Ordinary People (1980) - Drama

Hohum Score



The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

IMDB: 7.7
Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore
Length: 124 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 34 out of 299 found boring (11.37%)

One-line Reviews (148)

The scrutiny justifies the hype that is offered in here and not because of its complexity but its layered material that it brings along with it whether then it be its unexpected consequences or eerie perspective.

They might as well have called it "Sit Down And Yawn".

Oddly it proves life is complex and sad as many face an unexpected breaking away.

A very compelling and emotional drama about a family falling apart.

About a year ago I rented the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it for several reasons.

This movie is a fascinating character study of "ordinary" people put in a situation which is a far cry from something remotely ordinary in life.

The fact that Robert Redford directed this film makes it even more worth watching.

Robert Redford, director of such bad films as "The Horse Whisperer" and "A River Runs Through It" makes his directorial debut with this pretentious and technically horrible movie.

Ordinary People is in every way a stunning cinematic achievement.

Ordinary People is the first movie I've ever cried at, and I highly recommend it.

Well worth watching and justifiably honored with a Best Picture Oscar for 1980.

" Her portrayal of a woman who can't bring herself to simply love her family, notwithstanding all their faults, is riveting, and serves notice that she isn't "just" Laura Petrie or Mary Richards anymore.

People who can enjoy slow paced movie that you really need to think hard and deep about I would recommend it too you as well, other than that I would say just stay away.

The deliberately uncertain Timothy Hutton turns in an overrated and I'm happy to say, boring performance.

It might seem stupid, but I would have enjoyed it A LOT more if this was just another Ordinary Movie that didn't win such big awards.

I felt he really conveyed the painful feelings of teenage isolation and estrangement from his nuances at school, his bland and sterile home life and the nagging of his mother to the scenes with his sweetly awkward father Sutherland (Calvin).

I saw it when it was first released and it was just as engrossing this time around too, nearly 40 years later.

A film like this needs good acting to save the audience from boredom.

Hutton delivered an intense, thoughtful and true performance, receiving a well-deserved Oscar for best supporting actor, although the title, best actor, would have been more suitable.

Many may find this drama as to much of a sad feel I for one think it teaches emotional growth, unexpected ways, and departing change.

"Ordinary People" appears to be a simple film on the surface, but it is an intense character study that works because of its performances, screenplay, and top-notch direction.

At the end, there is one of the most unexpected and unforgettable finals ever made and it has the last word!

Robert Redford's Ordinary People is a poignant and absorbing family drama, with exceptional performances.

A young boy struggles to coup with his mundane life following the death of his older brother.

She is an empty shell of a person simply living via remote control.

they DO look more than a little pretentious.

This conflict of values serves as the culmination of this fascinating film that properly addresses mental illness at a time when it was not so openly discussed.

When I saw it upon its release many years ago, I left the theater mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I've never lost a sibling (thank God) and I've never tried to "off" myself, but a lot of Conrad's confusion, desperation, and anger sure ringed a bell.

1st watched 4/2/2000 - 8 out of 10 (Dir-Robert Redford): Slow moving complex drama told very simply and played out very well by everyone involved.

And there is nothing behind the performances here but ordinariness, blandness, cliché.

Not a lot of big events for a two-hour film, and some will inevitably find it just plain boring.

The first half of ORDINARY PEOPLE is uneventful, focusing mostly on the "ordinary" daily life of this Middle American family who, though they suffered a great tragedy in the death of their older son several years earlier and are now struggling with their younger son's depression and suicidal tendencies, seem at first like the Brady Bunch in their normality.

Dull is much worse.

The movie becomes predictable at times.

Stunning, compelling...

Much of these emotions and complexities are drawn out by a family psychologist Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch) who operates with a calmness and assurance that couples well with Hutton's performance.

I found the film extremely boring and just begging for it to end after the first half hour.

Quite a triumph for the crew to convert such outwardly tame material into a compelling result.

Conrad has just attempted suicide and is always on the edge.

Intense Character Study That Stopped the "Raging Bull" in 1980 .

Timothy Hutton delivers a compelling performance for his demanding character.

While Raging Bull may be the better remembered and entertaining film, it was Ordinary People that I found more profound and gripping....

The scene in which Conrad sings, "Hallelujah," for example, is cute at first, but a little too drawn-out, as is Calvin's jogging scene.

The movie was good; worth watching, and it was a good representation of the therapeutic processes that are described in the book.

For my money, for a great director/film like Scorcese/Raging Bull to lose to something that is wholly unwatchable---that represented a new height in injustice.

One of the most enjoyable and pure films ever made.

Just breathtaking work from a surprisingly unexpected source.

This is a fascinating motion picture.

Robert Redford in his directorial debut paints a bittersweet portrait of such ordinariness as the norm, it is a slice of the era before the self-indulgent me generation.

Ordinary People is a riveting psychodrama about the hidden things we suppress.

The scenes where he courts Jeannine Pratt ( an engaging Elizabeth McGovern) show his warm and endearing side.

The sympathy he generates is immense, which is part of what makes the film so compelling.

Mary Tyler Moore gives a stunning performance as a woman whose warmth to those outside her family is matched by her coldness to her surviving son.

