No Looking Back (1998)


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Movie Info

Writer-director-actor Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, She's the One) looks at small-town ex-lovers in this low-key, blue-collar drama with atmospheric, muted-color cinematography by Emmy-winner Frank Prinzi (Northern Exposure). To the tune of Sheryl Crow's "Home", Charlie (Burns) returns to his quiet seaboard hometown to win back his ex-girlfriend Claudia (Lauren Holly), whom he abandoned three years earlier. He quickly learns that she's now engaged to Michael (Jon Bon Jovi), his best buddy since elementary school. Claudia has a dull job as a waitress at a slow-paced diner, while Michael repairs autos at a local garage. Michael loves her, but Charlie's return forces her to re-examine her life. Burns commented, "I wanted to do a drama about a working-class community, about the kind of people I grew up with, and take a look at what their lives are like as they hit their 30s and start to put their adolescent dreams aside. Their old hopes and dreams get rekindled, so they try and go for it one more time. And in the end they discover that you can't relive your past." Songs relate literally to the onscreen action, with tunes by Lynryd Skynryd, Glen Campbell, Pete Yorn, Georges Gasguy & Saveur Mallia, Macy Gray, Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen, Local H, Sponge, and the Allman Brothers. Filmed on location during the off-season at Rockaway Beach, Queens, not far from New York's JFK Airport. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for No Looking Back

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (6)

It's conclusive proof that life in an oceanside burg can be drab and uninvolving.

Jan 8, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
USA Today
Top Critic

A minor moody character study, Burns' third film is a misguided foray into the woman's picture, only partially evoking the dead-end-small-town life of a working-class waitress (Lauren Holly, Burns' girlfriend)

Sep 16, 2006 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Pretentious, phony melodrama about blue collar lovers

Jul 12, 2005 | Rating: 1/5

A bummer of an effort Ed

May 6, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

It is only natural that Burns would want to turn his attentions to something more serious. He should stick to comedy.

Jan 13, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Despite its thinness, No Looking Back is a step forward for Burns. Let's hope he takes the title to heart.

Sep 9, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for No Looking Back

There isn't enough in the Ed Burns film canon. The jack of all trades brings his all to his acting roles. Unfortunately he writes his own stinker to muddle through and hiring Bon Jovi as a co-actor doesn't help particularly.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Good movie.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer


typical ed burns slow turning story is well cast. enjoyable but not one for repeat viewings, love or hate this one

Brendan Nicholls
Brendan Nicholls

Super Reviewer


What a good cast this movie has from Ed Burns and Lauren Holly. No Looking Back gives a realistic glimpse into an everday group of friends in a small sea side town in NJ.

Mason Williams
Mason Williams

Super Reviewer

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