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Despite earnest performances, Welcome to the Rileys cannot escape its belabored over-sentimentality and sluggish delivery.
All Critics (82)
| Top Critics (27)
| Fresh (44)
| Rotten (38)
It's a well-made film, and New Orleans is crisply and interestingly shot by cinematographer Christopher Soos, but this ultimately looks like a TV movie dressed up for the big screen.
Stewart lets it all hang out in a firecracker role but her damaged character never achieves the depth the weak material could have done with.
"Welcome to the Rileys" sets out to be a study of grief and how to overcome it, but it rings too false to offer much hope - or entertainment.
It's as if Tony Soprano and Bella Swan had landed the two leads in somebody's amateur theater company, and this is what the lucky audience gets.
"Welcome to the Rileys"? Thanks, but no thanks.
Welcome to the Rileys is a reminder that good, or at least intriguing, things can come in what seem to be predictable packages.
Takes clichéd storytelling and predictability and runs with it, padding out a 110-minute runtime with a story that has the ability to be compelling if it wasn't for the fact that we have seen it all before.
Ken Hixon's (City by the Sea, Inventing the Abbotts) script is formulaic and doesn't take any chances... but [director Jake] Scott and his trio of actors elevate the material with light yet heartfelt touches.
Plenty of authentic laughs and great supporting performances make Welcome to the Rileys a decent film.
Kristen Stewart ever runs out of "Snow White" sequels, this is what her post "Twilight" career should look like.
For every moment of raw self-destruction there is an equally charming resolution.
[It] will win no prizes for originality, but it benefits greatly from the subtle performances of the two leads, particularly Leo...
Kristen Stewart puts in a fine performance and is backed by two great performances by James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo, in a drama that begins very well but soon starts to lose momentum as it gradually advances towards an optimistic resolution - although I do like the ending.
There's a lot of drams that are made to be "award bait". Which means, it will get a lot of nominations, which will increase it's visibility and make money. But, there are a lot of movies made for that reason, that don't come out right and end up getting no awards and making no money. "Welcome to the Rileys" is one of those flicks. It stars James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo as a middle aged married couple who have grown apart. Doug(Gandolfini) has a business trip to New Orleans, and while there he meets a 17 year old stripper(Kristen Stewart). He doesn't want a relationship with her or sex, he just wants to help her the way a father would help a daughter. Lois(Leo) is agoraphobic but finds the will to come to New Orleans to be with Doug. From there conflicts with Stewart and some secrets come out. The performances are all just ok. Gandolfini is the best, but he just seems to be going through the motions. Stewart does the exact same thing here as all her movies. Lip biting, playing with her hair, and pouting. She has that all down pat. The movie drags and doesn't really give much of a conclusion. Worth a watch? I a copy for free, and I'd say that would be the only reason to watch it. I'm sure there are some people who like this, but it didn't work for me at all really.
Welcome to the Rileys.
Good movie! Welcome to the Riley's was a very interesting little American indie film. The movie is a little clichéd and sugarcoated but there's also a lot of dark and ugly notes in the film as well and it manages to strike an even balance. The acting and directing is decent enough that the setup seems believable and you really learn to care for the characters. Gandolfini is good and lovable like always and Leo turns in another impressive performance and continues to show her range. It's Stewart that really shines in the film though and silences her critics by continuing to broaden her range as well. The film is emotional and rewarding to a certain extent. Nothing too powerful or memorable but a nice little indie drama that gives some good actors some nice material to play around with. Worth seeing if you're into that sort of thing.
Something's wrong at the Rileys. Married nearly 30 years, Doug and Lois rarely talk. She doesn't leave their Indianapolis home, and she's ordered a gravestone with their names and birth years on it. He has a long-time Thursday night mistress whom he invites to go with him to a plumbing supply conference in New Orleans. Once there, Doug calls Lois to say he's staying for a while. What's he leaving behind and what's he looking for in New Orleans? And Lois, can she break out?
A middle-aged man, still mourning the death of his daughter, flees his Indiana life to care for a damaged young prostitute.
I'm sorry to say this, but I can't think of a better way to evaluate Kristen Stewart: she just shouldn't act; she should wait tables or answer phones in an office. When she plays Bella or Snow White, I complain that her face is dead and that there's no energy behind her acting. Now, she plays a manic prostitute, a character who requires energy and life, but she's just horrid. I agree with Super Reviewer Alice Shen who says, "her speech, especially the cursing is pretty self-conscious. She only half-says 'cooter,' 'pussy,' 'fuck.'" Absolutely. And this self-consciousness permeates the rest of Stewart's performance.
The film is saved by James Gandolfini who gives one of the best performances of his career. His vulnerability is a trait Stewart could learn from. He creates a real, touching character, and it's a joy to watch Melissa Leo, who is also quite good, play off Gandolfini.
I like the story as well. It's not the tired "man saved by a good woman" trope that was overplayed long before I was born; rather, it's a man trying to save a bad woman in order to save himself. The film portrays middle-class America as both a hell from which Doug can't escape, but it's also what he tries to recreate with Mallory; I think many people who live in suburbia can identify with that contradiction.
Overall, I hope that someone can stop Kristen Stewart from making movies, but this film was nevertheless worth making.
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