Undertow - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Undertow Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ November 23, 2008
Looked promising, but ultimately underwhelming. Also, Kristen Stewart is in this for about ten minutes, if that, so don't let that be a deciding factor in watching this!
The first few minutes seemed interesting and it had it's moments, including a small appearance by Shiri Appleby, but I just found it did not hold my attention particularly well.
Super Reviewer
July 8, 2009
Jamie Bell, Devon Alan, Dermot Mulrony, Josh Lucas, Kristen Stewart

"Can I carve my name in your face?"

David Gordon Green is surely becoming one of my favorite directors. I have read that they call his directing "Southern Gothic". I like it. His movie's are not predictable.
Undertow is set in the South of Georgia, and its a dramatic thriller about two brothers, Chris and Tom, who are on the run from their greedy Uncle Deel after the death of their father. It's really sad. The youngest brother is ill and likes to eat odd things like paint and mudd. On their journey they come in contact with some characters that help them on their way.
Really great performances from Devon Alan. He becomes the character, it's like he isn't even trying. Loved that, exspecially for him being so young. Jamie Bell is a favorite of mine. I thought he was amazing. Josh Lucas was really good. Seen a few of his movies lately and I really like his work acting.
Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2009
Heartbreaking yet very fulfilling in accomplishment.
Super Reviewer
February 16, 2009
Southern Gothic tale of a family in crisis. Jamie Bell plays Chris Munn, a volatile teen who runs away from home, bringing his sickly brother along. Deel Munn, the boys' uncle, pursues them. Why, is a question best left answered by watching the movie. However, the reason will be the only excitement you'll find in this rather uninteresting film. The random characters the boys meet along the way are a poor excuse for a plot. Two plusses: another great score by master composer Philip Glass and some stylish cinematography by Tim Orr.
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2007
David Gordon Green's stylistic but simple film is obviously highly influenced by Charles Laughton's "Night of the Hunter"

Surprisingly Josh Lucas turns in a descent performance too...which says a lot for DGG's abilities
Super Reviewer
February 24, 2008
I like David Gordon Green's style, but sometimes that style gets on my nerves. I like the atmosphere and the story, but the ending is a cop out.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2006
A riveting and exciting thriller. A great story and outstanding atmosphere. Chilling and outstanding. The most original and skillful thriller in years. It grabs you and dosent let go for an instant. Jamie Bell is magnificent. Josh Lucas is fantastic.
Super Reviewer
½ May 15, 2006
[font=Century Gothic]"Undertow" starts out with Chris(Jamie Bell) throwing a rock through a window; being chased over the countryside with a nail impaled in his foot and eventually being arrested. His father, John(Delmot Mulroney), is not pleased at this latest arrest, especially considering it is also the 10th birthday of Chris' younger brother, Tim(Devon Alan).(John moved his sons to an isolated farm following his wife's death.) One day, John's brother, Deel(Josh Lucas), arrives unannounced driving a hot rod, having just been released from prison. John is glad to see his brother because it means he will have an extra hand around the farm and to watch the boys.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Undertow" gets off to an awkward start but once Deel shows up on the scene and we learn some family history, much of John's overprotective behavior makes sense. But what follows is lacking in any kind of originality to say the least. David Gordon Green's strength is not in writing plots but in characterization and setting the scene as he also proved in his previous two features, "George Washington" and "All the Real Girls." The film has good performances, though.[/font]
Super Reviewer
August 22, 2010
Its a slow, dreamlike thriller that's brilliantly executed by David Gordon Green. The ambiguity of the ending is rather marvelous as well and Philip Glass produced a great score for the film.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2009
No Words!
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2012
For those who have seen "The Night Of The Hunter" "Undertow" pays homage to the former film. This film is a masterpiece. From the editing, the direction, the cinematography, the plot, to the poor rural landscapes of the south, "Undertow" all comes down to a shocking climax.

