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4.0 out of 5 stars
Straight A's
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
"Mom told me to come." After his mother tells him to visit the family he abandoned, Scott (Phillippe) surprises his sister in law (Paquin) and her kids. Decidind to wait for his brother to come home Scott stays and begins to form a relationship with Katherine's kids in spite of her requests. When Scott begins to act like his old self she wants him out, but he is determined to listen to his mother's advice...even though she is dead. I know what your thinking, a man hears his dead mother and listens, that can't make a good movie. You would be wrong. The acting in this is really good, but the story of each character is so well written and thought out that it really makes the movie that much more enjoyable. 99% of movies like this are very predictable and for the most part this one is too, but there is a twist in this I did not see coming, which also adds to the enjoyment of the movie. This is a surprise sleeper that is very much worth seeing. I recommend. Overall, a little low budget movie that proves good movies can be made with a good script. I give it a B+.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This is your typical heart warming amusing feel good indie flick starring indie perennial favorite Anna Paquin as Katherine. Long lost "white trash Uncle" Scott(Ryan Phillippe) rides in one day on a horse to greet his sister-in-law and former girlfriend. He obeys the indie formula and immediately bonds with his nephew and niece. He claims he is being guided by visions of his dead mother to come back and make amends...a man who has spent the bulk of the last eight years in a mental institution for substance abuse. Chaos erupts and from chaos comes order.

The script is somewhat formulaic with a slight twist on the end. Good acting, slow at times.

Parental Guide: F-bombs. No sex or nudity. Paquin in a sexy sando shirt showing side breast, cleavage and high beams. Personally my low brow tastes liked "Uncle Buck" better. Worth a rental.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2013
The film focuses on the relationships of a family - two brothers and their shared love interest, their forgetful father, and the legacy of their mother.

It's been years since I've seen a movie with Ryan Phillippe that I would watch and this is one. Luke Wilson has always been a favorite of mine. And Anna Paquin has always been an actress that I've wavered whether I love or dislike her. The casting was perfectly done.

Ryan as the irresponsible, wandering brother - the black sheep of the family who's been gone for 8+ years. Luke as the perfect husband/provider (the opposite of his brother) who is contemplating divorcing his wife. And lastly, Anna as the woman who has loved both brothers. At first, the younger one Scott and after he left due to a fallout with his father; then she fell for William.

Katherine and William have a marriage that is perfect on the outside; not so much on the inside. Katherine is too busy to spend time with her children or family. Instead, the duties of child-rearing and caring for the house are foisted onto a maid. William is always out of town, a fact that is recognized by Katherine's "so-called" friends.

When Scott shows up after a long absence, he turns their world inside out and manages to bring Katherine, William, and their children back together. Be prepared to shed a few tears at the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2013
We've seen this before. A seemingly stable household becomes disrupted when a black sheep relative or friend makes an unscheduled appearance. This might not be the best of the lot buts it's watchable and entertaining.

Here's the scoop. William (Luke Wilson) is in the high-level real estate game. His wife Katherine (Anna Paquin) does the society thing in and around town while distancing herself from her two young children, both who have issues. William's black-sheep brother Scott (Ryan Phillippe) rides up on a horse with a boatload of booze and pills and turns everything topsy turvy. But, in his own way he reveals to them they may have a good lifestyle but they're far from having good lives.

I can't say there are a lot of surprises here. You see the set-up early on and you're pretty well assured where things are headed. A few things do happen that are unexpected but nothing that alters the destination. What is going on here is the acting. Luke Wilson has a natural presence in front of the camera and he's decent here as is Anna Paquin. The big surprise for me was Ryan Phillippe. I'm not a big fan of his which almost caused me to pass this one by, but, for my dollar, he was what was happening here. The way he stands, walks, his voice and his southern accent all add up to a really good character. This is shot well with some nice scenes showing the Northern Louisiana bayou area. It has decent production values for an indy film and it sports a nice musical score.

This isn't quite worth the 4 stars I gave it, mostly due to its derivative nature. But they play the cards well enough entertain their audience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2013
Anna Paquin unconvincingly portrays a well-off Southern Mom and wife estranged from her husband, played by Luke Wilson. While she seems the raison d'etre of the film, the love, first and true, of two brothers, the fly in the ointment lost soul of a brother played by Ryan Phillippe adding tension to the mild estrangement of the husband and wife, no character portrays a complete personality. Instead, predictable stereotypes seem to direct the plot. Anna's portrayal is brittle and bristling as though she is playing AT a person instead of IN the character. This greatly detracts from the entire film.

The bright lights are the children, mysterious and surprising, accepting of the unconventional which their parents stridently reject. The ending seems artificial, a twist to remove the unrequited love of the lost brother for the solid renewal of the Luke Wilson/Anna Paquin marriage. In total, interesting but not compelling enough to recommend to friends and family.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 12, 2013
"Straight A's" was interesting enough to hold my attention, but not interesting enough that I would watch it again or recommend it to others. I like Luke Wilson and Anna Paquin, but they didn't have much screentime together, and Luke Wilson was especially one-note--a husband who's tired of his life, and doesn't feel that guilty for it (or for being absentee to avoid it).

The story is straightforward--deadbeat Scott, full of life but struggling with addiction, returns to his hometown to make amends with his brother, father, and ex-girlfriend (who just happened to marry his brother). He can't quite overcome his demons and throws the house into chaos, simultaneously managing to be likeable and frustrating. There's lots of emotion, some setbacks, and then at the end a twist that perhaps is supposed to make the viewer sad but ultimately fails, because you just don't really care what happens to the characters.

I think maybe with more attention paid to the relationship between the brothers, and more focus on the failing marriage, it would have greatly improved the plot--as it is, a "love triangle" is fairly tepid when there's no suspense about who ends up with who.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2013
The movie was a little slow I thought and overall not very exciting or memorable. The actors were good but the story wasn't that great
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
A great story that had a lot of heart...questions and a surprise twist ending. I thought the direction was unusually good...as was the acting of Fillippi and the children. Paquin's performance had the right amount of "being torn and good decisions"
I love this "little" film...bought it to see again at will. Tender pathos and it made me cry....always a good thing! James Cox should exercise his great skills on more of this "simplicity genre"!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2013
This movie is not a romantic comedy - it's a deeper story. It's a story about a woman who had to choose between two brothers who loved her. She chose the responsible older brother after the younger brother - her first love - took off without saying goodbye leaving her devastated. The older brother - Luke Wilson - stepped in and married her as he wanted her the moment his younger brother brough her home. That's the subtext of the movie.

Fast forward 10 years later and the younger brother shows up at their doorstep out of the blue after spending 10 years in and out of rehab. Her marriage is in a bad place - she's disconnected from her husband and children. She's wondering why he came and we're wondering if she'll run off with him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2013
This is a cute movie--nothing too profound or earth-shattering, but good, relaxing entertainment. Luke Wilson is always delightful, as is Anna Paquin, and Ryan Phillipe is a surprisingly competent actor. Enjoyed it very much. And thank you, Amazon, for closed captioning!
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