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You Can Count On Me (2000)



Average Rating: 8.1/10
Reviews Counted: 101
Fresh: 96 | Rotten: 5

You Can Count On Me may look like it belongs on the small screen, but the movie surprises with its simple yet affecting story. Beautifully acted and crafted, the movie will simply draw you in.


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 2

You Can Count On Me may look like it belongs on the small screen, but the movie surprises with its simple yet affecting story. Beautifully acted and crafted, the movie will simply draw you in.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 9,501

My Rating

Movie Info

Kenneth Lonergan, the co-screenwriter for Analyze This (1999), makes his directorial debut with this sensitive portrait of a pair of grown siblings. Sammy and Terry Prescott (Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo) were orphaned as children after their parents were killed in a car accident. Since then, the two have taken drastically divergent paths. Sammy is a single mother who leads a quiet, stable life in a small town in upstate New York. A fiercely protective mother, she shields her young son Rudy



Jun 26, 2001


Paramount Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (120) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (96) | Rotten (5) | DVD (14)

The key to Lonergan's success? He has faith in the intelligence of his audience. It's that simple -- and encouraging.

December 22, 2000 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I never thought I would say this, but I am starting to think that Laura Linney may, in fact, be a very good actress.

December 22, 2000
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This funny and involving film presents its well-drawn characters to us pretty much the way we would encounter them in life.

December 22, 2000 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The characters in You Can Count on Me have been freed from the formulas of fiction and set loose to live lives where they screw up, learn from their mistakes and bumble hopefully into the future.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This feature debute, which gives good name to American indie cinema, is worth revisiting on DVD for the performances of Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney.

May 17, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

well structured without resorting to flashbacks

May 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

A score of Bach's unaccompanied cello suites befits siblings accustomed to solitude - passages of mourning and joy given life by characters with proper proportions of antagonism and affection. Unresolved yet complete, it's about replacing fear with truth.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source:

The lead characters are extremely well played by Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo. Yet above all it is Kenneth Lonergan's writing and direction that left the biggest mark.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Stylized showmen do Rain Man and Forrest Gump, but it takes a natural actor like Ruffalo to pull off this strange beauty.

November 16, 2009 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Linney and Ruffalo's rapport is warm but raw and unsentimental, capturing the unconditional tough love dynamic that can only exist between siblings.

November 9, 2009 Full Review Source:

A quiet, amazingly sharp character study.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Lonergan avoids the faults of many American storytellers by refusing to cast characters in a judgmental light, giving each enough dignity to be convincing and sympathetic.

January 15, 2005 Full Review Source: Looking Closer | Comment (1)
Looking Closer

It is a rarity to find a film willing to tell a story through an exploration of the relationship, the romance, between a brother and a sister.

July 13, 2004 Full Review Source:

You won't meet a nicer dysfunctional family all year.

March 13, 2003 Full Review Source: RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)

The best domestic comedy-drama in ages, a genuine American beauty without all the flash of American Beauty.

January 10, 2003 Full Review Source: Nick's Flick Picks
Nick's Flick Picks

A spare [but witty] rumination on the interconnectedness of independent life and dependent family -- how we all need a place to drop anchor and exhale.

August 27, 2002 Full Review Source: Entertainment Today
Entertainment Today

Unconditional love is a beautiful theory, Lonergan suggests, but putting it into practice can be exasperating.

June 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

...feels as natural as a conversation between two people who have known each other their whole lives. One of the year's best.

May 25, 2002 Full Review Source:

This film offers a literate script and is sensitively directed, it's a brilliant debut as a director for playwright Kenneth Lonergan.

April 21, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

It compares poorly to stuff like Five Easy Pieces.

March 5, 2002 Full Review Source:

There was an emotional reality that I admired.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies
Goatdog's Movies

It is a simple, low-budget film that succeeds because of a great script and good performances.

September 20, 2001 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

La película está tan maravillosamente bien escrita y narrada, que al salir de la sala se respira un aire de esperanza...

September 5, 2001

Some of its best moments are so painfully familiar that their overall theatricality is easily forgiven.

May 2, 2001 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Audience Reviews for You Can Count On Me

Crazy that this film is 11 years old. I enjoyed it and it was great to see all these actors in this film. It was touching and real. It's a movie everyday people can relate to; feeling lost in life and still managing to go through everyday finding a way to try and make it better anyway possible.
October 17, 2011

Super Reviewer

A troubled traveler lives with his sister, who is a single mom struggling with bad relationships.
This is a subtle, deft character study that features strong performances by the two leads. Laura Linney's trademark awkward strength -- exhibited here by her clearing a nightstand, everything crashing to the floor, then silently wondering if she did it correctly -- is on full display as well as her moments of giddiness, similar to the staircase celebration in Love Actually. Mark Ruffalo plays the troubled rebel well.
I did think the film's pacing was too slow at points. And there are some moments in the narration when I wondered if the film had a thematic purpose. It doesn't; we just get to know some people during the film's two hours. An example of the film's stuttered narration: I didn't see the motive for Sammy to bring in the priest to talk to her brother, and the first scene had very little to do with the rest of the film.
Overall, it's great to see a good character study, but a well-constructed story following it is missing from this relatively strong film.
September 4, 2011
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

I can feel the title emanating off of every move Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo make.
April 29, 2011

Super Reviewer

I saw a little of this film, and found myself drawn in by it's realness and well portrayed characters by Mark Ruffalo, Laura Linney, and Rory Culkinof the talented Culkin clan.
It centers around a brother and sister who were orphaned as children due to the death of their parents in a car accident. The sister grows to become a single mother living in the very same Catskill town raising an 8 year old son. When her brother who just seems to float around arrives for a visit, things come to the surface of the sleepy town of Scottsville New York for better or worse depending on the viewpoint or timing.
Terry(Ruffalo) bonds with Rudy(Culkin), and wants to give him a broader perspective that he lacks in his small-town childhood by showing and telling him things that have been lost to his fathertless existence.
Simplicity is really what makes this film work because there are no big bugdget Hollywood effects. The film's wheels turn with no more than an apt score and some fine acting revealing characters like those you may know in your very life.
October 19, 2010

Super Reviewer

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