Lebanon, Pa. - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Lebanon, Pa. Reviews

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½ February 8, 2014
ok lil com-dram indie
½ September 29, 2012
A thought-provoking indie flick about the choices we make in life and how we can always change our direction. Well-acted and directed, this movie is an enjoyable
change from fantastic action hero save the world Hollywood blockbusters, instead dealing with issues that everyday people really deal with in everyday life--something to which we can all relate.
April 18, 2012
I wanted it to be better.
Super Reviewer
April 3, 2012
I actually liked this nice, touching, thought provoking little film. Made me smile at the end, and I like when movies do that. I really liked the scene where they set the boat free. There was something very comforting about that. Maybe I should try it....
½ January 11, 2012
Well-paced, genuine, great balance of bittersweet. Earnest, but has its edges, too. All players hit it right (except CJ's Dad). Well done.
½ January 11, 2012
awful, inaccurate (EVERYTHING about Lebanon, PA is wrong), boring, terribly acted, apparently every Christian (at at least Catholic) in Lebanon is a bigot and a moron, and truly, this movie just sucked. A train wreck from start to finish. I want my 100 minutes back. UGH.
½ September 4, 2011
3.5/5 Stars; it has a Juno-ish feel only more indie and less clever. Nice performances, three dimensional characters, and the fact that it is set in small town Pennsylvania vaults it a bit for me.
August 22, 2011
well-done small key story - characters are really drawn with deep meaning
August 22, 2011
A mildly preachy, slightly provocative film that unfolds in Pennsylvania ... one of the most politically diverse states in the union. The central character, Will (a nice dramatic turn from "Cougar Town's" Josh Hopkins), hails from Philadelphia (a blue mecca) and returns home to the rural burg of Lebanon (a red haven) to bury his father. While in town for the burial, Will meets his teenage cousin who reveals to him that she is pregnant. As she has applied for college in the fall, she hasn't decided what she is going to do about the pregnancy. After her boyfriend finds out she is with child, he abandons her and makes her believe it was all her doing. This hot button issue isn't perhaps the best storyline for a film as politics are generally handled, watched and discussed in the privacy of one's own home. I did appreciate how neither side is painted as monsters and the decision isn't ever treated lightly; but ... again, this is supposed to be a movie. While some drama is true-to-life, I like there to be some escapist elements in my film that I watch. I don't want a moral conundrum placed before me as I chow down on popcorn ... can we say out of touch? Not once does this film take a Bible and slap one alongside the face which is what happens to some of the preachy, message-movies I have come across ... and I appreciated that. Perhaps that is why the film takes place in Lebanon ... looking at a map one can see that the filmmakers literally had hundreds of small towns to chose from; but by chosing a town sharing a name with a typically tyrannized nation (for NO reason as a large portion of Lebanese follow the same religion as those casting judgement upon them) the filmmakers might have been making another offhand statement. This wasn't BAD and I have seen worse; but it isn't worthy of my recommendation, either.
August 22, 2011
Film is truth weekly list
July 31, 2011
"Lebanon, Pa." does not stand for Lebanon, Palestine, in fact it has nothing to do with it at all! I should have known better, after all it is an American indie flick. Using the usual ingredients of the genre "Lebanon, Pa." does not disappoint, but neither does it surprise. Other than with its title, that is!
½ July 9, 2011
If they really wanted to make an accurate movie about Lebanon, PA they should have cast a lot more Puerto Ricans. I find it ironic that this entire movie is all about values and morals, when nobody in Lebanon has any. This movie should be about driving around and smoking shitty weed. More Ghetto Mobil on 12th street please!!
LWOODS04
Super Reviewer
½ July 7, 2011
Cast: Josh Hopkins, Samantha Mathis, Mary Beth Hurt, Rachel Kitson, Ian Merrill Peakes

Director: Ben Hickernell

Summary: Urbane Philadelphia ad man Will (Josh Hopkins) heads to small-town Lebanon for his father's funeral, and the road leads not only to closure but to a revelation when the 35-year-old meets his precocious teenage cousin, CJ (Rachel Kitson), and her winsome teacher, Vicki (Samantha Mathis). As his friendship with CJ deepens and his warmth for the married Vicki grows, Will comes to realize that life can't always be summed up in a catchphrase.

My Thoughts: "The film was OK. The story is one we've seen before. I didn't like the camera work at all. There was too many very close, close ups. I also didn't like how half of the faces were sometimes on the screen or not at all. Besides that, I did find CJ's story the most interesting. I thought Rachel Kitson portrayed her character CJ very honestly. Her story in the film is quite heart breaking. Not everyone is going to like the outcome of her story. Will is trying to grieve a father he really didn't know because he was brought up to hate him by his mother. The scene with them at the cemetery was pivotal for Will. He gets to confront her and she comes off a bit selfish and only worried about herself and still not owning what she did to her son. I thought Josh Hopkins did a good job in his role. Not the best indie film I have seen, but surely not the worse one either."
½ July 3, 2011
acting is really bad and the story cliche as hell. I know it's low bud but it doesn't have to be utterly cliche.
½ June 22, 2011
A decent engagement of the secular and the sacred. Natives of Lancaster County, Pa will get a kick out of the many inside jokes.
May 30, 2011
Fantastic flick. Very real life story that portrays situations with no easy answers. Great acting as well; could easily relate to all the characters.
May 20, 2011
Not one likable character and 100 minutes of an agenda being pushed with bad writing and worse editing. Not worth it.
May 14, 2011
Excellent quiet film; well-written, acted, directed.
May 8, 2011
Ben Hickernell, the writer and director, has done an excellent job of exploring the anxieties and fears of a teen age high school student who has become pregnent. The character development is well done and the conclusion of the film has left us thinking about an important problem facing many of our young people. The filming and editing is interesting and keeps the film moving at a rapid pace. An important film about an important subject.
May 1, 2011
This has been a few years in the making (I watched a few scenes being filmed what seems like eons ago), and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Great, nuanced performances by the whole cast, it's beautifully shot in Philly and Lebanon, and there's a terrific score by Matt Pond PA. I'm very proud and happy for my friend Ben and his terrific movie. See this!
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