Around the Bend

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: -2

Around the Bend is a fresh dramatic comedy about family failures and the opportunity for redemption. Henry (Michael Caine), the proud patriarch of the Lair family, lives with his grandson, Jason (Josh Lucas), and great-grandson, Zach (Jonah Bobo). Sensing his death approaching, Henry yearns for unity, forgiveness and love in his family. Unfortunately, the reality is far from perfect. Jasons father, Turner (Christopher Walken), abruptly left him shortly after birth, becoming a thief and a drug addict. Yet Henry still wants Turner back and gladly accepts him when he suddenly appears at the family home. Jason, however, is skeptical and angry with his father, choosing to reject the man who betrayed them so long ago. So when Henry finally dies, he leaves his three descendants with a final request. They must go on a trip together. And they must unearth the secrets of their past and finally be reconciled.

This film is an effective retelling of the Prodigal Son. Jason, who was raised by Henry instead of his own father, is the faithful son, and Turner is the lost son. As in the Scripture, the faithful son refuses to accept the lost son who returns home. So, Henry must encourage and manipulate his sons, so that there will finally be love and peace between them. Though it has a powerful message of redemption and an enjoyable story, the film is unfortunately marred by foul language. There are also a number of references to drug and alcohol addiction, and to sexuality, including one scene when the men imagine naked women. Additionally, the line sometimes a thing wants to be stolen crops up at least twice to justify a theft. Though Preview cannot recommend it, a mature viewer who can overlook these flaws may still find something of value in Around the Bend.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty
Warner Independent Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) times mild (hell 2, damn 2); moderate (t-ts 1); strong (-ss 2, SOB 1)

Obscene Language: Many (25) times mild (pee 1); moderate (cr-p 1, other 4); strong (f-word 12, s-word 5, d-ck 2)

Profanity: Many (12) times moderate (OMG 1, G 1, G-sake 1); strong (GD 7, J 2)

Violence: Few times mild (man threatens to fight another man, discussion of previous violence and regret); moderate (brief images of a bloody horror film)

Sex: Once mild (man sits down next to woman on bed and scene is cut, but later the woman claims that they slept together)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (boy talks about kissing a girl); moderate (man refers to having sex with a woman, man recalls making love to a woman, man talks about a naked woman, boy talks about wanting to see a girl naked, references to sexual fantasies); strong (man talks about being sexually aroused)

Drugs: Few times mild (suggestion made to drink whiskey, little boy wants whiskey but is refused, man drinks at bar); moderate (discussion of illegal drug use in the past but present rehabilitation)

Other: Strong redemptive themes; depiction of family reconciliation, confession and forgiveness; depiction of theft as positive in some situations

Running Time: 85 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature youths and Adults

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