Undertow

2004, Mystery & thriller/Drama, 1h 47m

121 Reviews 5,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Undertow's gently fantastical elements are balanced by fully realized characters and a story with genuine, steadily accumulating emotional weight. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After his wife dies, John Munn (Dermot Mulroney) moves with his sons Chris (Jamie Bell) and Tim (Devon Alan) to rural Georgia to raise pigs. Rebelling against his father, Chris initially welcomes the arrival of Uncle Deel (Josh Lucas), just out of jail. Still angry that John married the woman he loved, Deel tries to steal a stash of gold coins, and kills his brother in the struggle. Grabbing the treasure, Chris flees with Tim, and the boys try to elude the murderous Deel.

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News & Interviews for Undertow

Critic Reviews for Undertow

All Critics (121) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (55)

Audience Reviews for Undertow

  • Oct 09, 2012
    For those who have seen "The Night Of The Hunter" "Undertow" pays homage to the former film. This film is a masterpiece. From the editing, the direction, the cinematography, the plot, to the poor rural landscapes of the south, "Undertow" all comes down to a shocking climax. The plot: Chris (Jamie Bell) is a volatile teen who lives with his father, John (Dermot Mulroney), and his little brother, Tim (Devon Alan). After the death of Chris' mother, his reclusive father moved the family to a shack in backwoods Georgia, where they raise hogs. Tim has an unusual eating disorder. He is constantly making himself sick by eating things like dirt and paint. One day, John's estranged brother, Deel (Josh Lucas), gets out of prison and shows up on the farm. John is less than thrilled to see him, but agrees to let him stay with the family as long as Deel helps him look after his boys. Chris is drawn to his wild-man uncle, but it soon becomes clear that Deel has more on his mind than a family reunion. Greed and years of resentment lead to violence, and Chris finds himself on the run, towing his sickly brother along, with Deel in pursuit. As I was watching this film I noticed the director David Gordon Green was going down the paths of raw bitter human emotions. As things began to be darker and darker, the characters is in conflict with a dangerous man (who happens to be their uncle or real father?) on the loose. I cringed each time I witness Josh Lucas as Deel who kinda reminded me of Kevin Costner in Clint Eastwood's "A Perfect World". His performance I felt was the best and the most frightening. I also seemed to cared for the two brothers Chris and Tim and the problmatic situations those two were up against. "Undertow" is a great film and a film I could watch countless times. David Gordon Green is starting to mold himself into a serious filmmaker.
    Brian R Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2010
    Its a slow, dreamlike thriller that's brilliantly executed by David Gordon Green. The ambiguity of the ending is rather marvelous as well and Philip Glass produced a great score for the film.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 15, 2009
    A bit too full of mannerisms and some lazy editing towards the end, but the story stays strong and the performances are great. The "Night of the Hunter" mood does the rest.
    Rhady N Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2009
    Good film & the greedy uncle got what he deserved
    Brody M Super Reviewer

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