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The Boys Are Back

4.2 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Clive Owen delivers a critically acclaimed performance in THE BOYS ARE BACK, the heartwarming and uplifting drama about a man who is suddenly thrust into the role of single parent. Successful sportswriter Joe Warr (Owen) finds himself completely unprepared to raise his rambunctious 6-year-old son Artie and juggle the challenges of a demanding job, running a household and the possibility of romance. Determined to bring joy back into their lives, he develops a revolutionary approach to parenting no rules, no chores. It's a home filled with love and chaos and then Joe's estranged teenage son comes for a visit. Inspired by a true story and filled with emotional honesty, this poignant film will touch your heart and lift your spirits.

Bonus Features include: THE BOYS ARE BACK: A Photographic Journey With Optional Commentary By Director Scott Hicks, A Father And Two Sons, On Set

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Clive Owen, Laura Fraser, George MacKay, Erik Thomson, Emma Booth
  • Directors: Scott Hicks
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Miramax Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,497 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boys Are Back" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mr. Joe TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 6, 2009
Format: DVD
The essence of THE BOYS ARE BACK is "fatherhood", i.e. what it means to be a Dad. It's an absolutely lovely film absolutely worth seeing.

Joe Warr (Clive Owen) suddenly finds himself a single father when his young wife Katy (Laura Fraser) precipitously dies of intestinal cancer. Joe, the lead and oft-on-the-road sportswriter for Melbourne's major newspaper, must now connect with his six-year old son Artie (Nicholas McAnulty). Coming to visit from England is his 14-year old son from a previous marriage, Harry (George MacKay), whom Joe pretty much abandoned to his first wife years before on their divorce.

THE BOYS ARE BACK is about male bonding - father with motherless son, father with fatherless son, brother with half-brother. In this clubhouse, the women, whether it be Joe's mother-in-law Barbara (Julia Blake) or potential new significant-other Laura (Emma Booth), are almost intruders.

Filmed mostly on Australia's striking south coast and with a soundtrack featuring haunting songs by Iceland's Sigur Rós, this film contains what is perhaps Clive Owen's finest and most nuanced performance to date. I wouldn't be surprised if Owen is nominated for an Oscar for this role, which is the best by a male actor I've seen in 2009.

Too often, I think, the societal presumption is that children of marriages broken by death or divorce are better off with mothers, that fathers are somehow less loving and less skilled at parenting. At least in this must-see film, that is emphatically not the case.

I left the screening keen on THE BOYS ARE BACK more than I can adequately express.

P.S. 1/21/2010 Now that 2009 is finished, I must say that Owen's performance, while not THE best of 2009, is one of three best, joining Morgan Freeman of INVICTUS and Jeff Bridges of CRAZY HEART. Good company, that.
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From the memoir written by Simon Carr and directed by Scott Hicks, this gorgeously filmed (Greig Fraser) movie begins with Joe Warr (Clive Owen) as a happily married husband and loving father to their young son, Artie (Nicholas McAnulty). The family resides in a colorfully shown Australia while he works as an important sports writer. Warr and his wife, Katie (Laura Fraser), are out during one evening and she suddenly drops to the floor without warning. She is terminally ill. A brokenhearted Warr tenderly takes care of Katie along with his son. Clive Owen provides a personally poignant and stirring portrayal of a convincingly take-action husband and father which appears almost effortless.

Their son Artie is a totally free-spirited little boy. He remains aloof to the situation with his mother as she passes away quickly and Warr is left to care for his son, job, home, and to manage everything that he never did before. His mother-in-law, "Nana", is in their home on and off trying to guide Joe in the ways of raising his precocious little boy, who states while in his class at school that "cat food looks better than it tastes". Warr sees things differently while learning to understand all that is involved in the grieving process of his son; anger, outbursts, laughter, indifference, and the closeness that Artie needs.

We quickly understand that Joe was married before and has another son, Harry (George MacKay). He has been at a highbrow prep school and comes to visit his father, who he barely knows and meet his little brother for the first time. The two boys are vastly different coming from two different worlds. Harry first appears disenfranchised with being a part of this new-found threesome until his father is able to smooth over the familial culture shock.
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Format: DVD
If Clive Owens accepted the role of Joe Warr (based on the autobiography of Simon Carr) as an attempt to break away from his type casting as a blood and thunder action hero, he at least proved that he is able to step beyond his usual screen presence. Though the story of a happily married sports writer to a beautiful young second wife Katy (Laura Fraser), enjoying their one child Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), who abruptly becomes a single parent when Katy dies from metastatic carcinoma, placing him in the uncomfortable position of becoming a single parent, is not unique among the tearful novels that have also made their way to the screen, this film survives on the quality of the cast. Not only does Joe have to overcome the treacherous terrain of tending to housekeeping along with the tenuous gap that occurs when a parent dies and the remaining parent must tend to the grief of the remaining child, but he also must cope with the young Harry (George McKay), his son by his first marriage in England (his second family is in Australia) who feels deserted and asks to come to live with Joe and his half brother Artie. The film lingers over the madness of a household of males, tinkers with tricky problems with inlaws and his exwife, but in the end the message is that with 'growth' on the parts of each of the three males in the tale, happiness is possible.

The film's intent is admirable and the cast of characters selected to portray these people - Owens shows real potential as a serious dramatic actor, George McKay is particularly excellent as the elder son - is very well selected. The film is long, and could be easily edited without altering the impact of the story. Director Scott Hicks allows the film to become predictable and overly saccharine: less could definitely have been more. But it is a good evening's entertainment. And Clive Owens CAN do Hallmark-type films for TV! Grady Harp, January 10
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