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Lonesome Jim (2006)

tomatometer

60

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 54 | Rotten: 36

Though Lonesome Jim is leavened by sweet, understated humor, it's hard to root for such a morose, self-defeating protagonist.

43

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 17

Though Lonesome Jim is leavened by sweet, understated humor, it's hard to root for such a morose, self-defeating protagonist.

audience

57

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 22,306

My Rating

Movie Info

Jim begrudgingly returns to his hometown in rural Indiana after failing to make it on his own in New York. He soon remembers why he left: a doting but overbearing mother, a distant father, and a depressed older brother whose "accidents" seem suspect at best. Jim is soon forced to take on his brother's duties -- working at his parent's factory and helping out with his two rambunctious nieces. Crippled by obligations and anxieties, Jim trudges on though every day monotones and the family's

R,

Drama, Comedy

James C. Strouse

Aug 9, 2006

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All Critics (95) | Top Critics (32) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (36) | DVD (14)

Though this clash of picket-fenced, down-home values and big city oafishness was handled with a little more delicacy in 2005's superb 'Junebug', Buscemi's film has lots to say about this fruitful dynamic.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Manages to be bitter, dispiriting and utterly pointless all at once.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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It all feels very slight.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Affleck plays this as a one-note turn, all dour. What a life-force like Anika would see in him is a mystery.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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The problem is that a little of this minimalist kitchen-sink farce goes a very long way, and after a while Lonesome Jim starts to dry up.

May 5, 2006 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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A slight, but amusing and occasionally touching, dark comedy about depression and dysfunction that percolates with indie film hipness.

April 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An unintentional parody of Sundance Hades circa 1996

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

"Lonesome Jim" is an earnest and modest 'little independent' movie that charms by way of its understated underachieving characters.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Minimalist, moody and morose, Lonesome Jim is a minor gem.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The world would be a better place if Steve Buscemi made more movies.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Steve Buscemi's third film as a director is a low key affair delivered with a wry sense of humour.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: BBC.com
BBC.com

It's poignant, quietly life-affirming little story that doesn't need to shout. Lonesome Jim's good company.

April 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Has great relevance to the lost adultolescent generation of today ... but it also flounders in its commonplace and too-familiar concept.

September 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinematical
Cinematical

A depressing illustration of how even Middle America has ended up marginalized and rudderless in the wake of outsourcing, downsizing and globalization.

June 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Weekly Press
Weekly Press

As the credits started to roll, I came to a pleasant and all-too-rare moviegoing realization: The smile that had crept across my face during the very first scene had never left.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International | Comment (1)
Film Journal International

Its title character is such a lifeless loser, you wish Moonstruck's Cher was around to slap him hard and yell, 'Snap out of it!'

June 2, 2006 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

"Lonesome Jim" is worth checking out, if nothing else for the performances and Buscemi's idiosyncratic sense of irony.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Sympatico.ca

Too many movies offer cardboard cutouts of even their primaries, but Jim delivers honest, three-dimensional portraits of each of the major players.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

Helped by the precise details of small-town life and laughs generated by circumstances almost everyone can relate to, Lonesome Jim is gratifying because of its nearly cheerful depiction of sorrow, not in spite of it.

May 19, 2006
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Fancies itself a black comedy, but there's only one joke, and it's that dark-cloud-over- Jim's-head thing -- and it wears thin fast.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Jam! Movies
Jam! Movies

... the story of Percyesque ex-suicide, a parable about how embracing childish things can be part of growing up.

May 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Affleck makes a perfectly downcast lightning rod for the ennui-ridden goings-on, and as a director, Buscemi totally gets the defeatist beats of James C. Strouse's script.

May 10, 2006 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Audience Reviews for Lonesome Jim

This is Steve Buscemi's third outing as a feature director (and first where he doesn't direct himself). What we have is a wry, deadpan dramedy (emphasis on drama, since most of the humor is bone dry and deadpan) about Jom- a perpetually glum 27 year-old aspiring writer who, after failing to make it in New York, returns to live with his parents in their small Indiana town in order to try to get his life back together.

He's got all sorts of things to deal with. His dad is a chronic sour puss, his mom is amazingly cheerful, and his older brother Tim (a divorced father of two whose business ventures have failed) also lives with their parents, who own a lumber and ladder factory where Jim's Uncle Stacy, aka Evil, uses it as a front for drug dealing.

After his brother unsuccessfully attempt suicide, Jim finds himself forced to take his brother's place, which means working for their parents and coaching a girl's basketball team that hasn't even scored one basket in the past 14 games. Things are looking even less hopeful, but that starts to change when Jim begins a tentative romance with a kind nurse and single mother named Anika who seems determined to help get him out of his funk.

It really doesn't surprise me that Buscemi would helm a slice of life indie about a depressed sad sack. I mean, he did it once before, and that movie (Trees Lounge) is one of my all-time favorites. This second foray into that territory, but doesn't have quite the same impact as the earlier one. For one, it's not as funny, or at least not as overtly funny. Well, aside from Mark Boone Junior as Evil, that is. This one is good, but it's less optimistic, though still just as realistic.

It definitely scores points for being wonderfully low-key and very nuanced, that's for sure. I liked it, but I think that the material just isn't as strong. It does have some really good performances, however.

All in all, a decent movie, but probably Buscemi's weakest as a director (so far). Even then, it's still not too bad, so give it a watch.
January 23, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I had low expectations on this one, so I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised. Similar in tone to Buffalo 66, this deals with people who don't quite fit in, and while the plot is small, it has a lasting impact. Liked it a lot.
July 31, 2010
romy861

Super Reviewer

Casey Affleck, Liv Tyler, Mary Kay Place, Jake La Botz, Kevin Corrigan

DIRECTED BY: Steve Buscemi

Jim begrudgingly returns to his hometown in rural Indiana after failing to make it on his own in New York. He soon remembers why he left: a doting but overbearing mother, a distant father, and a depressed older brother whose "accidents" seem suspect at best. Jim is soon forced to take on his brother's duties -- working at his parent's factory and helping out with his two rambunctious nieces. Crippled by obligations and anxieties, Jim trudges on though every day monotones and the family's collapse after mom is mistakenly taken for a suburban drug smuggler. Almost miraculously, hope springs from his developing relationship with a local nurse and her young son, and Jim slowly learns to move forward without leaving anyone behind.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This movie tells a real story of depression and the struggles it brings along with it. Casey Affleck's character Jim is a really sad character. You can just feel the weight of despair coming from him. Casey gives a great performance as Jim. Liv Tyler's character Anika was like Jim's happy pill. She is what he needs to bring him back alive out of his 'chronic despair'. It was a good movie. Not for most. But after seeing Casey in Gone Baby Gone, I wanted to see him in other roles and that's when I came across this one. I think he has amazing acting skills. Plus I LOVE indie films. They in my opinion, are the most interesting and honest movies made.
December 3, 2009
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

I felt like the experimental film style is what made this movie good. The script is so-so, it got a little predictable and became sort of like Garden State. The acting was mediocre, a lot of the characters were played lazy and bitter rather than depressed. I think the overall meaning of the movie is non-existent, it doesn't say anything or mean anything. It seems like they just got a bunch of weird situations thrown together.
November 18, 2009
ythelastman89

Super Reviewer

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  • Lonesome Jim - Manche Leute sollten keine Eltern sein (DE)
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