Bringing Up Bobby - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Bringing Up Bobby Reviews

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March 14, 2016
This film doesn't seem to be very popular, but I really enjoyed it. Cartoonish on the surface, it's really quite moving in the end. Excellent performances, well-written and directed. Visually attractive, and surprisingly thoughtful. I think that female-focused films will always have a harder time critically, plus this is a Eurocentric view of America which probably didn't go down too well in the heartland.
March 9, 2016
Dramatic story of a mother who must decide what is best for her child. Well-acted, but familiar plot.
February 13, 2015
I kept wondering where it was going, and it ended before it really came to a conclusion. I looked at the screen and thought "Oh wow, that would be dumb if this is where it ends" and then the credits rolled. I only watched it because it took place in my home state, where good people quote the bible and bad people smoke weed and live in train cars. Bobby was pretty unlikable and he didn't really grow much, and by the time some growth happened with Olive, the movie was over. Oh well.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2014
Many questions arise from watching "Bringing Up Bobby". First of which, why did actress Famke Janssen decide to write, direct, and produce this film as her first directorial venture? A somewhat successful actress in her own right, you would assume either this was a passion project of hers or something she felt very strongly about. But the premise of the film sees a European ex-con artist, trying to raise her son while on the run in the United States. Stated on Wikipedia, the idea was inspired by her own perceptions of the United States, after moving here from the Netherlands in 1984, but why it is handled in such a haphazard and non-cohesive way is still up for question. Another question arises of why Milla Jovovich, another somewhat successful actress, would sign on to star as the lead in this film? Having been born in the Soviet Union, you would also imagine she could pull off a Russian accent, but unfortunately, she cannot, as it comes off muddled and over exaggerated. The biggest flaw of the film is the lack of empathy created for any of the paper-thin characters, as they are all unlikeable in one way or another. With no real direction to speak of, you have to wonder where this came from and who it was meant for. Why some actors decide to become directors is beyond me, but with a first showing like this, there is no where to go but up.
February 17, 2014
Monday, February 17, 2014

(2012) Bringing Up Bobby

Co-written by actress Famke Janson, directed and starring Milla Jovovich as single mother Olive an Ukrainian woman who's trying to raise her 11 year old son Bobby right, who she'll probably won't get any 'mother of the year' awards since she lies, cheats and steals during her stay as an American citizen. And because the movie is about 11 year old Bobby, it shows him to be a total douche as both their worlds come for the turn for the worst as she gets arrested. Resorting her to give up custody to a wealthy family (Bill Pullman and Marcia Cross) who has coincidently had just lost their own son. And once Olive is let out, her son Bobby resorts back to his bad behaviour again. Strictly-by-the-book plot with nothing people can't come up with by themselves. And I also have to say that it's hard to sympathize with characters who initially act like a couple of self indulgent douches.

2 out of 4 stars
Super Reviewer
January 19, 2014
In "Bringing Up Bobby," Olive(Milla Jovovich) has just stolen a car but will have to wait to a few days for payment from her friend and fence, Walt(Rory Cochrane). In the meantime, she meets with every religious person in Oklahoma while her son Bobby(Spencer List) struggles in school. So, she makes a deal with him to raise his grades, just before tragedy strikes...

With the exception of Bill Pullman's easygoing charm as its sole saving grace, "Bringing Up Bobby" is a slapdash and amateurish movie. Otherwise, the performances mostly consist of cartoon accents which is a shame because Milla Jovovich proved she can act when she held her own previously in "Stone" with Edward Norton and Robert De Niro. With "Bringing up Bobby," the contrived story has little going beneath its rough surface in taking so much time in exploring how bad a mother Olive is when in fact it could have gotten quite a bit darker in exploring her questionable motivations.
½ November 27, 2013
. . .a film that succeeds to be transitional. It has a fine mixture of humor, simplistic lightness and sentimentality. Besides, its lead Milla Jovovich demonstrates an admirably different performance that we rarely see from the character that she plays in most of her films. All-in-all, it's a nice film although it could've been a little better.
June 20, 2013
This movie gets an A from me for the morality it upholds and portrays. We learn it is wrong to steal and lie. Valuable information for many of todays kids who think nothing of doing either. Milla Jovovich plays a foreign mother who comes to America, and tries to raise her kid alone, teaching him to lie and cheat like she does. The boy becomes almost unmanageable, gets hit by a car driven by a wealthy man (Bill Pulllman). I wish Bill had been given more leeway to give some life into his character. His acting was not his best, which was a huge disappointment since I ordinarily like him a lot. In the end Bill and his wife adopt the angry little boy, and the mother goes to prison. I liked this movie, and think every wayward child should see it.
April 17, 2013
Having fallen in love with Milla Jovovich in the 1990's classic sci fi film 'The fifth Element', I was very keen to see her new film 'Bring up Bobby'. This film is about as far away from the aforementioned as is possible, it is the story of a Mother and her son, alone in the world, making ends meet by means not always in line with the law. Olive is a young single mother from Eastern Europe who finds herself living in Oklahoma more by luck than judgement? Her son Bobby played brilliantly by 'Spencer List' is a mischievous young chap who seems to be following his mothers behaviour a little too closely. All changes when Bobby is hit by a car whilst he is out on his skateboard. The film is an unusual tale, featuring people whose paths wouldn't normally cross, and when they do they lead to life changing decisions.

