Critic Consensus: Rudderless asks its cast to carry an awful lot of weight for its occasionally manipulative story; fortunately, this talented bunch -- led by Billy Crudup -- is often more than up to the task.
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Critic Reviews for Rudderless
Contrived or not, the story is put across with pleasing, unpretentious conviction and skill by Macy.
The film is a roller-coaster of emotions and the jolt, when it comes, will send you reeling.
For all its noble intentions and loaded emotions, "Rudderless" proves a largely hollow, uninvolving affair.
The story takes an even sharper left turn in the last half hour, raising emotional issues it can't adequately address.
Audience Reviews for Rudderless
A father discovers a box of tapes and joins a band which covers his dead son's songs. With a soaring, remarkable soundtrack, fantastic, touching performances by the whole cast, and an almost unmatched story, William H. Macy's directorial debut is a tour de force. The first act is a compelling story about recovery, and the second act explores the relationship between Sam, Billy Crudup's grieving father, and Quentin, Anton Yelchin's young, insecure musician, but it's the third act that turns the entire story on its head in a reveal that's both surprising and completely natural. Overall, this indie drama is incredible.
I don't want to give anything away, but this little indie gem tackles grief, guilt, parenthood, redemption - all with expertly revealed exposition, compassionate performances, and a soaring soundtrack.
I love "music" films and I love Anton Yelchin so I was really looking forward to this. Overall, I did really enjoy the film. But I do have some nitpicks. I know the story is really about Sam (Billy Crudup) and his journey. But I would have liked to see more insight on his son Josh. Especially since the twist reveals him to be the shooter. The movie never really gives us that sense that he is a kid about to go off his rails. If the movie couldn't have given us that insight, then I think it would have been better just making him one of the victim's of some nameless shooter. Secondly, Selena Gomez was the weakest actor of the bunch. I thought her first scene was good, but then when we see her again she was just so over dramatic to me. I didn't totally buy Quentin (Anton Yelchin) being so invested in Sam to the point where he would show up at his home the next day with coffee and doughnuts already wanting to work together. Based off one song he heard. I also didn't care for William H Macy inserting himself into his own film. The movie makes up for it though with really good music and a shining performance by Billy Crudup. It's worth a see.
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