Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (19)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (14)
| Rotten (5)
The effect, in this case, is more audacious than convincing.
Ambitious but unrefined, Alex Pettyfer's directorial debut Back Roads is a raw movie overburdened by heavy-handed drama.
While Back Roads doesn't live up to its considerable dramatic and thematic ambitions, it provides a strong opportunity for its filmmaker/star to stretch his dramatic muscles in the lead role.
"Back Roads" is that peculiar kind of disappointment: a wreck about wreckage.
This is an accomplished debut from Pettyfer as a director, and it shows how interested he seems to be in the scarier byways of life, which seemed clear in his performance last year in The Strange Ones.
The morose, brooding film is certainly a change of pace for Pettyfer, but only a sporadically effective one.
A well-acted, mostly captivating, and wholly unpredictable noir, Back Roads is an impressive directorial debut for Pettyfer, who pulls double-duty in his strongest screen performance yet.
Dark and twisty indie drama.
Emotions run high but Back Roads shows a promising start for Alex Pettyfer's directorial career in his first opportunity behind the camera.
Although it tends to wallow in lurid melodrama, the film deserves credit for not softening its difficult subject matter.
Back Roads may ultimately work better as a book than a movie, but you can't accuse this cast and crew of mailing this movie in.
This was a big gamble for Pettyfer, who could have just coasted along in big budget films where actions often speak louder than the dialogue. His willingness to take a chance pays off.
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