• PG-13, 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Drama, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Peter Hedges
    In Theaters:
    Oct 17, 2003 Wide
    On DVD:
    Feb 24, 2004
  • United Artists

Opening

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Pieces of April Reviews

Derek Adams
Time Out
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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 Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Pieces of April is built around the tired premise of a dysfunctional family's Thanksgiving get-together, but -- surprise -- it's fresh.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

August 7, 2004
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Longer on calculating sourness than on psychologically organic wit.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

February 5, 2004
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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It's in the cross-cutting between April's disaster-prone preparations and her family's turbulent journey that Hedges's movie finds its lively and likeable rhythm.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/5

November 14, 2003
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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This is one of those quietly wonderful films that really deserves an audience.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

November 11, 2003
Stephen Cole
Globe and Mail
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The film more than earns its heartwarming finale by virtue of the skilled performances of the leads.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 7, 2003
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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It looks like what it is: a movie shot quickly, with digital cameras and on the cheap, but with enough talent on screen to keep the audience engaged.

| Original Score: 3/5

November 6, 2003

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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November 1, 2003
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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A charmer of mild surprises, heartfelt laughs and genuine humanity.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 5/5

October 31, 2003
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Deftly captures the pressures that accompany holiday gatherings.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 31, 2003
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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The film grows on you, thanks to strong characters and the shrewd observational humor of writer-director Peter Hedges.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: A-

October 31, 2003
Tom Long
Detroit News
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A near-perfect holiday film about families and imperfection.

| Original Score: A-

October 31, 2003
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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While pleasant enough, Pieces is more a sweet snack than a feast.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 2/4

October 31, 2003
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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A movie that goes a long way toward proving that we all really can get along and that it's possible for a director to put a lump in our throats without making us feel like saps.

| Original Score: B+

October 31, 2003
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Too rare pleasure: an honest and sentimental journey.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 31, 2003
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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Few films manage to be this light and hopeful without being drop-dead dumb.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B

October 30, 2003
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Seamless blend of over-the-top farce with sincere drama.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

October 30, 2003
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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The film grows on you.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

October 24, 2003
Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
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Avoids sentimentality at every turn and truly earns both its laughs and its tears.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

October 24, 2003
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Despite its flaws, Pieces of April has a lot of joy and quirkiness; it's well-intentioned in its screwy way, with flashes of human insight, and actors who can take a moment and make it glow.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

October 24, 2003
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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A shell game that replaces the comedy of observation it sets out to be with glib one-liners, shallow characterizations, and a sweet but naive vision of racial harmony.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

October 24, 2003
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Pieces of April belongs, wholly and completely, to Clarkson, who delivers Joy's mordant asides and withering observations with a flawless balance of tartness and vulnerability.

October 24, 2003
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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This film explores what low-budget films do best: the quirkiness of character, and slightly off-kilter comedy.

October 24, 2003
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
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We leave grateful that the filmmaker has taken the time to bring out not only the best in his characters, but also the best in us.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

October 24, 2003
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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For a movie about community and forgiveness, family and grace, Pieces of April is refreshingly unsappy.

| Original Score: 3/4

October 23, 2003
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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Clarkson alone makes April a feast.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

October 23, 2003
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Hedges peppers it with enough wonderful moments that you can't help warming up to it.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

October 22, 2003
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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Economically paced and emotionally satisfying, Pieces of April is a good example of what small independent movies can do.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger

October 17, 2003
Megan Lehmann
New York Post
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Hedges has crafted a warmhearted holiday film that stands as a small classic in its bittersweet illustration of the unbreakable bond of family.

| Original Score: 3/4

October 17, 2003
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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A delightful, funny surprise.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

October 17, 2003
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
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[An] intelligent and touching farce.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

October 16, 2003
John Anderson
Newsday
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Funny-sober, high-brow situation comedy, about family, holidays and the perils of uncooked poultry, unpaid utility bills.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

October 16, 2003
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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An especially warm comedy with a hidden heart.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

October 16, 2003
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The setup is appealingly small-scale, yet the film's tone is one of fake intimacy -- shtick parading as quirky truth.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

October 16, 2003
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The ending of Pieces of April is conventional, but satisfying, and there's enough delightful weirdness up to the final moments that it's hard to fault Hedges for taking the easy way out.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

October 16, 2003
Dennis Lim
Village Voice
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A gluttonous buffet of Sundance clichés, with an acid-reflux aftertaste of condescension and unexamined racism.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 14, 2003
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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A playful comedy laced with heartbreak.

| Original Score: 3/4

October 9, 2003
David Rooney
Variety
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A Thanksgiving family reunion comedy that sparkles with acerbic wit, original characters and genuine heart.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 6, 2003
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
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It's juiced with recognizable family trauma and garnished with a quirky sensibility -- it's the portrait of a group of people we come to care about.

January 30, 2003
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