Mean Dreams - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mean Dreams Reviews

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½ October 13, 2017
Mean Dreams not only has a great cast as also counts with a thrilling and breathless plot, a sharp story and a unnerving soundtrack. Mean Dreams is probably one of the best movies of 2017. It mixes unpredictability with wit and with a powerful realistic story, having the capatity to teletransport the spectator to the action scenes making him living them, that was what I was feeling while watching it.
August 14, 2017
People can be divided into two neat categories: a) evil people, people of action, who take what they want; and b) good people, people who mind their own business, keep their heads down and go about their business. Is it possible to break that mould, asks Mean Dreams, and be both a man of action, and virtuous?

Marvelously acted by Paxton, & two young 'uns, Mean Dreams is an exploration well worth your time.
½ August 7, 2017
Sometimes you just want to see a story about what grandpa called in the last century "no-count low-lifes," similar to today's 21st century rural Red Staters. After all, that's how JLaw arrived on the Big Time screen. This time its Josh Wiggins, what Hillary Swank's son would've looked & been like had she had one. The flick is slow, picking-up now & again. But it holds interest. The problem is that by the end there are way too many loose ends and - in the current "cool" (not) of leaving things hanging - they stay that way. This flick keeps gen'ing more questions than it can answer. Had the pace been picked-up a bit, there might've been time to tie a few; but no ... Still, it's good to catch a rural "no-count low-life" movie where, and this is a plus, one of those no-counts is a bad cop who ... no, that'd be a spoiler. There's another a loose end that remains untied. What the heck DID happen when you hear those gun shots from under the tarp? We'll never know.
½ June 26, 2017
An opportunity came their way for an unplanned venture.

As far I know, there's a thin difference between Canadian films and the US. Just like the Hong Kong's Cantonese and the Chinese Mandarin films are. They exchange starts and crews, but most of the Canadian film I've seen were French language. Those English films are not as popular as the Hollywood's on the world stage. Lots of good films go unnoticed like the recent film 'The Confirmation' I reviewed a few months ago. If this same film were made in Hollywood, would have been considered an average. But for the Canadian standards, I mean they usually won't make the big budget fancy films, hence it is so much better.

This is a coming-of-age thriller drama. Revolves around two teenagers as they run away with a bag full of cash from their parents. It all begins with a girl, who arrive in a small town with her father. Soon she makes a friend with her neighbour boy. His parents are neglect kind when it comes to him, and her father is an alcoholic, abuser, as well as a dirty cop. One day her father comes standing between them, that's the opportunity they were looking for to run away, since being with their parents has not been any good. But her father is not in the mood to let them go as his money was involved. So the running and chasing game begins.

You might say, you have seen this story in all the similar themed films, no matter its Hollywood, European or the Korean. That's what I thought too, but still it is a very good film. I'm not expecting it to impress you as well. If it does, then that's great. But it all depends on your taste in films, quantity of films you watch regularly and most importantly your expectation from it. It was like another 'Cop Car', but there's no car involved in the core of the plot. It's all about the money and the mad-cop father. It looked kind of western style, or the tale that very much suitable for the humid California settings.

?It's no ocean, but it's ours.?

In this, it was always cloudy, wet and chilling moisture atmosphere where all the chase takes place. The great locations that avoids to get in any major town/city. Other than 3-4 main cast, there's no one else. Because most of the scenes are between the boy and the girl and sometimes her cop father in isolated places. There's a dog in the film, but not focused enough to classify it as a dog film from one of the angles. The pace of the narration was so fast with not too long or very short overall runtime. It had many twists and turns, yet definitely you would predict most of them.

Nice performances, by both the youngsters. As usual Bill Paxton nailed it in his negative role. It was one of his final films before his death early this year. It was a small appearance, but a prominent role that I surely would remember it for him. I was not anticipating anything extraordinary. But when I learnt about its synopsis, I thought I understood everything about the story there itself. Though watching it in the film was a different experience and one of the reason was, it is a different cast and atmospheric setting.

