The Boys Are Back

Movie review by S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Boys Are Back Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 13+

Moving drama about loss, grief may be too heavy for kids.

PG-13 2009 104 minutes

Parents say

age 13+

Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 13+

The Boys are Back – And the Hard Work Begins

English performer Clive Owen does quite well in the role of British sportswriter Joe Warr. The story, written by Simon Carr (ex speechwriter for New Zealand’s Prime Minister in the 90s) is loosely based on his own life experiences and adapted for the screen by Allen Cubitt. Perhaps the decision to open the picture with a scene featuring Owen, rather recklessly driving along a crowded beach, at speed, with his young son balanced on the Bonnet – could well be seen as a failure by all concerned at this point of the picture. Being set between the picturesque South Australian coastline and England - it outlines the difficulty ‘Joe’ has bringing up his two young sons after the death of his young, second wife. Then come the complications of juggling his job and raising young boys in an isolated country town, offering up many demanding challenges including schooling, connecting with neighbours (Emma Booth truly shines in this situation) and the expectations of controlled parenting, etc. Also highlighted, is the irresponsible destructiveness of teenage party gate-crashers and the aftermath on the family. The lavish on-location Cinematography of Aussie Greig Fraser (Lion ’16) adds depth and richness, making it easy to look at. Director Scott Hicks tends to keep the story and his characters reasonably on target (even when certain situations seem somewhat far-fetched) Ex Dire Straits guitarist; Hal Lindes supplies the easy-going, gentle score. All performances are very good.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 25, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming: January 26, 2010
  • Cast: Clive Owen, Emma Booth, Laura Fraser
  • Director: Scott Hicks
  • Studio: Miramax
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: some sexual language and thematic elements
  • Last updated: July 1, 2022

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