The Last Song


The Last Song

Critics Consensus

As shamelessly manipulative as any Nicholas Sparks production, The Last Song is done no favors by its miscast and overmatched star, Miley Cyrus.



Total Count: 118


Audience Score

User Ratings: 160,776
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Movie Info

Based on best-selling novelist Nicholas Sparks' forthcoming novel, "The Last Song" is set in a small Southern beach town where an estranged father gets a chance to spend the summer with his reluctant teenaged daughter, who'd rather be home in New York. He tries to reconnect with her through the only thing they have in common -- music -- in a story of family, friendship, secrets and salvation, along with first loves and second chances.

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Miley Cyrus
as Ronnie Miller
Greg Kinnear
as Steve Miller
Bobby Coleman
as Jonah Miller
Liam Hemsworth
as Will Blakelee
Kate Vernon
as Susan Blakelee
Nick Searcy
as Tom Blakelee
Lance E. Nichols
as Pastor Harris
Stephanie Leigh
as Megan Blakelee
Phil Parham
as Megan's Husband
Anthony Paderewski
as Security Guard
April Moore
as Firefighter at Church
Todd Smith
as Firefighter at Church
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News & Interviews for The Last Song

Critic Reviews for The Last Song

All Critics (118) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (94)

  • Here's the revelation: Miley Cyrus is a really interesting movie star in the making, with an intriguing echo-of-foghorn speaking voice, and a scuffed-up tomboyish physicality (in the Kristen Stewart mode) that sets her apart from daintier girls.

    Sep 7, 2011 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • The "last song"? In all conscience, that should really have been Billy Ray's Achy Breaky Heart in a brooding minor key. You'll feel the ache and hear the break.

    Apr 30, 2010 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Anyone but Cyrus fans will find this one of the more inferior Sparks adaptations -- and yes, that includes Nights in Rodanthe.

    Apr 29, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    Anna Smith

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • 'Clunky, one paced and mostly off key' not only describes Hemsworth's intentionally bad singing in The Last Song but also the film.

    Apr 18, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • It's like Dante and Beatrice all over again, with the Georgia coast standing in for Paradise.

    Apr 2, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Sadly, without a single note of originality, Last Song is an awfully long and tiresome tune.

