In Country (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

In Country (1989)

In Country (1989)

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Critic Consensus: With a slow build to a dramatic conclusion, In Country benefits largely from its strong acting, particularly by Emily Lloyd in the lead role.

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Movie Info

Norman Jewison directed this subdued character study of the effect of the Vietnam War on a small-town Kentucky family -- based on the novel by Bobbi Ann Mason. The film centers upon 17-year-old Samantha (Emily Lloyd) who lives in Hopewell, Kentucky with her Uncle Emmett (Bruce Willis), a quiet, laid-back veteran of Vietnam suffering from post-traumatic stress. Samantha's father was killed in Vietnam when he was 19-years-old (almost her age now), and her mother Irene (Joan Allen) has remarried. Samantha finds some old photographs of her father, and she becomes obsessed with finding out more about him. Irene, who has moved to Lexington with her second husband, wants Samantha to move in with them and go to college. But Samantha would rather stay with Uncle Emmett and try to find out more about her father. Her mother is no help, as she tells Samantha, "Honey, I married him four weeks before he left for the war. He was 19. I hardly even remember him." Finally Samantha, Emmett and her grandmother (Peggy Rea) go to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Finding her father's name in the memorial releases cathartic emotions in Samantha and her family.

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Cast

Emily Lloyd
as Samantha Hughes
Bruce Willis
as Emmett Smith
Peggy Rea
as Mamaw
Ken Jenkins
as Jim Holly
Joe Ross
as Principal
Mike Smith
as Veteran at dance
Aaron Michael Lacey
as Billy Knight
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Critic Reviews for In Country

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (11)

There's a decency about this movie that's almost palpable. It's not trying to pump us up with false jingoism or the sins of the past. Jewison, a Canadian, probably approaches the entire subject with a mediatory mood.

May 7, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

In essence, In Country is a well-turned variation on the quest to find a father that shows up in the folk tales of almost any culture.

May 7, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The scene at the memorial is one of the film's best, but director Jewison fails to find in it anything close to the level of emotional force that the same scene in Mason's book has.

May 7, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

This is no tribute to the war dead, but an unthinking betrayal of them -- they've been drafted again, this time to supply a climax to a second-rate tearjerker.

May 7, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Sounds like your basic TV movie, sunk by noble intentions. But here well meaning translates into well done.

September 16, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Norman Jewison usually is a commanding storyteller, but In Country is a film with two stories that fail to add up to something greater.

September 16, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for In Country

Not particularly good. Not the worst film, and to be honest, the last few minutes of this when they visit the Vietnam memorial are great. However, the rest of the movie feels really disjointed and confused. If the director was trying to do this deliberately to try and capture the characters' emotions, I would understand and appreciate it. But it's not done deliberately, it's just clumsy as hell. That being said, this is far from the worst war movie out there, it's just nothing special.

Stephen Skudlarek
Stephen Skudlarek

Super Reviewer

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