he became incredibly against anything to do with war. His actors perform excellently and show off the real emotions these men must have faced. The tension is cranked up so high even a knife can't cut it. This isn't quite Hurt Locker style amazingness (although it's bloody close) because I was distracted by the fact at times it's difficult to tell who's who and the use of sound is often grating. But even that must reflect what war is truly like, which is the reason Maoz made this film.
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