I felt they should have improvised in some of the parts, but at the end I'm satisfied being what it is. Especially in the initial stage, the intro was so simple and skips fast to the next stage. I did not fully understand any of the characters about their earlier life events to the point where this story commenced. But going forward, I started to have an idea, seeing how the tale has progressed. That really helped to come to the point directly.

There are no smart scenes like the film characters to take measures to counter the threats in a fancy way. That's done mainly to impress the viewers. This screenplay tried to be realistic as much as possible, but there's a couple of scenes that could only work in cinematic. I think that's sometimes necessary for a film. After all it is a film and made for entertainment purpose, not a documentary feature. But overall film was much better with enough tense moments and interesting developments. Lots of good films released in the last 12 months and this is not one of them, but considering it is from Canada, surely it is. Because I've already given the reason for that in the very first paragraph. So thumbs up for it from my side.

June 15, 2017
Good movie start to finish. Excellent acting.
½ June 3, 2017
The only thing good in this movie is Bill Paxton, of course, a character actor who can play anybody. But everything else.. I mean what does this film teach? Rebellion for the sake of rebellion? You can pry in other people's lives just because you are not satisfied with yours? (the boy) Or the final scene: kill and then with a smile embark in the new life ahead of you, for nobody will punish you, sometimes it's good to kill a father. Right? The ending is awful and leaves you astonished. New Wave cinema, no less.
June 2, 2017
Pretty good flick, halfway predictable and could have used a better ending.
½ May 21, 2017
Nathan Morlando's "Mean Dreams" may use a time-honored premise - young lovers on the lam (see: "Badlands") - but it does so with such quiet, gently appealing assurance that it makes the template seem fresh again.
May 14, 2017
Bill Paxton elevates this movie past just okay to good. It falls apart a little at the end but not too much to hurt the overall tension that is built up beforehand.
½ April 24, 2017
It's sometimes illogical, and sometimes has iffy dialogue, and sometimes feels too much like someone trying to shoot like Terence Malick, but... I still liked it. The performances were compelling, Paxton is great with what could've been a one-note character, and it was emotionally engaging.
April 18, 2017
It's a story that has a lot of ideas but never really follows through on the promise to be more. Bill Paxton was creepy in an awesome way but the character fell short of the actor. Honestly it felt more like a Law and Order episode then a full feature movie.
½ April 15, 2017
Wow, watching this was like watching grass grow: Even though the acting is outstanding and it has the right story, it is so slow-paced and for the better part of it unexciting that I found myself in constant struggle over my patience. Paxton was someone who kept being interesting throughout the whole movie but this wasn't enough, and overall I found myself disappointed.
½ April 10, 2017
Mean Dreams: In his final starring film role, the late Bill Paxton plays a corrupt rural cop and abusive father, whose ill-gotten drug money ends up in the hands of the teenage farm boy next door, who, along with the cash, seizes the opportunity to run off with Paxton's daughter and start a new life. While the art house film doesn't forge any new ground, it's a well done, realistic portrait of rural desolation and life on the run and features solid acting by its promising young leads Josh Wiggins (Max) and Sophie NÚlisse (The Book Thief). It's also a sad reminder of the talent the acting world has lost with Paxton's sudden death in 2017. B
April 8, 2017
Very disappointing movie. Save your money and time.
½ April 2, 2017
A beautiful, dangerous picture of rural America.
½ March 26, 2017
The best part of this film is the performance by Bill Paxton, sadly one of his final ones. He really does embody the depth of Caraway's abusive, corrupt nature.

But there are some rather beautiful scenes between the two young stars (a new boy in town who meets the girl next door) as their relationship develops. A moment that stands out for me in the film is at a time when the truth about Casey's family life (Caraway's daughter) is beginning to surface. They stand looking at the horizon, dreaming about what it means to escape their past and to live for a different future. They feel stuck, and what this brings to mind for her in this moment is a longing for the ocean for the sea. This is where she is able to gain perspective, as stuck in the mud of her home life, she admits that although she can still see, she can't quite see far enough.

