Ethan Mao (2004)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

The product of a dysfunctional family takes unusual revenge on his parents in this drama. Ethan Mao (Jun Hee Lee) is a teenager living in a Los Angeles suburb with his straight-laced father (Raymond Ma), his new stepmother (Julia Nickson), his younger brother (David Tran), and his angry stepbrother (Kevin Kleinberg). Ethan has accepted his own homosexuality, but his father is not so understanding, and when he catches Ethan with a gay magazine, the youngster finds himself thrown out of the house. Ethan starts supporting himself as a street hustler, and moves in with Remigio (Jerry Hernandez), a drug dealer who develops a strong friendship with Ethan. On Thanksgiving Day, when his family is away, Ethan decides to break into his old house and recover a necklace that belonged to his late mother. Remigio decides to tag along, but before they can leave with the jewelry, the family unexpectedly comes home early. An argument breaks out and Remigio pulls a gun; moments later, Ethan and his friend are holding his mother and father hostage. Ethan Mao is the third feature from independent Asian-American filmmaker Quentin Lee.
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Gay & Lesbian
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Raymond Ma
as Abraham
Mary Gilbert
as Mrs. Harvisham
David Tran
as Noel Mao
Erik Robinson
as Rich Man
Jun Hee Lee
as Ethan Mao
Rene DeLeon
as Teenage Boy
Dana Pan
as Ethan's Mom
Jayne Taini
as Waitress
Michael Mesirow
as Sheriff Black
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Critic Reviews for Ethan Mao

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (8)

Messy admixtures of drama and mockery crucially undermine pic's serious message.

Full Review… | August 11, 2005
Variety
Top Critic

It builds tension gradually but surely to an exceptionally strong payoff.

Full Review… | August 11, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Nobody onscreen seems to realize that this deadeningly self-serious treatment of family dysfunction is so overwrought that it becomes a spot-on satire of low-budget ineptitude.

August 11, 2005
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Overly ambitious in its themes and crude in its execution.

July 15, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Awkward dialogue, amateurist acting and uninspired direction.

June 17, 2005
New York Post
Top Critic

Even allowing for the burdens of low-budget filmmaking, Ethan Mao is little more than a revenge fantasy for anyone whose parents ever gave him or her a hard time.

Full Review… | June 16, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ethan Mao

Okay, so I'm behind, but catching up. Luckily, though, I caught this film after searching through gay themed thriller type movies, and had just about given up on anything worth turning the tv on for. For those critics that call it a B movie, well duh, it wasn't meant for wide release, but to tell a story, which it did in a very nice way. Sure, some dialogue burps, but overall well done for the fresh group of actors involved to tell this dysfunctional family story. Caught me very nicely by surprise! Well done.

mikel yates
mikel yates
½

In my opinion, this is an excellent drama about human relationships. It is typically categorized as a "Gay Movie" but the gay element is not really primary in this film. Much the same story could have been told if Ethan had been kicked out for drug use or religious views and had met a girl on the streets. The power of the story is in its exploration of character, relationship, and family. The script and direction are very good. The acting by its small cast is excellent. I would recommend it to anyone.

David Duncan
David Duncan
½

WOW, RT CRITICS! IT IS HARDLY THAT BAD! I AM MUCH MORE IN AGREEANCE WITH IMDB ON THIS ONE. IT IS FLAWED - THE ACTING CAN BE AMATEURISH AT TIMES, AND THE "IS IT REALLY HAPPENING? GOT A BIT OLD. BUT, CONSIDERING THE BUDGET, THEY DID A GOOD JOB. IT WAS SUSPENSEFULD INTERESTING.

James Higgins
James Higgins

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