Ben is Back (2018) - Rotten Tomatoes

Ben is Back (2018)

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Movie Info

19 year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben's mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe. Ben is Back also stars Courtney B. Vance (The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and Kathryn Newton (Lady Bird).

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Critic Reviews for Ben is Back

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (4)

While Hedges' script gets a bit too convoluted in the second half, I appreciated the direct storytelling that simply allows Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges to deliver.

September 11, 2018 | Full Review…

The film is aware of the weight of its subject but loathe to behave like an "important" film - focusing instead on the specificity of one sick young man and the family that loves and fears him in almost equal measure.

September 9, 2018 | Full Review…

Most movies are focused directly on the present moment, following along with a story as it unfolds, but "Ben Is Back" is different, creating the sense that the lives of each of its richly shaded characters continues even when she or he is not on-screen.

September 9, 2018 | Full Review…

Always underplayed, but never more than a millisecond from losing his grip, Hedges' performance exists in the narrow space between coming back for a day, and being gone forever.

September 9, 2018 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Though featuring terrific performances from Hedges and Roberts, the film doesn't have enough juice to pull it over the finish line without sacrificing its intended audience.

September 14, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

There is an immensely likeable film about the power of togetherness and a mother's attempt to keep her son from relapsing. Then there is a cartoonish thriller with messages that contradict what came before. It makes for a highly uneven final product.

September 13, 2018 | Full Review…

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