    Apr 2, 2010 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Last Song

  • May 02, 2013
    "I can't believe you love me, I never thought you'd come! I guess I misjudged love between a father and his son!" Man, the '90s was a mediocre decade, but the veterans still had some good tunes, at least early on, so here's to Elton John, and here's to this at least being one of Miley Cyrus' last songs, or, if you will, projects (I said about a film that came out three years ago and has since been followed by further expansion in Cyrus' overblown career), because, seriously, I can't take much more of this girl, even if she is starting to look pretty good, at least when she's not pulling a Kristen Stewart-style scowl, like the one she has throughout every third scene of this film. Man, Cyrus is ripping off Gwen Stefani's looks nowadays, Kristen Stewart's facial expressions for this film, and has been ripping off any given generic, female neo-pop, neo-rock, neo-country or neo-whatever musician since her career began, so maybe she just needs to get better influences, or at least get in better films, because, yeah, this film isn't really working all that well. Hey, at least something reasonably commendable came out of this production, and that is, of course, Miley Cyrus getting a future husband (Seriously, how long have they been engaged now?) who is just perfect for her, what with his being someone who could understand being stuck between two worlds. I'm sorry if this sounds lame, but where Cyrus is juggling her secret Hanna Montana alter ego, Thor here keeps getting tossed back and forth between Earth and Asgard. Oh no, wait, I'm sorry, this is just Chris Hemsworth's less handsome and less talented brother, Liam (Granted, he's more charming and flawless with an American accent than they say, but he's still not as cool as his brother), which isn't to say that Chris could do much to help this film achieve decency, which can't even be saved by what few commendable notes there are in this mediocre effort. If nothing else can be said about Nicholas Sparks films, they're usually reasonably pretty, with this film being no exception, or at least not at moments, as averageness looms over most moments in John Lindley's and the great Seamus McGarvey's photographic efforts, which nevertheless still have their moments - ostensibly when Lindley steps aside and lets, McGarvey, the better cinematographer, really get things done - of tasteful coloring, or at least fine framing that gives you a fine view of this film's environment, which may very well be more commendable than this film's cinematography. Like plenty of other beach-tastic Nick Sparks novel adaptations, this film pays quite a bit of attention to its setting, making sure that it attracts your attention by being tasteful with location selections in order to deliver on a setting that is rich, but restrained enough have some degree of immersive. Sure, only so much can be done to enforce aesthetic engagement value when you're dealing with a film this engaging in the storytelling departments, but the fact is that if this film succeeds at nothing else, it's establishing a warm environment that deserves to back the atmosphere in the better film that director Julie Anne Robinson desperately wishes this project was. Yeah, there's quite a bit of laziness behind this effort, but it means well, and while such ambition is hardly enough to grace this film with, at the very least, general decency, it sparks some degree of charm, which is mild, but gives certain beats a little pinch of entertainment value. Make no mistake, the film is a mess, but I find hating it something of a challenge, no matter how sloppy it gets, partially thanks to the aforementioned mild degree of charm of ambition, or, rather, desperation, and largely thanks to, well, to be blunt, its being too bland to be bad. The film is what it is, no more, no less, and while I find such middling quality rather annoying, it is there at the end of the day, being hardly thrilling enough to craft a likable final product, but also hardly frustating enough to fully dismiss as bad. That being said, while the film has its pretty moments, charming occasions and series of spells that are too bland to be bad, the fact of the matter is that this film is every bit as not likable as it is not dislikable, being still too damaged to escape mediocrity. At just under 110 minutes, the film isn't exactly sprawling, and yet, it's still overlong, going ever so blandly bloated with excess material that gradually develoves into repetition, maybe even monotony, and that gives you plenty of time to meditate upon just how thin this film's plot concept actually is, because if you've ever heard of a Nicholas Sparks story being aimless and barely existant, son, you haven't seen anything yet. Very, very little happens throughout the course of this film, which relies too heavily on filler to gain its length, and that would be more forgivable if it wasn't for the fact that this film could have relatively easily substituted much aimless filler with genuine substance, maybe not to where the final product comes out feeling like it has all that much of a plot, but decidedly to where things would be more fleshed out, rather than crowbarred in, such as development, for although there's not too much to say about this film's characters, they're considerably undercooked, and often rather uneven, lacking organic layers and depth that would have made them adequately engaging, or at least slightly more likable. Okay, maybe you get used to the characters after a while, but too many components to this character piece fall flat as barely, if at all all that likable, and for this, blame has to be directed toward thin characterization that repels you from our leads, though not quite as much as the all-out cheesy spots, which range from histrionics to, yes, even musical touches. Now, I'm not saying that this film's soundtrack is bad, but it stars Miley Cyrus, reflecting some pretty questionable musical tastes by the filmmakers who, of course, make things all the worse by turning in many a tune that could be a little worse, but is nonetheless disconcertingly cheesy when it's not something played entirely on the piano (You've got to love a piano, even when it's a "just kind of there" plot aspect), though neither as considerable or as recurring as the cheesiness within the script by Jeff Van Wie and, wouldn't you know it, Nicholas Sparks himself, who isn't exactly helping his non-readers' theory that much of the quality in his other writing efforts gets lost in translation to film, turning in many a lame moment of comic relief, even more lame moments in dialogue, and an abundance of melodrama. Granted, there's not a whole lot of story to melodramatize here, but when something actually happens, histrionics are hot on its trails, and probably as serious as they've ever been in a Sparks film, manufacturing dramatic happenings and characterization - such as it is - in a fall-flat fashion that ranges from offputting to just plain laughably impossible to buy, and gets worse and worse as the film progresses, slam-banging conflicts and resolutions into things in a desperate attempt at drawing some intrigue out of nothingness. The film isn't so manipulative that it's exhaustingly frustrating, but when it pokes at you, it firmly prods, and, yeah, I must admit, with a relatively more genuine, if still a little over the top subplot involving Greg Kinnear in the latter acts, that works sometimes, but on the whole, dramatic efforts are not just lazy, but trite. Needless to say, through all of the moments of narrative lapse and moments in which narrative gets dragged through the mud that is cheesiness, there is at least one consistent attribute: genericism, and a serious case of it, which leaves only so many stones unturned when it comes to films of this type, and makes the final product neither anything short of or anything more than conventional. Sure, genericism this intense isn't enough to destroy a film like this, but it certainly does a whole lot of damage, especially when backed by a plot this thin and dramatics this manufactured, and while only blandness comes from this film's issues, there aren't enough strengths to counteract mediocrity, thus leaving you with a film that may be too bland to be bad, but is still too lazy to be all that memorable. At the end of this little tune, you're left walking away having faced some pretty visuals, - spawned from decent cinematography and location selections - as well as a mild degree of charm of desperation and, yes, blandness that is too middling for the final product to descend into the state of being just plain bad, which isn't to say that the film isn't brought to the borders of bad by the blandly bloated, paper-thin plotting, underdeveloped and uneven characterization, and overbearing histrionics, made all the worse by profound genericism, that make "The Last Song" a mediocre half-effort that could be worse, but could very much be better. 2/5 - Weak
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 24, 2012
    There are two reasons this movie is going to be loved by every teenage girl in the world. 1. They think the main guy in this is hot. 2. The movie plays out the romance that they post about on Facebook, but they'll never get to experience. In The Last Song Miley Cyrus spends time with her brother and dad on her father's beach house after their parent's divorce. She finds love and that's the story. The biggest problem with the movie right away is that Cyrus just isn't likable. She treats everyone around her like crap and she does nothing but whine about having to spend time on a beach house. Trust me, she's not the only unlikable character. Her brother is a bad acting child actor whose dialogue consists of stuff Michelle Tanner from Full House would say, her dad is just some guy, and Cyrus's boyfriend (Liam Hemsworth) is just a generic "that guy" with no personality. The movie is also incredibly predictable. Every time there's a dialogue scene, I was able to guess what cheesy line would be spilled out, every time there was a romance scene, I could tell what move Hemsworth would pull on Cyrus. I didn't like the acting either. Cyrus spends most of the movie bitching and in the scenes where her character is suppose to be happy, she still looks like she's about to start pouting. Hemsworth was really wooden in his role and brought nothing to the character. Another really dumb thing about the movie is the turtle hatching scene. Some of the scenes have Cyrus caring over turtle eggs and half of the movie builds up to them hatching. There are two problems with that scenario: 1. Why would you build up something as simple as turtle hatching? 2. If you're going to build up to a scene, make it last more than 30 seconds. I'm not kidding, the turtles hatching doesn't last long because it's replaced with another stupid story arc concerning the dad. By the end of the movie, I didn't even care what had happened. There wasn't any flow to the story, the characters were boring, the plot was cliche, the dialogue was hammy and the acting was pathetic. The only purpose this movie served was making money and trying to pass off as an unofficial sequel to The Notebook.
    Tyler R Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2012
    It is a funny way to create a movie. "Lets write a movie as a vehicle for Miley Cyrus to initiate her adult acting career". Nevertheless it is good fodder if you are a romantic -- what does it say in the summary? "...first loves and second chances".
    Red L Super Reviewer
  • Dec 02, 2011
    A cheesy and boring romance, but a lot of woman will leave satisfied, not dragged along men.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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