The River Why (2010) - Rotten Tomatoes

The River Why (2010)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Matt Leutwyler directs this adaptation of David James Duncan's novel surrounding a young man's (Zach Gilford) search for a rainbow trout. William Hurt co-stars as the man's father, while Amber Heard fills the role of the character's tomboy love interest. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovimore
Rating: PG-13 (for some sensuality/partial nudity)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Thomas A. Cohen, John Jay Osborn Jr., Charles Mastropietro
On DVD: Nov 8, 2011
Image Entertainment - Official Site


William Devane
as Dutch Hines
Nikki Deloach
as Young Ma
Alex Hurt
as Young H2O
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The River Why

Critic Reviews for The River Why

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | October 20, 2010
Top Critic

The River Why suffers from a pervasive lack of authenticity that inevitably (and ultimately) renders its few positive attributes moot...

Full Review… | November 10, 2011
Reel Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for The River Why

I can handle slow moving movies, but this one went nowhere. If you are the outdoors type, this may appeal to you for the river scenes. For those who would actually like at least some kind of a plot or storyline, this will bore you to sleep. It almost did me in...not terrible, just super slow, and uneventful.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


"I like the actors Zach Gilford, William Hurt, and Amber Heard. BUT this film did neither justice and I am having such a hard time understanding why they would take on such a boring plain film. It has absolutely nothing happening. The story is snooze worthy. I only picked because of the three actors I mentioned above, but I'm starting to rethink that whole idea of watching a movie just because you like the actor/acress. I can't for the life of me think of anything positive to say about the film other then if you like fishing, this might be a movie you can relate to or enjoy possibly."


Super Reviewer


A young man leaves his family to fish and pursue a woman.
This film immediately reminded me of A River Runs through It because both concern a transcendence one might feel from fishing, but whereas Robert Redford's film focuses on an entire family dynamic, the family issues are thinly developed and tangential to the protagonist trying to "discover himself." Obviously, fishing is central to this discovery, but equally important are the "uncatchable girl" and the dime store philosophy dispensed by his friend.
The film's weaknesses are fairly obvious, the undeveloped family dynamic (the great William Hurt is sorely under-used) and the pedestrian nature of the philosophical discussions, which the director probably thought wouldn't play well in film (an insult to the audience's intelligence). What comes instead of developing these elements are shots of nature being beautiful and Gus being wistful -- weak choices both. It's possible that these elements were fully explored in the book, which would imply that the source material might just not be filmable.
But I can't deny that the film had an effect on me. There is something oddly romantic about fishing as it is portrayed in this film and Redford's, but of course in reality the bugs and the dirtiness of the water and the hours of inaction would take all the romance away.
Overall, this film is for fishing aficionados, those who can, with the film, celebrate in the beauty of their sport and don't need to have a solid, well-constructed story to move the film along.

Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

The River Why Quotes

– Submitted by Frances H (22 months ago)

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