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Imaginary Heroes (2005)

Sigourney Weaver , Jeff Daniels , Dan Harris  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch, Michelle Williams, Kip Pardue
  • Directors: Dan Harris
  • Writers: Dan Harris
  • Producers: Art Linson, Deborah Lee, Denise Shaw, Frank Hübner, Gina Resnick
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 7, 2005
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0008JIJ10
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,372 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Imaginary Heroes" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In this "mixture of poignant drama and quirky humor...delivered by a superb cast" (Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune), the Travis family experiences a stunning tragedy which begins to unravel them. Teenaged son Tim (Emile Hirsch, The Girl Next Door) views his life as a bad dream. His father, Ben (Jeff Daniels - Terms of Endearment, The Hours), tunes out and treats his wife and children like strangers. His mother, Sandy (Oscar(r)-nominee Sigourney Weaver, 1986, Best Actress, Alien) sharpens her tongue with sarcasm and dulls her senses with pot while struggling hard to conceal a secret that threatens to ruin them all. With elements of pathos, salty humor and self-discovery, the Travises learn to accept one another as family - warts and all.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Uh-oh, something is amiss in suburbia - again June 18, 2006
IMAGINARY HEROES plays a faded concept very well, your basic "quiet suburban family starts to unravel and buried secrets come to light" plot (AMERICAN BEAUTY, anyone?). Key players Sigourney Weaver and Emile Hirsch drag you by the hand through a story about suicide, betrayal, and love as it hides behind the prim lawns and clean windows of the two-story houses in America. You're probably getting bored already, but the story isn't what's captivating about this movie - it's the way the characters are drawn, how they connect with each other and the strong emotions they all have inside them.

When swimmer Matt Travis (Kip Pardue, who has little screen time but still manages to make an impact) shoots himself, the entire Travis family begins to disintegrate into its parts - emotionally detached office dad (Jeff Daniels), bored housewife experimenting with pot, the remaining son (around whom the story is centered), hiding some secrets about the late brother - who in his death is now exalted within the family, even so much that Jeff Daniels's character insists they set out a plate of dinner for him every night - and the independent college daughter (Michelle Williams). Sigourney Weaver's Sandy is battled against next-door-neighbor housewife Marge in a sixteen-year-old grudge that is important to the plot, though Marge's delinquent drug-running son Kyle bridges the enmity as the best friend of Sandy's son Tim.

The story mostly follows Tim's exploits as he tries new things to deal with his brother's death, to ignore the things his brother did to him, through casual drugs, a pushy girlfriend, and a brief, ecstasy-induced one night stand with best friend Kyle.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem that deserved a lot more credit... July 13, 2005
It's always hard to find a good drama. I just happened to stumble across this one. Imaginary Heroes is a must-see and (in my case) a must-own movie gem.

Sigourney Weaver flat-out shines throughout the entire picture as does the rest of the terrific cast including Jeff Daniels, Emile Hirsch and Michelle Williams.

The story? True. There's nothing false about it. Don't mistake this for some horrific Hollywood mess where the characters are wooden, the plot is unrealistic and the acting is unconvincing. No, this is the real deal.

There is a website that I like to check out sometimes called Rotten Tomatoes. It's a little place where all the critics like to gather and tear apart movies as they release. They were alot less than kind with Imaginary Heroes. A movie has to be 60% or higher to recieve a fresh label. Heroes recieved a 34%, earning a rotten label. I was in shock. I even read some of the reasons the critics gave. One read "just too damn depressing." Here's my response: SHOVE IT. This person must obviously loves all the hollywood trash that takes up 99% of the room on the shelves at the local Hollywood or Blockbuster video. All the trash there today that paints pictures of perfect families, sending out messages that say things will always work out perfectly and everyone always goes home happy in the end. Life is not like that and that is what Imaginary Heroes is trying to say. Don't get me wrong, though. You can watch those other films for pleasure and enjoyment, but don't try and actually believe them. I really don't like critics. Being a critic shouldn't be a job, it should be a hobby.

Oh yeah, here's a note to all those who are looking for a good film, but can't find any.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rare for its genre- effecting, moving, and involved February 27, 2006
The words "suburban family dramady" sends up red flares in my personal taste for movies. As a rule, movies dealing solely with a single, suburban household and the various ins and outs, overblown turmoil and melodrama that innevitably surrounds them, almost always fall short of their mark. Not only are most of these films boring, but in an attempt to build them up to something remotely interesting or meaningful, they're filled with melodramatic subplots involving the kinds of things that seem particularly devastating to suburban families - but hardly anyone else. In short, it's hard to find a good quality about most of the films in this vein. "Imaginary Heroes" however pulls a one-two punch to the gut, and manages to strike a certain chord, using realism as a strong right-jab, and strong character development as its follow-up left hook. The single most impressive element of this movie, however, that if for no other reason, makes it worth watching, is the chemistry between Emile Hirsch and Sigourney Weaver, who play mother and son in the film. For romance films, actors who play lovers occasionally stumble across a counterpart whom they have genuine chemistry, and more often than not, can forge a certain feeling for a person strong enough to carry the film. This is not a romance movie, nor do these actors play lovers. These two seemed to have genuinely stumbled upon a rare bond, at least as far as the screen can show. They genuinely connect in a mother/son sort of way, with an uncanny bond and affection for one another. Mother's close with their sons - suburban or otherwise - will validate that there is a certain element of unspoken connection between one another. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars The movie is excellent for those who like odd quirky movies
The movie is excellent for those who like odd quirky movies. It was shipped and received within expected dates. Read more
Published 16 days ago by ash
5.0 out of 5 stars Great older flick!
I got this movie to use different parts of it as a teaching tool for recovery. It has a scene in it that will work well.
Published 14 months ago by Terri C. Williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Loved this movie had to buy it. It is somewhat of a dark movie with humor if you find it that way.
Published 22 months ago by Jannel
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tragedy: The Travis Family
Okay, "Imaginary Heroes" is not necessarily a Shakespearean tragedy, but it contains all the ingredients. Read more
Published on June 20, 2012 by Tamakum
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected yet still good
Because this film is not well known maybe there is not much expected of it, which could be a good thing in this case. Read more
Published on June 27, 2010 by REG
4.0 out of 5 stars One to Watch
"Imaginary Heroes" is an unusual domestic drama that hangs together most of the time. Jeff Daniels plays Ben Travis, a father whose son embodies his dreams for athletic awards in... Read more
Published on September 17, 2008 by Lee Armstrong
5.0 out of 5 stars Really very good.
I expected this movie to be good but I didn't expect it to be a five star movie. Well, it is. The acting is superb. Read more
Published on September 9, 2008 by NoWireHangers
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginary Heroes movie
Sigourney Weaver is always worth it, even in a strange film. The plot's a bit odd, but I like it. Four-star rating!!!
Published on August 9, 2008 by Robert W. Simmons
4.0 out of 5 stars Imaginary Heroes - A Movie Of Character Studies, A Movie For Actors
Imaginary Heroes

It's amazing the contrasting reactions this movie has illicited. Some people dislike it's slow pace and some seem bothered that it's theme, the... Read more
Published on March 30, 2008 by Mark
4.0 out of 5 stars Understanding families
Dan Harris is mostly well known for his writing efforts with Bryan Singer (for whom he wrote X2-United and Superman Returns). Read more
Published on February 28, 2008 by Joao P. Canhenha
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