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You Can Count on Me (2000)

Laura Linney , Matthew Broderick , Kenneth Lonergan  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Linney, Matthew Broderick, Mark Ruffalo, Rory Culkin, Jon Tenney
  • Directors: Kenneth Lonergan
  • Writers: Kenneth Lonergan
  • Producers: Barbara De Fina, Donald C. Carter, Jeff Sharp, Jill Footlick, John Hart
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2001
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (186 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00003CXQ4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,120 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "You Can Count on Me" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Cast/Crew Interviews

Editorial Reviews

A single mother still living in the house she grew up in struggles to deal with her drifter brother when he comes home for a visit.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: R
Release Date: 2-MAY-2006
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
104 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the real thing May 15, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This is the hardest review I'll ever write.
My mother recently committed suicide. My father died seven years ago of cancer. I'm 34 years old, and I am seen by my two sisters as the f-up brother. I can honestly say that I can totally relate to this film.
Laura Linney is dead-on as a sister who is trying to live a "normal" life; work at the bank, pick up the son in her SUV, and believe in God, about 15 years after the sudden tragic death of her parents. Her brother is immature, unreliable, can't hold a job, and smokes an awful lot of pot. She is the "caretaker" in the sibling relationship. But, as the film unveils, she certainly can't take care of herself. And the f-up brother isn't as worthless and stupid and selfish as he is supposed to be.
This is a real film about real people dealing with the extrodinarily frustrating and painful task of carrying on after a tragic family loss. And they go on. They continue, the best they can.
There is dysfunction and then there is dysfunction. Some of us know what a real dysfunctional family is. And we're not whiners. We're heroes. And this film is for us.
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63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST FAMILY DRAMA IN 20 YEARS July 2, 2001
Format:DVD
Here are the most compelling reasons to buy this film, especially on DVD:
Words such as "masterpiece" and "genius" are incredibly overused these days, but I'm prepared to make the following statement: The screenplay is a masterpiece and Mark Ruffalo is a genius. (And Laura Linney, bless your soul, you are a damn fine actress.) Let me take a quick crack at supporting this statement, so that you can get on with the business of watching this movie instead of reading my review.
1. THE EDITING: Lonnergan's orginal screenplay chalked up 125 pages, which translates into roughly 125 minutes screen time. AFTER the final edit, Lonnergan RETYPED the screenplay (only a devoted writer and parent would do such a thing) and it yielded 95 pages. Now anyone who has written anything at all can tell you THIS IS SOME MAJOR CUTTING. And for the viewer it means a TIGHT, DIRECT, and WONDERFULLY VISUAL movie. To see what the hell I'm talking about, just check out the crash scene at the beginning of the film and specifically the moment when the policeman struggles to get a word out on the front porch. CUT!! You don't need to see anymore. Lonnergan trusts the audience to put the pieces together and the film moves on. It was at this very early point in the film when I saw it at the theater that I sensed the brilliance to come. And was not let down. You can probably find 20 moments where the scene ends EXACTLY WHERE IT NEEDS TO. (A comparable film in this respect is "Days of Heaven.")
2. BELIEVABLE CHARACTERS. That means complex characters. Characters who are not ALL GOOD or ALL BAD. Characters who behave in predictable and sometimes highly unpredictable ways, much like you and me.
3. SUPERB ACTING. You just don't see such nuanced performances like this every day.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving family story May 14, 2001
I am glad that "You Can Count on Me," the wonderful film written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, was given a higher profile in the wake of its Academy Award nominations. This is a classic "small" film: it takes place entirely in or around a small town, and focuses on a small group of ordinary people. But the emotions of this film are powerful, the story is relevant, and Lonergan gets outstanding performances from a wonderful cast.
Laura Linney plays Sammy, a single mother and bank employee. When her troubled brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo) returns to town, Sammy's life and relationship with her young son (Rory Culkin) become complicated by Terry's influence. Sammy has to juggle this domestic situation with controversy at work, where her anal-retentive boss (Matthew Broderick) is making lives miserable.