We really enjoyed the film, it's very funny in places and also very sad in others. Like life really. It's directed by first time director Famke Janssen of 'X-Men' fame.

Having watched the film it also made me want to see 'The Fifth Element' again so I can fall in love with Liloo all over again!
February 21, 2013
i have no idea what fake janssen wanted to work out of her system with this movie, but in any case: it did NOT work out. i have no idea where to start. this was the worst film ive seen in a very long time.
Super Reviewer
½ February 2, 2013
"Bringing Up Bobby was really bad. I just could not get into it. I like Bill Pullman and he gives a solid performance. But man Milla Jovovich was so bad in this. I was surprised at how annoyed I was with her performance and her character. Rory Cochrane was bad as well as was his character. The little boy gave a good performance though.
The story is about a mother who came to America looking for a better future for her and for her son. But instead of a better future she has turned to a life of conning and stealing. This eventually lands her in Prison and her son off and adopted by a man who accidently hit her son with his car.
That right there says enough about this film. Not seeing this again obviously."
January 7, 2013
Almost completely predictable. This film might have been able to be something but everything was so surface-level. I fell asleep before the end.
½ November 30, 2012
The story of a con woman scared straight for the sake of her child.
½ October 31, 2012
This was a really great little movie. I recommend it.
½ September 17, 2012
one of the best acting by milla jovovich
½ September 7, 2012
I seen this film at a early screening festival its Horrible!
½ September 3, 2012
Good Flick. Funny at first....sad later. Loved the Preacher--Tommy Lee jones
½ July 29, 2012
I had the honor of sitting in the row adjacent to Famke Janssen at the Omaha Film Festival, looking forward to seeing what she brought to the table as a writer/director. Oh, crap.

Milla Jovovich's performance is not bad at all, in my opinion, but Bill Pullman is a different story. Part of his problem is a script that has him blurting out awkward lines in a so-so Oklahoma accent (in particular, the line "Try this on for size" sounded almost sexual, and not in any good way.) Spencer List plays a mostly annoying little dink, but when he's not getting in trouble, he's acting like a weirdo (no kid I know ever actually shouts "Yippee!", even if most of his upbringing has revolved around old-timey cinema.) Rory Cochrane is OK, but occasionally suffers from the awkward dialogue himself, but gets some leeway from me because his character is rarely supposed to be sober anyway. Pullman was given no such luxury.

The story was OK, immigrant con-artist single mother wants to live out the American Dream, then finds out that's hard to do when you have stereotypical bible-thumping neighbors, I guess. Bill Pullman hits the kid with his car but unfortunately does not back up and do it again, instead he decides that this wholly unappealing child is exactly what he and his wife need to fill the void in their life left by their own deceased child. A lot of this feels fairly predictable as you sit and watch, but there is a momentary twist towards the end that works fairly well. Maybe a little bit too happy of an ending, but ambiguous enough to make you not 100% sure. God, I hope they weren't thinking sequel.

Janssen was also nice enough to share a story about getting Cat Stevens' personal OK to use his music in a particular scene; all in all, she was an extremely cool guest and I can appreciate her feeling very close to this story, Famke being a native of the Netherlands (go ahead, say it: "I'd like to visit her netherlands, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN" :| oh my) who came to America to build a career and such, but I doubt her actual experience was this chock-full of 1-dimensional characters who can't converse like normal human beings. Then again, Hollywood. . .anyway, my point is, for a writing/directorial debut, it's average, particularly the writing. I've forgotten most of the technical aspects of this movie, but as it's a family drama with occasional attempts at comedy, they're not going to wow you with special effects. I give it 50%, in part because I did get the chance to hear the director give everyone in attendance an extra bit of insight as to her motivations for this project. It's not great, but I hope she tries directing again.
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