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Personal Effects


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Product Details

  • Actors: Kathy Bates, Ashton Kutcher, Michelle Pfeiffer
  • Directors: David Hollander
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Screen Media
  • DVD Release Date: May 12, 2009
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001U1RM40
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,356 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Personal Effects" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

Walter (Ashton Kutcher) is a rising star in the NCAA wrestling world until his life is ripped apart by the brutal murder of his sister. Returning home to console his mother Gloria (Kathy Bates) he seeks vengeance on the man who is accused of the crime. A chance meeting with a beautiful mature woman (Michelle Pfeiffer) gives him solace to the situation. Personal Effects is a heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting romance that is a testament to the power of love.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Joanna on July 6, 2009
Format: DVD
I rented this movie on a sort of lark, thinking from the scant, critical reviews I'd read online that it might be an amusing dud where Ashton Kutcher tries to act and can't. Was I ever wrong! This is a beautiful, sensitive and deeply moving drama that had me literally at the edge of my seat by the end of it. Michele Pfeiffer is brilliant, and Ashton Kutcher a fine dramatic actor who reminded me a bit of Woody Harrelson in his portrayal. This movie is better than 90 percent or more of regular theatrical releases, and I can't understand why it went straight to DVD. The supporting cast, including Kathy Bates as a grieving mother, is wonderful; the story, written by the author of the highly acclaimed "The Ice Storm" original and very affecting. It brought to mind both "In the Bedroom" and "Little Children." I'd like to buy it and watch it again. It makes me think Kutcher could have a future as a leading man.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bonnie Brody TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2009
Format: DVD
This movie was a great surprise. I did not know what to expect and ended up loving it. It is like a small indie flick but it stars three well-known actors: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, and Ashton Kutcher. I was surprised by what a good actor Ashton Kutcher is.

The movie starts out with a group of people meeting together in a grief support group. Ashton Kutcher's sister has been murdered and Michelle Pfeiffer's husband has been murdered. Kathy Bates plays Ashton Kutcher's mother. Michelle Pfeiffer has a teen-aged son who is deaf. Ashton Kutcher had the potential to be a nationally recognized wrestler prior to his sister's murder. After her murder, he returns home to be with his mother and to watch the trial. He reaches out to Michelle Pfeiffer's son by getting him involved in wrestling. Gradually, Ashton Kutcher and Michelle Pfeiffer become attracted to each other and begin a relationship that is poignantly sweet and deep.

I highly recommend this movie. It's a gem.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2009
Format: DVD
PERSONAL EFFECTS is a solid little film written by director David Hollander and the fine novelist Rick Moody. The premise is a study of how the traumatic deaths of people affect those left behind. The story is well told, allows the audience to explore the group therapy approach offered to families of violently killed people - the various means of responding to loss, the differing reactions from those who cannot let go of the hate they have for losing a loved one, and introduces an interesting concept of having one of the characters who narrates the film be a deaf mute young man!

Gloria (Kathy Bates) is the mother of twins - the girl was been brutalized and murdered and the boy Andrew (Ashton Kuchter) has left his career as a wrestler to return to the scene of the crime to mourn his sister and to demand the perpetrator be convicted and imprisoned: his career has been put on hold and he ekes out a living dressed as a chicken for a fast food chicken restaurant. During the ongoing twin's trial, Andrew meets Linda (Michelle Pfeiffer) whose alcoholic husband has been killed and she is left to support her teenage deaf mute son Clay (Spencer Hudson). Through series of grieving meetings and periods of isolation on the part of each of the characters, each finds ways to support the other and a love affair develops between the older Linda and the younger Andrew as he agrees to accompany her to her various weddings for which she serves a planner. How these characters comes to grips with resolution of their losses is well tied together by film's end.

This is not a great movie, but the performances by the leads are quite fine. This is a movie with a message, one that delves into territory with which many are not familiar, and for that reason alone it is well worth watching. Grady Harp, March 09
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Idaho John on September 19, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was pleasantly surprised with this movie. The characters were well developed and the performances were well above my expectations. Michelle Pfeiffer played her role with a gentleness and vulnerability that I have rarely seen from her and Ashton Kutcher was perfect in his portrayal of a young man trying to deal with loss...and guilt.

The film tells the story of two families attempting to come to terms with the deaths of significant family members - a father and a sister. And it portrays the various ways we have as humans of trying to cope with the loss that results from death.

The relationships that arise from the attempts to deal with the losses are what makes this story so very precious. I am always surprised at what grows out of grief (based on personal experience) despite the tears and heartache. The emptiness left by our loved ones departure is an emptiness that awaits the arrival of something or someone new...if we only let it.

Great movie, great perfomances, well written script and a tough subject served well by a finely crafted piece of cinematic art.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By mainstreet101 on March 5, 2011
Format: DVD
I didn't know what to expect from this film but was pleasantly surprised. Some people have said Kutcher was wooden, awkward...but I think he fit this role. I am a grief counselor. I think the characters were pretty true to themselves. Here he is, a 24 year old successful athlete, with good lucks, etc. but unprepared for an ugly visitor like "murder" in his family. His feelings are locked up in his stiff body. Although he is portraying a lot of depth if you really watch him. He relies on all of his old coping mechanisms to deal with it (running, working out, even sex) but ulimately can't escape his feelings. I have seen many people look like that after a death.

Clay also added an interesting twist to this plot. He is perceptive in many ways, but due to his deafness just doesn't get the whole picture. Like all of the characters, they are all wrapped up in their own lives, their own grief while trying to love those around them. Sometimes succeeding and sometimes not.

Anyway, a strange but intriguing film and, I think,ultimately worth watching.
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