Pieces of April (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

Pieces of April (2003)



Critic Consensus: Pieces of April transcends its small-scale setting and budget with endearing performances, playful humor, and genuine sweetness, resulting in a touching holiday treat.

Movie Info

April Burns is a wild, 21-year-old young woman with a very big problem. Against her own better judgment, she's invited her estranged, straight laced family for Thanksgiving dinner. Her boyfriend, Bobby, wants to help, but she banishes him from the apartment while she attempts to cook the meal. To make matters worse, she then discovers that her oven doesn't work. So, while April is forced to ask her eccentric neighbors for help in cooking her fifteen pound turkey, the Burns Family begins a reluctant journey from suburban Pennsylvania toward New York City's Lower East Side. April's Dad, Jim Burns tries to convince the family that the day will be beautiful. However, her mom, Joy, has her doubts and freely voices them. April's teenage sister and brother are squeezed between Grandma Dottie, and a bag of snacks in the back seat, as the Burns' family car hurtles toward Manhattan--and what will most likely be disaster.more
Rating: PG-13 (for language, sensuality, drug content and images of nudity)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Peter Hedges
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 24, 2004
Box Office: $2.4M
United Artists - Official Site


Katie Holmes
as April Burns
Oliver Platt
as Jim Burns
Alison Pill
as Beth Burns
John Gallagher Jr.
as Timmy Burns
Alice Drummond
as Grandma Dottie
as Latrell
Vitali Baganov
as Half Asleep Man
Adrian Martinez
as Man in Mohair Sweate...
Jamari Richardson
as Boy on Bicycle
Leila Danette
as Woman in Stairwell
Stephen Chen
as Lee Loung Tan
Sally Leung Bayer
as Lee Quong Tan
Marcus Lovett
as Parade Announcer
Jack Chen
as Lee Quong
Rosa Luo
as Lee Wai Yam
Birdie M. Hale
as Woman Outside Bodega
Anney Giobbe
as Young Mother
Rusty Dewees
as Joy's Biker Guy
Vincent Roselli
as Timmy's Biker Guy
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Pieces of April

Critic Reviews for Pieces of April

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (39)

Laughter and poignancy go hand in hand in this DV debut whose comedy that may be standard, but never ceases to deliver sharp, dark laughs.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Pieces of April is built around the tired premise of a dysfunctional family's Thanksgiving get-together, but -- surprise -- it's fresh.

Full Review… | August 7, 2004
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Thought-provoking, engaging; mid-teens and older.

Full Review… | December 27, 2010
Common Sense Media

Peter Hedges sustains the idea this family's interactions have begun with bared teeth for years. If they can summon it, one comforting moment will have to do. At best, it's a ramshackle reconciliation of tough-minded emotion and well-earned laughter.

Full Review… | September 17, 2010

An entertaining character study with the holiday theme...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

April's cranberry sauce may be canned but the laughter and tears of an affecting, unsentimental coda are real.

Full Review… | November 24, 2008

Audience Reviews for Pieces of April


A one part great movie and one part bad movie. The storylines of Derek Luke and Katie Holmes are perfect and extremely well done, while the scenes with the family are the same cliche seen over and over. I think what also works extremely well is the cinematography and documentary look. It feels like you're living in this apartment building and taking a look at a real place rather than fiction. Overall, it works. It's just not as good as it theoretically could have been.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

I've wanted to see this movie for a while. It was definitely enjoyable. I'm starting to like these quirky, independent, true-to-life movies more than the big action blockbusters actually. You could feel the awkwardness of both sides of the family through the television.

Megan S

Super Reviewer

Katie Holmes was impressive. I love that Peter Hedges takes the simple event of Thanksgiving dinner and paints an extremely thorough picture of it. Quirky and delicious.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Pieces of April Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)

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