Leaves of Grass


Leaves of Grass

Critics Consensus

Edward Norton delivers one of his finest performances in Leaves of Grass, but he's overpowered by the movie's many jarring tonal shifts.



Total Count: 38


Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,332
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Movie Info

When Ivy League classics professor Bill Kincaid receives news of the murder of his estranged identical twin brother, Brady in a pot deal gone bad, he leaves the world of Northeastern academia to travel back to his home state of Oklahoma. Upon arrival, he finds that reports of his brother's death are greatly exaggerated, and he's soon caught up in the dangerous and unpredictable world of drug commerce in the backwaters of the Southwest. In the process, he reconnects with his eccentric mother, meets a wise and educated young woman who has bypassed academia in favor of the gentler rhythms of life, and unwittingly helps his troubled brother settle a score with a pernicious drug lord who uses Tulsa's small Jewish community for cover.


Edward Norton
as Bill Kincaid/Brady Kincaid
Richard Dreyfuss
as Pug Rothbaum
Josh Pais
as Ken Feinman
Pruitt Taylor Vince
as Big Joe Sharpe
Lucy DeVito
as Anne Greenstein
Steve Earle
as Buddy Fuller
Amelia Campbell
as Maggie Harmon
Leo Fabian
as Waddell
Ty Burrell
as Professor Sorenson
Lee Wilkof
as Professor Levy
Lisa Benavides
as Suzie Feinman
Jenna Podell
as Staci Feinman
Henry Max Nelson
as Tommy Feinman
Ken Cheeseman
as Jimmy Fuller
Maggie Siff
as Rabbi Zimmerman
Tim Ware
as Minister Davies
Tim Fletcher
as TV Reporter
Robin McGee
as Salesman
Kent Jude Bernard
as Philosophy Student
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News & Interviews for Leaves of Grass

Critic Reviews for Leaves of Grass

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (15)

  • I could only bear 35 minutes, and I haven't walked out of anything since 'You, Me and Dupree.'

    Oct 31, 2012 | Full Review…
  • An offbeat thriller that is deepened -- rather than derailed -- by its tricky shift from darkly funny to just plain dark.

    Sep 28, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The mirror image gag is one of the oldest in the book, and yet, if done well, it never really gets old.

    Sep 17, 2010 | Full Review…
  • As a writer-director, Nelson keeps the laughs coming at a steady pace, and never condescends to his articulate redneck characters.

    Sep 17, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
  • Mr. Norton is a pleasure to watch, and so is everyone else.

    Sep 17, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • It's not the violence itself that bothers me, it's just that it completely destroys the tone of the movie.

