Drunkboat (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Drunkboat (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Drunkboat tells the story of a young teenager, Abe (Jacob Zachar) who manipulates the unsuspecting help of his alcoholic uncle (John Malkovich) to buy a boat (a Drunkboat) from a con man (John Goodman) when his mother (Dana Delaney) is out of town. The story resonates with the struggle of Uncle Mort, making the story much deeper than a simple tale of a boy and his boat. Both the uncle and Abe come of age in the story. -- (C) Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Drunkboat

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (5)

"Drunkboat" might have come off via nothing more than acting ability and a good heart, if the dialogue didn't amount mostly to aimless chit-chat.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

The burnished smear of Lisa Rinzler's photography is a plus, but "Drunkboat" is ultimately the kind of pet project that never traverses from personal to powerful.

Full Review… | July 13, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Though studied and grating at times, "Drunkboat" does sustain a distinct, odd tone. Like its characters it's dreamily restless and prey to its own quixotic ideas.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

This enigmatic coming-of-age movie often seems destined to sail off the deep end. Yet it rights itself just often enough to keep you watching.

July 12, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

[An] incoherent drama.

Full Review… | July 10, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

A passion project ill suited to cinematic adaptation, or at least sludgy, unresolved, mannered and grating in its realized incarnation.

Full Review… | July 30, 2012

Audience Reviews for Drunkboat


Unfortunately, spectacular acting by John Malkovich can't save this film from itself and its hackneyed plot; there are some great moments but as a whole, it just didn't hold my interest, and I couldn't invest in the adolescent protagonist or his mother. No stakes - a wasted performance.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

Drunkboat has been a long time coming. But at long last this poignant and moving film has finally seen the light of day. And while there are those who have obviously already had their say with this indie flick, one can't help but wonder if those critics were watching the same movie. Drunkboat is one of the year's top indie flicks. It has proven with its story and the acting of stars John Goodman and John Malkovich that indie flicks can be and are just as enjoyable and noteworthy as any film released by the major studios. The story behind this movie centers on Mort Gleason (John Malkovich). Mort is a recovering alcoholic who is trying to get his life back on track. The thing of it is that he still faces adversity as neither his (seeming) sister believes in him at first. Nor does her son, Abe (Jacob Zachar). Abe is a typical teenage boy. He thinks he knows everything. And thanks to Abe's plot to buy a boat from the unscrupulous Mr. Fletcher (John Goodman), Abe almost loses his way as he attempts to recover from his past. This is where things get just a tiny bit dicey. One can't help but scratch one's head in bewilderment at Abe's plan. Abe could have done any number of plans. But buying a boat just seems odd. But perhaps that could have been part of his character. Abe was just a teenager. So he was just doing something dumb and thoughtless like any other teenager. It doesn't have to make sense, as little of what the teenage mind does makes much sense. So keeping this in mind, those critics who have panned the movie for this quirkiness would be well served to go back and watch it again. Perhaps understanding this would give said critics a different view of things. The movie's central plot is really underrated. It obviously hasn't gotten the credit which it deserves. Malkovich's portrayal of mort is expert to say the least. It's his acting that anchors (no pun intended) this story. The irony is that while it's his acting that anchors the movie, John Goodman is billed as one of the movie's stars. The reality is that as amazing an actor as Goodman is, he's more or less just a supporting actor to Malkovich. In his own right though, Goodman's acting is equally impressive. It gives Malkovich something off of which he can bounce his lines and character. The pair is seen together in one scene near the story's end. But that one scene is powerful in itself. Thanks to Mr. Fletcher tempting Mort with alcohol and Abe verbally abusing him, audiences see Mort at his weakest and most innocent moment. It makes him a fully sympathetic character for audiences. And it makes Mr. Fletcher that much more despicable of a human being. This scene is not one of those over the top moments either. It's just enough to keep audiences watching to see what will happen. And it will make the movie's final moments all the more moving. Drunkboat clocks in at just under two hours. In that time, Mort's attempt to get his life back on track will keep audiences watching without even once checking the time. Malkovich's portrayal of Mort will make any viewer want to cheer for him as he shows that he is really making an attempt to get his life right. The relationship that he builds with Abe makes the story even more powerful. While other critics have obviously had their say on this work, those who go into this movie with an open mind will hopefully see it for the moving story that it is and that it truly is just as good as any film made by any major studio. It's proof that even in the twenty-first century, indie flicks are just as valid as anything else that's out there.

Philip S
Philip S

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