And this is really the trajectory of the narrative, that pushes us towards some complicated choices and decisions on the part of the young stars. Underlying all of this are questions of forgiveness, of letting go of the past, of confronting fears. And by the end they are faced with the toughest question of all, one that will determine how the both of them move forward. Of course it all plays out in what is a thriller type film, but it is a thriller that happens to have a lot of heart at the same time.
March 19, 2017
Exceptional! Love Bill Paxton in this!
½ March 19, 2017
The American-Canadian thriller "Mean Dreams" (R, 1:48) is one of two posthumous film releases for Bill Paxton (in addition to 2017's "The Circle", in which he has a small role). When Paxton died suddenly of complications from heart surgery at the age of 61 early in 2017, celebrity expressions of sorrow struck one consistent chord, well represented by Arnold Schwarzenegger's tweet that Paxton "could play any role, but he was best at being Bill - a great human being with a huge heart." In Paxton's most famous roles, he was an ordinary, basically decent guy caught up in extraordinary circumstances (as he was in "Apollo 13", "Twister", "Titanic" and "U-571"). He was also very good at playing tough and/or morally ambiguous characters (as he did in "Aliens", "A Simple Plan", "Edge of Tomorrow" and his award-winning HBO series "Big Love"), and some of his best work was as a basically bad person (as in "Weird Science", "True Lies", "Frailty" (which he also directed) and "Training Day", the TV series he was acting in when he died). "Mean Dreams" is another great example of Paxton playing against his true personality.

In this film, Paxton plays Wayne Caraway, a rural Michigan police officer and single dad, who is pretty bad at both roles - and a pretty bad person in general. When local boy Jonas Ford (Josh Wiggins, the star of 2015's "Max") starts seeing Wayne's teenage daughter, Casey (Sophie NÚlisse, who played the title role in 2013's "The Book Thief"), Wayne is pretty... mean about shattering Jonas' dreams of getting closer to Casey. Mostly it's because Jonas isn't shy about trying to protect Casey from Wayne's abuse, and because Wayne doesn't want Jonas nosing around and discovering any of his other... activities.

After Jonas fails to get his father (Joe Cobden) or Wayne's boss (Colm Feore) to intervene on Casey's behalf, he takes matters into his own hands. When he witnesses an example of just how bad a man that Wayne is, Jonas steals some money, grabs Casey and hits the road. Of course, Wayne comes after his daughter - with a (literal) vengeance. As Jonas and Casey struggle to get away from Casey's dad for good, they confront the harsh realities of life on the run (especially as it pertains to two teenagers in the middle of nowhere), break some laws and put their safety and the safety of others at risk along the way.

"Mean Dreams" is a small, but entertaining coming-of-age movie. The two teen protagonists aren't quite Bonnie and Clyde, but their saga is engaging and their love story is affecting. NÚlisse and Wiggins are two rising young stars whose emerging talents shine through in sympathetic roles and Paxton does his usual expert work as one really bad dude. The script (by Kevin Coughlin and Ryan Grassby) and the direction (by Nathan Morlando) keep the action and dialog both unusually grounded and fairly unpredictable, especially for this kind of film. The score and the cinematography (filmed creatively and beautifully in northern Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie) are also very good, especially for a movie made on a small budget. The film is a bit lacking in gravitas, but it's worth a look - to see Paxton in his last major role - and for the overall quality of the film itself. "B+"
March 18, 2017
Ouderwets goed gemaakt deze misdaad/thriller die vooral dankzij de cast na een hoger niveau wordt gedragen, en de ietwat voorspelbare momenten juist tot hun voordeel weten te maken. Bill Paxton zijn laatste rol is er eentje die gezien moet worden !
March 14, 2017
What a film!!! I think this will go down as a cult classic...truly haunting...
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