The story sounds simple, but Lonergan's intelligent script really brings us into the lives of these characters. And the performances truly make this film worth seeing. Linney carries the lead role with passionate grace, and has great chemistry with her screen brother Ruffalo. Broderick delivers a wonderfully multilayered performance as a character who is at times pathetic, at times sympathetic, and at times downright infuriating. And Culkin is a revelation as the young son; this is one of the best performances by a child actor that I have ever seen.
"You Can Count on Me" deals insightfully with a number of relationships: mother/son, brother/sister, boss/employee, pastor/churchgoer, and more. Lonergan deftly blends moments of both heartbreak and hilarity into a richly satisfying whole. If you want to see a serious adult drama with some sparkling comic moments, check out this film--it's one of the year's best.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yup, that's how life is! March 14, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Often a film is an escape. It's fantasy with larger-than-life characters. Not so with this small gem. In "You Can Count on Me" we meet real people - people whose lives aren't perfect, whose dreams aren't fancy, and who make mistakes. Nominated for two academy awards in 2000, this can be called a story about relationships. But before you roll your eyes in boredom, thinking this might be too talky, and full of pat psychological answers to every question, just wait. Even if easy answers are not forthcoming, you'll get a chance to glimpse some characters that are so real they could be the neighbors next door or members of your own family.
The key relationship here is between a brother and a sister. Orphaned as children, they've grown up counting on each other. Now they are in their thirties. The sister, Laura Linney, is a single mother of an 8-year-old boy, played by Rory Culkin. She works in a bank in their hometown in Upstate New York, and has made arrangements with her boss to use part of her lunch hour time to pick up her child from school and bring him to a baby sitter. The brother, played by Mark Ruffalo, has left home years before. He's a drifter who always needs money, impulsive and boyish and loveable all at the same time. His young nephew adores him, especially when he takes him to a pool hall one night.
The sister has stuff to contend with. There's a new branch manager Matthew Broderick, where she works, the kind of idiot boss who forces the staff to refrain from using bright colors on their computer screens because it doesn't represent the dignity of a bank. There's her son wanting to know more about his real father than she wants to tell him. And there's a marriage proposal from her long-term boring boyfriend. The brother's arrival is a catalyst for turmoil.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A perennial favorite
A generous and quirky film about two adult children trying to live their ives. Terrific acting all around. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Margaret Vaughn
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth your time
Good acting, but there's little point to the story. The actors tried hard, but the viewer has no connection to them.
Published 11 days ago by owl
4.0 out of 5 stars Stays Away From Hollywood Cliches
What a pleasure to see an American movie that consistently fails to take the easy (Hollywood) way out when examining/resolving interpersonal issues and reactions. Read more
Published 16 days ago by Michael Warren
5.0 out of 5 stars Family ties
This was a must see movie. The movie shows that not everyone is perfect especially when it comes to siblings, but in the end, they're the ones that have your back.
Published 24 days ago by Tamiko Scott
2.0 out of 5 stars same boring subject
Can't Hollywood be more creative? Seems that it is the same subject over, and over again...they make too many movies that are too predictable.
Published 1 month ago by Steven Welch
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Screenplay!
This is a tremendous achievement in writing and directing. Linney and Ruffalo are outstanding with strong support from Broderick and Rory Culkin. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Dale W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Relationships
The acting was superb in this glimpse into siblings estranged , not only by distance, but their evolving personalities in the wake of the tragic and sudden loss of their parents... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Sidney
5.0 out of 5 stars Sister and brother!
I love the actors and found it a touching and poignant film. but I don't think Laura Linney's character will see her brother again and feel like he has not made much progress in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Love song
1.0 out of 5 stars Finally turned it off
My daughter and I were so disappointed in this movie. It may have gotten better at the end, but it so bad for so long we finally turned it off. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mar
2.0 out of 5 stars Good acting, plot went nowhere
The main characters were like all of us - not perfect, and the story around them was interesting. Unfortunately, there seemed to be minimal improvement in their personalities at... Read more
Published 3 months ago by len L
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