    Apr 5, 2010

Audience Reviews for Leaves of Grass

  • Nov 29, 2015
    Starts out as a silly comedy than takes a disastrous turn about an hour in and crashes and burns.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2012
    Edward Norton is great in the two roles but the film is odd and full of tone changes. worth it for Nortons performance & some interesting support characters.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2012
    I'm a big Edward Norton fan. "American History X", "The Score", "Primal Fear" are all three great movies, anchored by Norton. Even his take on playing "The Hulk" was fantastic. However, even he doesn't make great movies every time out. "Leaves of Grass" is about twin brothers Bill and Brady(both played by Norton). Bill is an Ivy league professor ashamed of his past, not wanting anything to do with his brother, mother or anyone from Oklahoma(where he was from). Brady is still in Oklahoma and is a pot grower. Brady has a fiancee and a baby on the way and ends up in a jam involving a drug kingpin(Richard Dreyfuss). Needing help, Brady tricks his brother into returning home to get him out of his situation. Norton does great in the dueling roles. He uses a great southern accent for Brady, and u believe there really is two of them. The problem with the movie isn't really Nortons fault, it's more of the story/direction. The ending is kind of odd, and in my opinion, doesn't really fit with the rest of the movie. This could have been a really good comedy, instead it's just a less than average drama. Worth a watch if your a Norton fan, if not then you would probably be better off to skip it.
    Everett J Super Reviewer
  • Dec 05, 2011
    Boy, I'd imagine Eddy Norton has a bit of puff n stuff for breakfast, as we can tell from "Down in the Valley", because you'd have to be on some good ol' fashion cowboy hash to think that movie was a good idea. Yeah, I was thinking of using his three year relationship with Courtney Love as evidence too, but then my mental block of that swillfest of a film failed on me. No wonder he's into Asian stuff; they've got that there opium; and yet, there's even more evidence that Norton is hittin' the pipe, like his short-term memory clearly being shot, because he keeps forgetting that he already did the multi-personality role in his first film. Forget Hulk; it was only a matter of time before he just went ahead and played twins, but hey, he's still one of the greatest actors who ever lived, so I don't care if he plays the same role, or for that matter, a rhinoceros Barney ripoff-I mean Larry Flynt's lawyer-I mean a white supremist-I mean a safe cracker going undercover as a mentally disabled janitor-I mean Baldwin IV of Jerusalem. Wow, he's actually more diverse than I thought, but let's still retain hope that he gets out there and shows that off a bit more before people continue to not see his films and he has to resort to a new low, like being on some bad "ABC" sitcom like "Modern Fam... Okay, I better get off of his filmography before I find out even more painful truths, like him being in a terrible romantic drama about a cowboy randomly showing up in the suburbs to claim Marilyn Manson's wif-oh no, the mental block has failed again! Well, luckily, he'll always make up for that mistake by not only being one of the greatest actors ever, but also starring in one of the greatest films ever made, as well as a couple of other not too shabby films like this one, which isn't to say that this is as perfect as "Fight Club", because it certainly has its share of missteps. When I heard that this film had a budget of a mere $9 million, I felt a bit upset, because I'd figure a master actor like Ed Norton would be more valuable. Imagine my relief and further frustration when I found out that Norton clearly did cost a pretty penny, and in order to get him, they had to cut out some expenses, like an editor. No, I know that the film has an editor, but considering that Mr. Michelle Botticelli doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, he must not be a very popular, and that's understandable, considering that he just does not know when to cut, letting scenes and dialogue just drag on and on, leaving the film to get a bit dull from time to time. Well, I suppose that Botticelli isn't completely to blame, because director/writer Tim Blake Nelson is clearly a little too proud of his work and just doesn't know what to cut from the script. Of course, the problem with the way he writes and executes the script is not just in what he doesn't cut out, but what he does, in fact, cut out, such as tonal transitions, because when this thing goes from comedy to thriller, it just comes out of the left wing and you just don't see it coming, making it a touch hard to latch on the newly arriving tense aspects. Granted, the tone shifts aren't as offputting as everyone says, but the problem still stands, and it certainly doesn't help that when the film does get dark, it gets maybe a little too dark and disturbing. Yes, Blake Nelson makes his fair share of mistakes with this film, but really, in spite of it all, his film still comes out strong and enjoyable, partially because of the writing, flawed though, it may be. As much as I've complained about Tim Blake Nelson for not trimming down too much on the dialogue, it's hard to blame him, because he's written plenty of snappy, neat and charming lines to keep you going through the overdrawn scenes, which isn't to say that the film doesn't also get a push from an undeniably enjoyable country soundtrack. Still, what carries this film the most are the charismatic performers, from Keri Russell, to even Tim Blake Nelson himself. Still, it should come as no surprise that the far and away biggest standout is the lead, one of my all-time favorite actors, the great Edward Norton, who is virtually seamless as two entirely different people. It's not like most other dual performances, where it comes to you that this is the same guy; you know right out of the gate that Ed Norton is two different people, because he's so immersive in his transformation as either one of them. Now, I've been fighting for respect for my beloved home of Alabama, so it pains me to do this, but I have not choice but to take a step back in my protest and admit that some parts of Alabama, like the rest of the South, are more rural than other. I've yet to run into the racist, incestual drugee that everyone things most everyone of us are, but in certain parts, you couldn't throw a bottle of moonshine whiskey without hitting a thickly accented, good ol' fashion redneck, and as someone who's seen plenty of those people, I can proudly proclaim that Norton nails that character - accent, Southern charm and all - for the Brady character, while really getting Bill's struggles to escape his heritage by making him an entirely different person. However, both Bill and Brady share not only characteristics to allow you to see them as brothers, but an electrically compelling atmosphere that really tosses you onto both of them as leads, and if you see this film for no other reason, see it for yet another masterful performance by my man, good ol' Eddy Norton. In the end, the film often limps along, though not quite slowly enough to have time to set up proper transitions as the tone makes its eventual and very drastic shifts, but no matter how slow or inconsistent it is, you can always expect consistently sharp dialogue to keep you going, though not as much as the charming performers, especially leading "men" Edward Norton, who's masterful dual performance plays a key part in making "Leaves of Grass" the generally entertaining charmer that it is. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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