The Boys Are Back (2009)

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The Boys Are Back is a confessional tale of fatherhood. It follows a witty, wisecracking, action-oriented sportswriter who, in the wake of his wife's death, finds himself in a sudden, stultifying state of single parenthood. Joe Warr throws himself into the only child-rearing philosophy he thinks has a shot at bringing joy back into their lives: "just says yes." Raising two boys - a curious six year-old and a rebel teen from a previous marriage -- in a household devoid of feminine influence, and with a lack of rules, life becomes exuberant, instinctual, reckless... and on the constant verge of disaster. The three multi-generational boys of the Warr household, father and sons alike, must each find their own way, however tenuous, to grow up.
Clive Owen as Joe Warr
Chris Haywood as Tom
Laura Fraser as Katy
George MacKay as Harry
Julia Blake as Barbara
Emma Lung as Mia
Emma Booth
Steven Robertson as School Housemaster
Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Tim Walker
Natasha Little as Flick
Erik Thomson as Digby
Nicholas McAnulty as Artie
Nakia Pires as Lucy
Daniel Carter as Digby & Paula's Child
Georgina Naidu as Paula
Full cast

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This movie is slow moving, dealing with an emotional subject. I felt the acting from Clive Owen was forced and not believable. Plot is OK, but a little thin. The title itself gives away the ending. Might be a good one to rent, but don't bother going to see it in a theatre.

Nathaniel Queen

This is a hevy one with good acting by all parties. A subtle tear-jerker of a movie depicting real life possibilities when a Father has to dea with death, his responsibilities and do all the things he heretofore avoided, Demonstrates true love of a Father for his children in picking up the pieces after a Mother's death/


Serious, sad, very touching and occasionally funny, this well acted tale of the effects of death and divorce on various family members didn't need to say it was "inspired by a true story" to ring true. This beautifully filmed movie (shot mostly in Australia) moves at an appropriately slow pace and is a good choice for those seeking a wholesome film that any adult can relate to. It also has one line of dialogue that will stay with me for a long time: "There are plenty of people I can do things with...what I need is someone I can do nothing with." You have to see the movie to put that line in context and feel the underlying emotion, but if this were a big budget American film, I think it would rank up there with "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she has to enter mine" as one of the classic screen moments of heartache and loss.


Nothing against the summer fare of explosions and car chases, but I have wanted a movie that shows something...distinctly human in a modern way. This is it. While Cloive Owen is the star, he does such a fine job that one doesn't think of it as "his" movie--it's more ensemble. Touches on issues that feel real, in a concise yet subtle way: loss of a loved one, and how it affects people differently, stages of grief, being a child of divorce, relationships with exes, relationships between the sexes, relationships between family members--all of it real, all of it reminding you that if you've gone through one of these experiences, you're not alone (even if you aren't as good-looking).

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