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The Greatest (2009)

Pierce Brosnan , Aaron Johnson , Shana Feste  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Pierce Brosnan, Aaron Johnson, Susan Sarandon
  • Directors: Shana Feste
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Color, Dolby, Closed-captioned, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: 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: National Entertainment Media
  • DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,459 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Greatest" on IMDb

Special Features

Interviews with director Shana Feste, Pierce Brosnan, Carey Mulligan and Johnny Simmons

Editorial Reviews

Three months after Allen (Pierce Brosnan) and Grace’s (Susan Sarandon) son dies, Rose (Carey Mulligan) shows up on their doorstep pregnant with his child. At first her arrival stirs up their emotions and threatens to tear the family further apart, but as time passes, she may just be the very thing that brings them back together.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death to Birth June 13, 2010
THE GREATEST is a small film, quietly made in 28 days by first-time writer/director Shana Feste. The story/script is so unusual and touching that she was able to gather a rather extraordinary cast to bring this delicate story to life. It remains amazing to many of us that while the audiences flock to the gigantic CGI big noisy flicks, little jewels such as this film go completely unnoticed. The only hope is that enough people see this film now on DVD that that both the message of the movie and the quality of the acting and production gain the attention THE GREATEST so justly deserves.

Without introductory remarks the film opens with a brief prelude of the love between two (just graduated from high school) youngsters who after their first encounter with love pause on the drive home to attempt to make their feelings into words and BAM - a truck plunges into them and the boy Bennett (Aaron Johnson) is killed while the girl Rose (Carey Mulligan) is spared. The camera takes us rather abruptly to the graveside where the grieving parents Grace (Susan Sarandon) and Allen (Pierce Brosnan) and their young drug addicted son Ryan (Johnny Simmons) stare blankly into the hole that has been placed in the middle of their lives.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Pierce Brosnan We've Never Seen Before July 12, 2010
"The Greatest" stars Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon as Allen and Grace Brewer, a grief-stricken couple whose family has been pushed to the breaking point by the accidental death of their eldest son, Bennett. When a young woman, Rose (Carey Mulligan, "An Education"), shows up a few months later announcing that she's pregnant with Bennett's child, the Brewers are forced to explore the depths of their empathy. Both Brosnan and Sarandon turn in believable performances. Brosnan in particular is really strong here. I've never seen him so open and so emotional before.

The problem is the portrayal of Bennett, whom we see only briefly before the accident that takes his life. More a metaphor for all that is good with untapped, unlimited potential, he never comes off as an actual flesh-and-blood individual. Since the accident is largely his responsibility, it's tough to get on board with his parents' grief. There are also some jarring moments when dialogue or actions seem really off and undermine the tone of the movie.

Movies about grieving are tough sells. On the surface, they are depressing and put off many people. It's the handling of the theme that determines whether audiences will embrace such a movie. Think "Ordinary People:" solid script, superb direction, first-rate performances. "The Greatest" falls far short of that high standard. Bonus extras include interviews with the director, Pierce Brosnan and Carey Mulligan, and deleted scenes.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This movie exceeded my expectations as I had initially pegged it as a predictable tearjerker based on the plot. The leads in the form of Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, and the divine Carey Mulligan deliver credible and compelling performances that made this an engaging human drama. The prevalent theme in this movie is grief and coming to terms with loss - Bennett Brewer (Aaron Johnson) is a popular student at his high school but deep down he is shy around girls and waits till the last day of school to ask Rose (Carey Mulligan) out. The two hit it off and fall head over heels in love. Bennett chooses an inopportune moment to declare his love to Rose, and tragedy strikes, killing Bennett.

