Handsome Harry

Critics Consensus

Handsome Harry offers more than enough of a satisfying actors' showcase for its impressively stocked cast to overcome a handful of storytelling struggles.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 392
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Movie Info

A man seeking to escape the past realizes that he'll first have to confront the present after receiving a desperate call from a friend on his deathbed. Harry Sweeny (Jamey Sheridan) is an aged but handsome divorcée with a grown son and a small business. He lives a comfortable life in a small town, where his main source of entertainment is stopping by the local diner to flirt with pretty waitress Muriel (Karen Young). But Harry's life hasn't always been this easy, and after getting a call from Tom Kelly (Steve Buscemi) he starts to remember why. Tom isn't long for this earth, and before he goes he seeks forgiveness from David Kagan, a fellow crewman that he and Harry knew from their Navy days. Unable to say no to an old friend, Harry sets out on a reluctant search for David, visiting old friends and drudging up painful memories in the process. Why does Tom feel like he needs David's forgiveness to pass on, and whose redemption is Harry searching for anyway? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Handsome Harry

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (11)

  • ... it's nice to see men even acknowledging the fact that they are no more impervious to the effects of time than women, and far preferable to watching actors seeming not to notice that their female costars are now young enough to be their granddaughters.

    Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Handsome Harry is a small film with more to say than its creaky exposition and formulaic plot would suggest. Frustration is perhaps the more appropriate critical response.

    Oct 29, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Sheridan (who also produced) is well cast as the good-looking, rugged Harry, and his performance is certainly adequate.

    Jul 7, 2010
  • Like any low-budget production, Handsome Harry has some shakily staged scenes and erratic acting, but it also has wonderful moments...

    May 27, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
  • David has honed this script for 30 years, and every word he utters is momentous. Handsome Harry transcends its somewhat melodramatic narrative.

    Apr 19, 2010 | Full Review…
  • Each of its miserable characters, especially Mr. Savage's Rheems, is a case study in a film that hits you like a strident polemical essay.

    Apr 16, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/5

Audience Reviews for Handsome Harry

  • Feb 06, 2012
    An interesting story. Acting is good, but the storyline isn't the most exciting. Decent, but seems to drag on, and on. Heavy-hearted ending.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 17, 2011
    Well into middle age, Harry Sweeney(Jamey Sheridan) is doing well for himself in his business as an electrician and has no plans to retire soon. Thomas Kelley(Steve Buscemi), an old pal from the navy who he has not talked to in 30 years, is not quite so lucky, as he lies dying in a hospital bed. Before he goes, he wants to apologize to a former crewmate, Kagan, of theirs who along with three others they brutally beat. But Kelley dies before he can locate him, leaving the task to Harry with a little help from Kelley's daughter(Emily Donahue) who provides him with her research. First stop, Peter Rheems(John Savage), another former crewmate. "Handsome Harry" is a low-key and meditative movie that is helped by a relaxed lead performance from Jamey Sheridan, along with a very good supporting cast that also includes Aidan Quinn, Campbell Scott and Titus Welliver. All of which is in the service of a story that seeks to explore the nature of forgiveness from an occasionally religious angle.(Harry confesses he wanted to be a priest at one point.) In short, are there some acts that cannot be forgiven? In any case, can we forgive ourselves or does guilt take over at some point? At one time, macho attitudes would not have allowed men to ask these questions of themselves but times are changing. So what may once have been impossible is now possible.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2010
    Interesting low key drama of a man in middle age forced to confront a shameful error in his distant past and try to make amends if possible. While it doesn't totally succeed and it's focus is sometimes off kilter the film still manages to entertain. Part of the reason why lies in the fact that for a small indie this has quite an impressive cast of higher profile quality actors, albeit that most appear briefly, than is usual in this type of film.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Sep 16, 2010
    Cast: Jamey Sheridan, Steve Buscemi, Mariann Mayberry, Aidan Quinn, John Savage, Campbell Scott, Titus Welliver, Karen Young, Bill Sage, Asher Grodman Director: Bette Gordon Summary: For many years, small-town resident Harry Sweeney (Jamey Sheridan) has avoided confronting painful memories from his past. But when his best friend becomes seriously ill, Harry builds up enough courage to explore long-hidden secrets and uncover his true identity. My Thoughts: "This is a slow burning film where the story unravels throughout the entirety of the film. The story is a bitter-sweet tale, some of it being of forbidden love and heart break, and the other of forgiveness for a horrendous act of violence. The ending is a quiet but heavy. Jamey Sheridan does great in this film. Definitely worth the watch."

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