The plot: Chris (Jamie Bell) is a volatile teen who lives with his father, John (Dermot Mulroney), and his little brother, Tim (Devon Alan). After the death of Chris' mother, his reclusive father moved the family to a shack in backwoods Georgia, where they raise hogs. Tim has an unusual eating disorder. He is constantly making himself sick by eating things like dirt and paint. One day, John's estranged brother, Deel (Josh Lucas), gets out of prison and shows up on the farm. John is less than thrilled to see him, but agrees to let him stay with the family as long as Deel helps him look after his boys. Chris is drawn to his wild-man uncle, but it soon becomes clear that Deel has more on his mind than a family reunion. Greed and years of resentment lead to violence, and Chris finds himself on the run, towing his sickly brother along, with Deel in pursuit.

As I was watching this film I noticed the director David Gordon Green was going down the paths of raw bitter human emotions. As things began to be darker and darker, the characters is in conflict with a dangerous man (who happens to be their uncle or real father?) on the loose. I cringed each time I witness Josh Lucas as Deel who kinda reminded me of Kevin Costner in Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World". His performance I felt was the best and the most frightening. I also seemed to cared for the two brothers Chris and Tim and the problmatic situations those two were up against. "Undertow" is a great film and a film I could watch countless times. David Gordon Green is starting to mold himself into a serious filmmaker.
Super Reviewer
½ May 28, 2008
A really good exciting movie with excellent acting and directing.
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2009
Undertow was a good film with excellent acting and directing. An overall good film but not recommended for action or thriller fans, though. I could say, anyhow, that the film moved me a bit and kept me watching till the end; However, one thing that did disappoint me was the abrupt ending.
It was a low paced movie, with a short story, great development of characters and excellent performances. There were no big surprises along the story and in spite of the introduction of the film that it is based on a true event, it was oke. Great to watch.
Super Reviewer
July 9, 2008
Very interesting thriller. David Gordon Green's direction is effective and unique. I can't wait to see more of his work.
Super Reviewer
December 17, 2007
An interesting movie with a great story plot. This is about a young man and his little brother. They are running from their uncle with a bag of gold coins, and they've witnessed their father's murder at the hands of their own uncle. Jamie Bell stars alongside Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney. Great movie.
Super Reviewer
March 23, 2008
David Gordon Green?s third film, this got more mixed reviews than his first two, and for good reason. The film starts out as a look at a family, but after an out of place scene of violence, the film turns into something of homage to Night of the Hunter. I didn?t believe the motivations of the main characters, why they don?t just go to the police is something of a mystery. Here, Green embraces the film?s southern setting more than before, this is his first film that could be called ?southern gothic.? Green was clearly trying to depart from his normal style, but did sort of a half assed job of it. The film tries to be more of a narrative experience, but Green often falls back on his old Malick-esque style, I think it would have been better if he just stuck to his old style rather than making this mishmash. The editing is different at best, amateurish at worst. Tim Orr?s cinematography is as good as usual, but to what end. This film is an oddity and something of a mess. I?ll give it credit for not being predictable, but for the most part it?s a failure.
½ September 4, 2012
Part of the david gordon green repertoire before he became a comedy guy, this has a very distinct 70's style, with lots of zooms and freeze frames, and music similar to films at the time, which is very well done by phil glass, it starts out slow but gets better once the plot gets going, lucas and mulroney are good, bell could be annoying but stepped up when he had to, tho that lil kid pissed me off, his whole eating subplot was stupid and unnecessary, and im not sure how to interpret the ending but not a bad film overall
November 24, 2011
David Gordon Green is one of my favorite directors (at least his earlier films). Shocked it took me so long to see this film. Haunting, beautiful, flawless.
April 21, 2011
This movie can be best described as "southern gothic". It's quite stunning visually (you can almost feel the grit) and starts very promising, but as it moves along, the story becomes hard to follow and weirder by the minute.
April 11, 2011
I watched this immediately on the heels of Winter's Bone, in an effort to have a grim hillbilly double feature, and I was not disappointed at all.

A heart-breaking tale of two brother's who are driven to flight when their crazy uncle turns up and ruins their fairly normal lives, this has string performances throughout and comes highly recommended.

Give it a rental.
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