Three months later, Rose arrives at Bennett's house and is greeted by his father, Allen (Pierce Brosnan). The Bennett's epitomize a family torn apart by grief - mom Grace (Susan Sarandon) appears totally overwhelmed by grief to the point that she acts irrationally; Allen puts on a calm appearance although deep inside, he struggles to come to terms with his son's death and the strain it places on his marriage and his younger son; younger son Ryan (Johnny Simmons) is a druggie who attends support meetings but detached, feeling a sense of resentment towards his dead brother who was the favored child and who even in death seems to hog all the attention. Rose finds herself in a conundrum - she is pregnant with Bennett's child and has nowhere to go. Allen warms to her immediately and takes her in, but Grace is mistrusting and unwilling to welcome the young woman.

The story flows well and the various characters credibly portray their grief and the process of healing, even though in the case of Grace it takes a long time for her to accept that her favorite son is dead.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Party Tricks and more... July 6, 2010
This movie is intense, portraying a jagged, yet purifying emotional journey involving a sudden, brutal car accident, resulting in the death of favored son (Bennett), cameo role for Aaron Johnson. The shocking, unexplainable loss is complicated by the unexpected pregnancy of Bennett's true love, (Rose) with a stunning performance by Carey Mulligan. Rose and Bennnett's unspoken love is finally consumated, by these perfectly matched quiet, soulful characters...explosively mangled by devastation, jolting all the intimate characters into a dysfunctional, rag tag family. Rose has no where to go and ends up with Grace, Allen, and the younger, troubled brother (Ryan) Johnny Simmons. Everyone has their individual and collective demons, unhealthy diversions, and another unavoidable collision course with truth and acceptance.

The chemistry is exceptional, Pierce Brosnan (suppressed father Allen) is prodigious in his role of steadily degrading stoicism. Susan Sarandon (bereaved mother Grace) does insanity and loss with unrivaled panache. The two sons display perfection and realism, but the real star of this amazing drama is the newcomer, Carey Mulligan as "Rose." The viewer is captivated by her elfin beauty, desperate hopes, appealingly powerful, and delicate presence.

This family's drama echoes hauntingly dramatic, yet familiar tones. It is so well put together, that it just pierces you directly in the heart, like a syringe of adrenaline... where you find yourself gasping in the powerful breath of life emerging once again. Director Shana Feste is absolutely extraordinary, as I understand this movie was made in an unbelievably short window of time---signifying perfection in each scene and continual movement forward.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a watch
Very nice film with some great actors about a painful set of circumstances that most of us can only imagine. Quiet, dramatic, but very well-acted. A pleasure to watch.
Published 1 month ago by Lex Madera
4.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest
Only because of Pierce Brosnan.. He is a great actor.. I have watgched him in so many movies. You'll love it
Published 4 months ago by nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars Well acted, worth watching, great
Cary Mulligan at her best with good story line and acting by Pierce Brosnan. Realistic story line with typical American life style and expectations.
Published 6 months ago by Louw van Wyk
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough call
I would really go 4.3 stars. In a nutshell, beloved first son is killed in a car crash, girlfriend survives, family grieves and grieves and grieves, girl shows up 3 months later... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Russell S
5.0 out of 5 stars another depressif movie
i saw recently helen with ashley judd who was a depressif movie and now the greatest who is too
well i should kill myself watching thoses movies but i like depress movies... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Marc Bouhana
3.0 out of 5 stars its a movie
you like it or you don't.

Wife likes Pierce Brosnan that's the only reason I purchased was for her.

Thumbs up for her.
Published 12 months ago by Shocker88
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Although this movie didn't get a lot of attention it should have. It is a great movie about loss and our ability to or in some of the characters cases inability to deal with it. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Sabrina M. Combs
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest
Great movie - really pulls you into the grieving process from different perspectives. Great acting from everyone! I watch it often.
Published 22 months ago by P. Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars A sincere poignant expression of love.
This is a melancholy love story of loss and love. It depicts some of what one may need to be overcome to deal with grief and loss of a loved one in their life. Read more
Published on June 22, 2012 by S.Stoner
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars for emotional drama
This movie came out in 2009 but I don't ever remember it showing in theaters. Perhaps it only made it to DVD, not sure. Read more
Published on March 5, 2012 by M. Oleson
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