You Can Count On Me - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

You Can Count On Me Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ October 17, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
April 29, 2011
I can feel the title emanating off of every move Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo make.
Super Reviewer
October 19, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
September 13, 2010
I was eager to see this one since about half year or so & was finally able to catch it last night. Unfortunately, it turned out to be just an about-average drama, and I surely was counting on more than that from it.
Super Reviewer
June 3, 2010
Took me a little bit to get into the film, but it did win me over. Very nice little movie.
Super Reviewer
January 3, 2010
CAST: Laura Linney, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin, Matthew Broderick, Jon Tenney, Josh Lucas

DIRECTED BY: Kenneth Lonergan

SUMMARY: Single mom Sammy Prescott (Laura Linney) is already preoccupied with raising her son (Rory Culkin), who's become sullen -- and curious about his missing dad -- when her wayward brother, Terry (Mark Ruffalo), appears, instantly bonding with the boy and instigating a perilous father-son reunion. Meanwhile, Sammy is embroiled in a half-hearted affair with her new boss (Matthew Broderick).

MY THOUGHTS: "I think the thing that had me so interested and glued to the movie was how honest both characters were, how real Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo made their characters, and that they're characters people can relate to. Good story that doesn't hang on the past. Just a well acted honest story of two siblings trying to make it with what life has dealt them. Rory Culkin did great in this movie as well. I loved it, and definitely recommend it."
Super Reviewer
½ April 27, 2008
The direction doesn't work throughout the whole film, but in few scattered moments...The writing is great, though... The main reason this picture works are the performances by Laura Linney (amazing in everything she does) and Mark Ruffalo (always underrated). Matthew Broderick was good and Rory Culkin showed great talent that'll hopefully be polished over the years. Funny and heartbreaking, all in one.
Super Reviewer
½ September 10, 2007
Funny, witty, and real.
Super Reviewer
½ November 14, 2007
This is what movies should strive to be, especially American ones: authentic. Watching You Can Count On Me was the first time in a long while that I forgot I was watching a movie and simply let it wash over me, taking in the characters and the situations. This movie feels just like real life - it's a shame if that doesn't register as high praise for you, but for something to so effortlessly encapsulate the ups and downs and triumphs and failures that we feel as humans really meant a lot to me.

Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are perfect in this beautiful offering to cinema.
Super Reviewer
½ February 13, 2007
Another one I didn't think I would like but I did. It was hard not to get into a movie that had such realistic, endearing characters. I guess I related to thier weird-ass relationships. Very cute movie, although I kind of felt sorry for Rory Culkin's character.
Nate Z.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2006
[font=Arial][color=darkred]Kenneth Lonergan has had quite an up and down year. He started the year co-writing the atrocious 'What Planet Are You From?' and writing 'The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle' to ending it with the character ensemble piece that ran away with an armful of awards at Sundance. Lonergan uses subtle moves to create a vivid mosaic of small town America and family relationships with 'You Can Count on Me'.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]In film, quite often do we see the relationships of sisters or brothers (maybe too often). Rarely, though, do we see a thorough drama hinged upon the relationship of a brother and sister. Both torn by their genders yet always drawn together. You may kid, and get angry, but when danger arises you will always come to the defense of your sibling. It's this seperational friction yet togetherness that creates the brother-sister bond.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are brother and sister who years ago lost their parents to a horrible automobile accident when they were young. Forced with the battle of growing up with grief, each goes their seperate way. Ruffalo is branded the "difficult" rebelious one, yet deep down he knows that his publically deified sister is just as much the rebel. Linney is a single mother dealing with the pressures of raising her son (a Culkin kid) and working in her town's bank branch headed by her new boss (Matthew Broderick). Her brother reappears in her life suddenly and the two learn a little form each other. With her brother she can rely on someone else to watch her child and experiences another flash of the mischief that she had to forfeit from her childhood in order to raise her younger brother. Ruffalo provides he male figure her son is lacking and begins to shed the boy's overprotection and opens him up to the world. One experiences responsibility, one experiences release - but do eaither learn? That is a good question.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Lonergan crafts a subtle texture that allows his characters to breathe and grow, but not necesarrily learn. His modest character driven picture may make you think of Made for TV but its a slice of life that's immersable. It's hard to find a film that is subtle, at its own pace, and restrained when it needs to be.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Linney is fantastic as the sister that breaks loose and winds up sleeping with her boss with reckless childish rebellion. Her performance is an Oscar nomination lock as her character runs the emotional gambit. Ruffalo is amazing and establishes himself as one to surely look out for. his mannerisms and expressions are wonderful and his demeanor is reminscent of Marlon Brando.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]'You Can Count On Me' is a wonderfully affecting story about people who are more complicated then simple plot synopsis will allow. Lonergan has crafted something of an anomally in modern cinema: a film that takes its time, doesn't answer any questions, but makes us feel all the more better after seeing it.[/color][/font]

[font=Arial][color=darkred]Nate's Grade: B+ [/color][/font]
Super Reviewer
May 1, 2010
The title suggests a kind of sappy movie of the week type story, but it is anything but that. Kenneth Lonergan put together a completely believable story and the performances of Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney are really quite remarkable. The ending doesn't stray into the kind of false sentimentality I thought it was going to, but rather embraces the uncertainty of the future.
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2008
A great story that flows naturally. It's not dry and numbing, which movies of this type run the risk of. Great performances and writing. I kind of felt that the movie was sided towards Mark's character, but that could have just been me getting defensive.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2012
Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo are what make "You Can Count On Me" such an enjoyable movie. There is great chemistry between the two and their performances really enhance and deepen their characters. Kenneth Lonergan's direction isn't very impressive and his script isn't perfect, but there are moments of greatness in between moments of mediocrity. The end result is a film that is well-meaning and slightly sappy, but not maudlin or overly sentimental. It is designed to be a tear-jerker, yes, but because of Lonergan's subtle approach, it works better than most.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2010
A simple, low-budget film that succeeds because of a good script and good performances.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2008
Laura Linney and Marc Ruffalo are amazing in this movie.
Super Reviewer
½ August 27, 2008
Indie poetry,crafting melodrama,no sobbing pragmatism,just pure emotion.The screenplay is a diamond and Linney is supreme.
Super Reviewer
½ February 24, 2007
amazing film and very touching also.
July 18, 2012
One of the best movies of 2000 and maybe of all time. Also, one of the best indies out there about brother-sister relationship that Hollywood never tries to made since this film released. Linney and Ruffalo are rewarding for their great performances. No fictional setup, just pure reality filmmaking at it's best!
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