Empire Falls

Season 1
[HBO] HBO Miniseries about the hidden ties that connect various residents of a fading New England town.
Ed HarrisPhilip Seymour HoffmanHelen Hunt
English [CC]
Audio languages

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  1. 1. Empire Falls (Part 1)
    May 28, 2005
    1 h 50 min
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    [HBO] HD. Part 1 of 2. HBO Miniseries about the hidden ties that connect various residents of a fading New England town.
  2. 2. Empire Falls (Part 2)
    May 29, 2005
    1 h 25 min
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    [HBO] HD. Part 2 of 2. HBO Miniseries about the hidden ties that connect various residents of a fading New England town.

More details

Supporting actors
Paul NewmanRobin Wright PennAidan QuinnJoanne Woodward
Season year
Content advisory
Drug usefoul languagesexual contentviolence
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4.5 out of 5 stars

352 global ratings

  1. 74% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 3% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 5% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

ConsuelaReviewed in the United States on March 8, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
I Never Saw This Back in the Day--Appreciated it More in My Advanced Years
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Interesting seeing Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, husband and wife in real life, play such opposite type roles--yet,, notwithstanding the extremes of their financial conditions, the roles were very much the same insofar as their manipulation and attempts at controlling others created such misery. One victim of their controlling forces finally realized that the only way to stop their influence was not to stand up to them but to ignore them and take back the power that was his power. It took decades but he simply stopped their evil influence by not allowing them to have any. That mental acknowledgement to himself set him and an entire town free. That is the dominating lesson of this 2 part series. People have power over us because we accept and acknowledge their power. Ignore it and their dominion over us goes away. Well acted.
10 people found this helpful
Kindle Customer NanciReviewed in the United States on July 9, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Loved it when it first appeared in 2005; loved watching it again. Quality production all around.
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I saw this on HBO in 2005 when it first appeared. It grabbed my heart then - enough that when it came up on Amazon Prime my heart told me to watch it again. It is about the emotional side of life and why we sometimes do things that seem odd to others, but make sense to our hearts. It is about small town life and how some people make that work through their lifetimes. For me small town life was left behind long ago, but I appreciate experiencing a story through multiple levels. It is not easy to express this in a quick review but Empire Falls manages to flesh out the main character played by Ed Harris as he recalls his childhood, his mother, and people in his mother's life and give us an idea of why he quietly makes some decisions in his current life. The cast is deep in wonderful actors. The story has depth and breadth. The setting is perfectly captured, right down to the letters on the signs falling off-kilter and the neon light shorting out. It is a very well-done production - as HBO does so well. I am really happy to be able to watch this kind of programming again.
26 people found this helpful
Eve PaludanReviewed in the United States on June 15, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
A fantastic two-part series starring a spot-on cast
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A fantastic two-part series starring a spot-on cast. The script was incredible and though the story moved very slowly, I was well entertained by the characters' internal and external stories of small town life in New England. Ed Harris was the shining star, but he never stole moments from the supporting cast. I was sorry when this story was over because it was so compelling. I truly wanted to know more, though the feel-good conclusion was splendid. I recommend this to all.
16 people found this helpful
Douglas P. GrinderReviewed in the United States on July 2, 2021
3.0 out of 5 stars
Great book, mediocrre attempt at the movie. Ed Harris was not a great casting choice
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Paul Newman was great, Helen Hunt also. Dennis Farina was a great pick and did a great job and Aiden Quinn as the brother was also well done. I'm normally a real Ed Harris fan, but I don't think he was the right guy for this one. They should have taken their time and worked a little harder on character development. It was a miniseries . . . could have used 2 or three more episodes to better develop plot and character. The fact that Russo (the Writer of the book) was also involved in the movie was surprising since the whole thing seemed so rushed. Great book, though.
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on June 8, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Empire Falls
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Just finishing watching this one. Loved it. Slow moving, but scenery is beautiful and the interaction of the characters in this small town is very interesting. Kept moving and the chapters moved right along, one into the next one which I found a surprise. Good series. I recommend it.
One person found this helpful
PRC54Reviewed in the United States on March 3, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Richard Russo's Best Work
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This is based on the finest of Richard Russo's novels about small-town America, with well-developed characters woven into a rich plotline. It has everything: humor, heartache, romance, tragedy, small-town prejudice, heroes and villains. This HBO mini-series actually did the book justice, and the casting was marvelous (Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Ed Harris, Helen Hunt, Dennis Farina, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Aidan Quinn, Kate Burton). Re-reading the novel after watching the series on HBO allows you to picture those actors and actresses in their respective roles in the book. Miles Roby yearns for the day when he can be liberated from his self-inflicted shackles: being stuck in a job he hates in a town he despises, being controlled by an arrogant, lonely, power-happy matron (Mrs. Whiting) who pulls all the strings in this little New England town. It takes a tragedy involving his daughter Tick to make him realize that he can live out his dream by taking a risk, that is if he has the courage to walk away from Empire Falls. His best attribute (being a better father to his daughter than his father and mother were to him) is what will lead him out of his misery and help him understand how the bitter betrayal of his youth cannot be repeated with the next generation of Robys. The characters in Empire Falls are among the most colorful and memorable of the many entertaining ones that populate Richard Russo's novels. The only other Russo book (and movie) that comes close to this is Nobody's Fool.
8 people found this helpful
Catherine N. NagleReviewed in the United States on August 8, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Mainiac says Watch.
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Being from Maine and knowing first hand the realities of Mill closings and upper middle class families going to poor. I say it screams true. I love and miss the accents and the small town community. I know the feel of Maine and the people. This was spot on. The show captured my heart and took me home again. Bittersweet.
6 people found this helpful
Suzi GirlReviewed in the United States on January 17, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great mini-series!
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Love this mini-series. I can't remember how long ago I first watched it or how many times I've seen it but who cares.

The acting is just so subtle and I loved that both Paul Newman and Joann Woodward got to play against type. Newman is pretty despicable and talk about ruthless, Joann Woodward did an excellent job. I can't say enough about Ed Harris, I've liked ever since the first time I saw him and he consistently delivers a fine performance. Rounding out my picks is the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman who is just so wonderful.

The movie is well acted, doesn't get bogged down or drags out, it's just a darn good flick.
4 people found this helpful
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