Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
Iowa farm drama resonates with some great preformances
on May 25, 2013
"At Any Price" (2013 release; 105 min.) brings the story of Henry (played by Dennis Quaid) and his farm family in Iowa. Henry owns a big farm and sells genetically-modified seeds, and is struggling to keep this 4th generation farm going. His oldest son Grant has left the family for adventures abroad (mountain climbing in Argentina) and his youngest son Dean (played by Zac Efron) is a dirt track racer dreaming to break into the big times (ARCA, then NASCAR). Henry is losing customers to a rival, but is unexpectedly getting some help from Dean's girlfriend Cadence (played by Maika Monroe). Henry also has a girlfriend on the side, Meredith (played by Heather Graham), who in turn has her eyes on Dean. Then one day, Henry gets investigated by Liberty, the company from which Henry gets his seeds, for possibly cleaning/re-using the seeds for more than one crop. To tell you more of this plot-heavy movie would surely ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Several comments: first, the plot at times seens contrived, almost soap-like, but somehow it all works out well as the movie progresses. Of more interest are the performances. Zac Efron continues to try and evolve away from his early Disney days, building on his most recent role in "The Paperboy" (where ho co-starred with Nicole Kidman). I am a huge fan of Heather Graham, but she is under-used, and type-cast, as the sexy siren. Dennis Quaid gets the better of the deal as he gets to show his chops as the tormented and frustrated farmer/dad/lover. But the breakout role is from Maika Monroe, a new-comer for me, as the girlfriend of Dean, I am looking forward to seeing her in future roles! Bottom line: this is an entertaining family farm drama, warts and all. As a complete aside, there was a recent Supreme Court case on this very issue of farmers re-using genetically modified seeds for a second or third crop without paying the seeds manufacturers (the farmer lost the case).
This movie showed up unannounced in the art-house theatre here in Cincinnati on a single screen and when I went to see it this weekend, I got a private showing, literally, as I was the only person in the theatre. I figure this won't play long here, but glad I saw it. If you have a chance to see "At Any Price", be it in the theatre or on DVD, go for it!