Dan Schultz's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

The Return
The Return (2004)
14 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A dark, unsettling look at two boys who struggle to come to grips with their father's (Konstantin Lavronenko) sudden return to their family after a 12 year absence, and how he takes them on a camping trip that turns into a test of each one's masculinity. Although the amount of ambiguity the film contains tends to be a little annoying at the conclusion given the film's unwillingness to give really any answers, director Andrei Zvyagintsev's point is clearly to have you as confused as the boys who are being mentally tortured by their father. Throw in a sudden, shocking twist 3/4 of the way through that is impossible to see coming, some beautiful still photography, and the fact that the actor who plays the older boy (Vladimir Garin) died a day before the film's release due to a similar accident that takes place in the film, it is a very memorable, unmistakably powerful little movie. Not for all tastes to be sure, as this is an art-house film inside and out, but a watchable one.

Revolutionary Road
15 months ago via Movies on iPhone

A handsomely constructed, quietly devastating film concerning a couple trapped in a dull and ordinary 1950's life and desperate to find a way out of it, even if it means considering a dream-like scenario. Mendes really doesn't like life in suburbia, as, like he did in "American Beauty", he shows the disturbing, genuine thoughts of characters that, on the outside at least, have the ideal lifestyle. This film is excellently acted, Winslet is outstanding as always, DiCaprio turns in one of his best (if not his best) performances, and Michael Shannon steals the show as a mentally unstable man who is initially impressed at the couples' honesty, but eventually angry with what the couple decides. The negatives are some of the arguments between Winslet and DiCaprio make you wonder, "would even the angriest of people be saying the kind of things they're saying when they have kids around?!", and what happens with DiCaprio's character from a work standpoint is like the main plot out of Office Space, only Mendes takes this seriously.