Best Man Down



Flawed, adult-targeted dramedy with drinking, drugs, warmth.
  • Review Date: November 8, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 91 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

People aren't always what they seem, and a few may be hiding truly wonderful secrets. Also, friends are important and doing the right thing instead of the easy thing can be rewarding.

Positive role models

Lumpy, much to some people's surprise, is a true stand-up guy who will go way beyond the call of duty to help people. He's also a drunken, obnoxious oaf during the brief time we see him alive.


A man is seriously injured in a drunken accident; his head is shown with a big, bloody gash. Another man menaces a teenage girl and later brandishes a gun and threatens people.


A man is shown pulling on his underwear as he gets out of bed, presumably after having sex with another man. There's a brief glimpse of his backside. Other men are seen in brief scenes in their underwear or wrapped in a towel after a shower. A woman talks about whether she's had a "boob job."


Occasional swearing, including "s--t," "ass," and once: "f--k."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

People drink heavily at a wedding, including shots and hard liquor. One man gets extremely drunk, to the point where he is staggering and obnoxious. Men smoke cigars to celebrate an important moment. A teenage girl lives with her mom and her mom's boyfriend, who both use meth. The boyfriend also seems to be involved in a few shady deals, and forces the girl to shoplift cold medicine that can be used to manufacture meth. Casual jokes about needing a Xanex.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Best Man Down is a dark comedy targeted at adults. There's occasional swearing (including "s--t"), a few scenes with drinking, including one person who gets incredibly drunk at a wedding, and a scene where a teenager sees her mom and her mom's boyfriend smoking crystal meth. There's one very brief scene that shows a man's naked backside as he gets out of bed after presumably having sex, plus a joke about a "boob job."

Kids say

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What's the story?

Lumpy (Tyler Labine) is the best man of the groom, Scott (Justin Long), who makes a scene by drinking too much and being too loud at the wedding. His bride, Kristin, points out that Lumpy is Scott's old friend, not necessarily a best friend. But when Lumpy dies in a tragic wedding-night accident, the newlyweds have to cancel their honeymoon to plan a funeral instead. Soon, they discover that they barely knew the real Lumpy. The person who knew him best, it seems, is Ramsey, a teenage girl who lives in small town in northern Minnesota, who's stuck living with her waitress mom and her mom's brute of a meth-head boyfriend. Scott and Kristin set out to discover the connection between Ramsey and Lumpy, and learn some surprising secrets about the late best man.

Is it any good?


BEST MAN DOWN starts off seemingly like a predictable comedy about a loudmouth drunken boor of a pal, but improves as the film unfolds, revealing surprising depth. In fact, it appears at first like two unconnected films, but the parallel stories gradually merge as Scott and Kristin follow Lumpy's trail all the way to Ramsey's doorstep. That's when the story becomes unexpectedly emotional, even somewhat satisfying, as the teen slowly reveals the late best man's true character.

Still, parts of the film don't work. Coincidences pile too high; characterizations are thin (Kristin, especially, could've used some examination); and the pacing's stilted. Still, these can perhaps be overlooked. When the film finally gets interesting, it may feel worth the wait.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Lumpy's character. Why didn't Lumpy tell his friends about his life? Did your opinion of him change during the course of the film? What kinds of secrets would you keep from your friends?

  • Can you think of any other road movies that you like? What do they all have in common?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:November 8, 2013
DVD release date:January 21, 2014
Cast:Addison Timlin, Jess Weixler, Justin Long, Tyler Labine
Director:Ted Koland
Studio:Magnolia Pictures
Run time:91 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:thematic material, drug content, some sexuality and brief language

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bywonder dove November 16, 2013

Heartfelt, Moving Drama for 16+

Great movie!!!! I highly enjoyed this. The story was refreshing and heartfelt with a little bit of everything. It is not a chick flick, it is not a comedy although it has it's share of laughs...but a really well done drama focusing on friendship and family. We meet Lumpy (Tyler Labine) who is the best man at Scott (Justin Long) and Kristen's (Jess Weixler) wedding. When Lumpy has way too much to drink, he falls and then suffers a heart attack in the middle of the night and dies. This of course upsets his close friends especially Scott who feels responsible enough to take care of the funeral and cancel the honeymoon. Newly weds Scott and Kristen take a journey to tell Lumpy's friends what happened. That's when they meet a mysterious and troubled teenager named Ramsey who claims to have known Lumpy. Apparently she knows him best, even better than Scott when they realize there was way more to Lumpy than they could ever know. Meanwhile, Ramsey is dealing with a hard life with a drug addict waitress mother and her angry meth-head boyfriend so she decides to join along on the ride with the newly weds to attend Lumpy's funeral. Along the way they get to know each other and ultimately, learn a few secrets about the best man when we finally discover Ramsey's heartwarming connection with him. Language is pretty tame but has an f-word, some uses of sh*t and @ss. Violence has a man who falls and hits his head that shows blood, he later falls again to his death when he suffers a heart attack. A man falls through ice and struggles to get out. Some arguments and yelling. A man threatens people with a gun. A girl gets caught stealing at a store. Sexual content includes references to a man sleeping with another man, a man is seen in a towel, a man jokes that his wife had a boob job, two people walk in on a man watching porn where we see him covering his pants and struggling to close out the video with sex sounds but nothing shown, some sincere kisses, a girl lies about pregnancy, a girl shares a motel room with an older man that's non-sexual but a woman thinks he's seducing her and calls the cops. There is lots of drinking in the beginning, a man gets extremely intoxicated, some cigar smoking, a woman and her boyfriend are meth addicts which is talked about throughout and slightly shown in one scene (non-graphic), a woman is on more than a few medications and always seems to need a Xanex to calm herself. Overall, loved it, terrific film with some excellent positive messages for the older crowd 16+!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byebro61 June 19, 2014

Waste of time

This movie was not only hard to follow, but also not interesting, not warm and not funny. Instead we found it to be depressing and the "humor" was negative and mean spirited. Some scenes not appropriate for kids under 17.
What other families should know
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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