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Lymelife (2008)


Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 109
Fresh: 68
Rotten: 41

Critics Consensus: Lymelife features sharp performances, but the story lacks the emotional depth or focus worthy of its talented cast.

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 23
Rotten: 10

Critics Consensus: Lymelife features sharp performances, but the story lacks the emotional depth or focus worthy of its talented cast.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 18,708


Movie Info

A family unit begins to bow under the pressure of a failing marriage.

R (for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use)
Directed By:
Written By:
Derick Martini , Steven Martini
In Theaters:
Sep 22, 2009
Screen Media Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Lymelife

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (68) | Rotten (41) | DVD (4)

At no point did I feel bored or condescended to, and even though the ending may be overwrought, it had me gripping my chair.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Solid, but forgettable.

Full Review… | November 17, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

Another film that looks back at late seventies' suburbia with a mixture of tenderness and condescension.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The offbeat Lymelife is so clearly leeching off other suburban-dysfunction films that it could have been titled The Lice Storm.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Even in its darkest moments there are flashes of warm comedy and gentle farce that lend the story considerable credibility and charm.

Full Review… | May 8, 2009
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Overall the film feels like The Ice Storm or American Beauty on training wheels, but Martini's next efforts could be well worth watching.

Full Review… | May 7, 2009
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Lymelife captures the look and feel of a very specific era in American life.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012

Shaky in spots, but rewarding overall.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012
NUVO Newsweekly

The rest of the cast is splendid, including Alec Baldwin, a long way from the network executive on the TV sitcom 30 Rock.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012
San Diego Union-Tribune

[A] fine chronicle of disaffection, dissolution and lust on Long Island in the 1970s.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012

Culkin and Roberts hit the right balance of savviness and clumsiness as teenagers who are smart enough to see what their parents try to conceal.

Full Review… | May 14, 2012
Screen International

A slight feeling of déjà vu pervades its depiction of unhappy families. But it has a tender heart, and the imprimatur of Martin Scorsese as executive producer.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012

Though not particularly original, Lymelife is well acted and smart, and the Martini brothers' work is worth following.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012
Paste Magazine

Martini coasts on ambience and good song choices (some associated with the films of his executive producer, Martin Scorsese) and rallies with a refreshingly ambiguous ending.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012
Time Out Chicago

Tthe third-act plot developments telegraph themselves well in advance.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The movie is an indie jewel; watch it shine.

Full Review… | May 11, 2012

The film was meant to be a tear-jerker, but the only tears I encountered were the ones that I was bored to.

Full Review… | June 26, 2011
7M Pictures

Like The Ice Storm, Martini's story climaxes with a devastating event, but whereas the earlier film's denouement had the force of tragedy, Lymelife's ending appears overly contrived.

Full Review… | March 10, 2011
Movie Talk

Boasting an outstanding ensemble cast, this small-budget indie is an at-times poignant tale of family life.

Full Review… | July 8, 2010
Empire Magazine

There's nothing remotely original about Derick Martini's saga of American suburban life in the late Seventies. It has all been done before - but Martini's first feature is so sharply written and well acted that it appears fresh as a daisy.

Full Review… | July 8, 2010
This is London

Derick Martini's first feature may inhabit similar territory to The Ice Storm and American Beauty, but it's not overshadowed by them.

Full Review… | July 8, 2010
Radio Times

While they may not claim the marquee power of Baldwin or Nixon, Culkin and Roberts bring Lymelife its best performances and help boost the film above the ranks of the ordinary, dysfunctional family tale.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Boxoffice Magazine

An attractive indie film package, but a desperately routine one that shock value cannot salvage.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Dark Horizons

Derick Martini's quirky, frustrating directorial debut seems to believe that a dystopian view of suburbia will suffice for a film, without the need of an engine to drive the story (or really any story at all).

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for Lymelife

Just a typical coming of age indie flick. It's got some great acting but the film lacks focus; it jumps around between too many conflicts without really having a story. There's also has an abrupt ending making it unsatisfying. With that said, I was never bored when watching the film probably due to the strong characterization. Nothing groundbreaking, worth watching, but it follows the same formula as most indie movies.

Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

In a 1970s bourgeois neighborhood a naive teenager copes with his father philandering and his mercurial love interest.
I think Flixster Super Reviewer Pamela De Graff said it best: "We've seen Lymelife's somber imputation in other movies about suburban values and relationships, Lymelife's is not a pensively warm-hearted slice of life, nor merely a bleakly cynical condemnation of the American dream. It's a reasoned, dryly tongue-in-cheek indictment of yuppie hypocrisies and contradictions."
And I liked the acting -- particularly by Keiran Culkin, who has grown up into a smarmy smart ass.
Overall, I think writing more would be redundant as I found De Graff's review to be spot on and more intelligently written than I can attempt here.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


The American Dream Sucks

Very good Film. Great acting and superb story, I quite enjoyed it alot. Emma Roberts continues to surprise me with such great energy and suave. I highly recommended because is in fact quite lifting and a great piece of cinema.

Set in the late 70's, seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen year old boy, SCOTT, "Lymelife" is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream. This funny, sad, violent and sometimes tragic look at first love, family dynamics and divorce weaves an intricate tapestry of American life during a time of drastic economic and emotional change.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


I really thought that this movie was excellent! Maybe partly because I was a teenager in the 70s, but mostly because it was very well done. Those two Culkin boys really are very good actors. I was rather amazed at how much I liked them. Very good drama!

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Lymelife Quotes

Charlie Bragg:
It's the bad kind.
– Submitted by Celine P (2 years ago)
Todd O'Leary:
– Submitted by Tyler S (3 years ago)
Scott Bartlett:
You know, you can always hear the train on Long Island, no matter how far away.
Adrianna Bragg:
What are you Walt Whitman now?
– Submitted by Tyler S (3 years ago)
Mickey Bartlett:
So... do you have syphilis?
– Submitted by Tyler S (3 years ago)

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