The Boys Are Back

2009, Comedy/Drama, 1h 44m

126 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Great performances by Clive Owen and The Boys save this melodrama from entering into the sappy territory it might have in less competent hands. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After the untimely passing of his second wife, Joe (Clive Owen) must deal with his grief as he strives to find a way to raise his sons alone. The boys, Artie and Harry, are trying to cope with their own emotional baggage, so the three decide to throw convention to the wind and live by the words "just say yes." When things go wrong, Joe must find a way to behave more like a parent while maintaining the joys of a more-carefree life.

Cast & Crew

Steven Robertson
School Housemaster
Allan Cubitt
Screenwriter
Peter Bennett-Jones
Executive Producer
Clive Owen
Executive Producer
David M. Thompson
Executive Producer
Jane Wright
Executive Producer
Greig Fraser
Cinematographer
Scott Gray
Film Editor
Melinda Doring
Production Design
Emily Seresin
Costume Designer
Janie Parker
Art Director
Glen W. Johnson
Set Decoration
Hal Lindes
Original Music
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News & Interviews for The Boys Are Back

Critic Reviews for The Boys Are Back

All Critics (126) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (92) | Rotten (34)

  • While not rising to the status of first rate, Boys Are Back is interesting and worth seeing.

    January 17, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Owen reveals a rarely glimpsed warmth and the father and son dynamic has charm, but sappiness keeps the film nice, rather than as good as it might have been.

    January 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Hicks's directing style is straightforward and unfussy - a description you could apply to this big-hearted film as a whole.

    January 22, 2010 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Aggressively life-affirming, unashamedly sentimental and tear-jerking with industrial efficiency.

    January 22, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • If you could order a heart-tugging movie about a widower single dad from the Boden catalogue, accessorised with emotional moments purchased online at johnlewis.com, it might look like this excruciatingly artificial and prettified film.

    January 22, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Hicks's hand with these relationships is more than sure enough to guide this unexpectedly observant movie over its occasional rough spots.

    January 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Boys Are Back

  • Feb 03, 2013
    Clive Owen is one of my favorite actors, and I've wanted to watch this for quite a while, just never had time and just kept passing it up. Finally got around to watching it and it's just ok. It's a drama about a sports journalist whose wife dies and he is left to raise their son, along with a son who decides to live with him from a previous marriage. Now he has to juggle his grief, his songs grief, his career, being a single dad, and life in general. The movie has some very touching scenes and sad situations. However, the movie is slow and the characters aren't developed enough that you really feel for them. I'm a sucker for movies where kids are heartbroken("Finding Neverland" or "Incredibly Loud and Extremely Loud"), but here the scenes where the boys have breakdowns didn't effect me much. Having said that, the acting is all very good, it's just the story and direction just didn't work all that great for me. It's worth a watch if you are in the mood for a decent drama, but otherwise just skip over it.
    Everett J Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2012
    Would earn a higher rating if not for the overly drawn-out and weepy first act - fair enough, the movie had to show us that the hero really loved his amazing wife so that, when she spoke to him from beyond the grave later on, (or seemed to), the viewer would care... but 30 minutes could have been 10 and the filmmaker could have gotten right down to it, and shown us what is really here: a story about a man emerging from his selfishness and facing what he's done wrong to become a good father again. With beautiful cinematography, excellent child acting, and a standout performance by Clive Owen, you'll be glad you stuck with it to the end, but yeesh, that first half-hour...
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Jun 28, 2011
    You know going into this it will be a sentimental movie - and it is! But sometimes these movies have there place and this one is done in a way that I enjoyed it.
    Thomas J Super Reviewer
  • May 01, 2011
    Good acting but slow and dull.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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