By giving us a real contrast to this monster (especially as Sutherland's character undergoes transformation, waking to a woman he realizes he never knew), the film is ultimately more edifying, entertaining, and life-informing than Scorsese's directorial masterpiece, which ultimately teaches us more about film than people.

Absorbing story, well told.

Dull kills the spirit, makes one beg for those somewhat-less-dull 50s musicals.

It's a slow, brooding film that gradually reveals the extent of the trauma that Conrad is dealing with.

Robert Redford's direction is subtle, combining the coming to terms with tragedy with the bland ordinariness of daily lives, with the handling of Conrad's depression being especially touching (The echoes of which can be seen in the 'okay' "Good Will Hunting").

It deserved the oscars it got and i highly recommend it to anyone who won't get depressed easily.

There were great use of lighting but as in some of Robert Redfords other films; it was just to long and slow.

They're just starting to discover who they are, and attempting to lose themselves in an acting role could feel confusing and unsafe.

Though Some people would say that this movie is boring, i think that is false.

Very depressing, tedious, poorly executed, and not entertaining at all.

I think that people are focusing more on new up-and-coming movies that are "happy" (if you will) or action packed than films that really mean something.

Conrad is teetering precariously on the edge of his personal abyss once more, crying out for a human touch-point.

My main problem with this movie is that it is drab.

Easily the worst movie ever to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

I'd heard bad things about it - it was an Academy movie, it was boring, it was crap....

To describe "Ordinary People" in a phrase, it is an intense emotional drama of a family torn by tragedy.

Absorbing, intimate family drama .

Handsome film is well-paced, yet it has confusing and/or anticlimactic passages, and the final scenes don't work.

An intense emotional drama made up of a witty script, brilliant performances, and great direction by Robert Redford .

The whole story line with Conrad I believe as very predictable.

Besides being a very long and drawn out drama with absolutely no surprises this film lacked something.

I really just didn't enjoy the story or the plot, on the other hand though I though the director did the best he could with such a slow boring story.

As all these films ignore naked economics – the very engine which pushes women into the workplace and neuters both men and women (in a very real sense, it was debt that got women into the workforce and war which put them in trousers and turn-of-the-century factories) – and the various social factors which shape gender and behaviour, their politics are more pointless than illuminating.

The late Donald Sutherland as Calvin was perhaps the most compelling of the main roles as he alone earnestly wanted everything to be alright for all members of his family to the degree that he refused to see Beth's flaws until almost too late.

I watched "Ordinary People" last night and it was stunning.

However, though it was powerfull, the emotion that was put into Ordinary People and the emotion that it gives off is stunning.

Hutton, Moore and Sutherland aren't ordinary, they're DULL.

More importantly, it realistically illustrates the uncertainty and confusion such an act ensues.

ORDINARY PEOPLE was a nearly perfectly mounted, intense, emotionally draining motion picture drama, based on the novel by Judith Guest which was the first directorial effort of Robert Redford, who received one of the film's five Oscars.

Furthermore the actors on the leading roles where marvelous, especially the performance of Tim Hutton who was breathtaking.

Some 80's psycho-babble gibberish is tossed in, and is just as pointless as everything else the movie assaults you with.

I found it especially compelling due to how much I relate to Conrad Jarrett.

This film did have one thing that made it worth watching and that was an outstanding performance by Donald Sutherland.

It's basically a series of uncomfortable scenes strung together in a dull daisy chain of events.

Judd Hirsh, Doctor Gerber, is a refreshing addition to this bland mold of characters.

This film forced you to emphasize, but in a way that was enjoyable and entertaining.

Slow moving complex drama told very simply and played out very well...

There's a great story behind this movie, a story of familial despair that reminds me of Bergman's Autumn Sonata, but it's long and slow.

The other reason that it might be considerd boring is that there is almost no music used.

The theater was filled with high school seniors and we wondered who thought up the bright idea of seeing this "Boring" film.

Sutherland is stunning as the father struggling to deal with his son and wife.

Stunning cinematic achievement .

Horrible, Trite .

While the scenes with Conrad and Dr. Berger are particularly moving, even the smallest interactions are incredibly absorbing.

and at one of the rare moments where she finally does show any depth of emotion, it is a fascinating study of someone who, somewhere along the way, lost her ability to face reality.

All of the emotion is so predictable and overacted.

A Powerful and Dead-On Portrayal of Intense Family Dysfunction .

Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland give a stunning portrayal of suburban alienation in 1980's "Ordinary People".

Simply breathtaking.

A movie that pretends to offer a sensitive view of humans during the bereavement process, but gives a twisted, contrived, and hideously exploitive image of it.

Not the best-made movie of the year -- yes, that goes to RAGING BULL -- but that brings up a fascinating comparison: I would suggest that ORDINARY PEOPLE's Beth is all bull in the china shop of her family's hearts, more of a monster than LaMotta who 1) repents; and 2) is not encouraged by society friends to remain unchanged, who perceive that nothing is really wrong.

Although the movie may appear to be simple on it's exterior, accompanied by only one instrumental piece, Pachelbel's "Canon in D", it has many heavy layers that are thrilling to explore.

Stunning performances, heartbreaking story .

Mentally Riveting .

But the film is still gripping.

The characters are engaging and I do care for them.

As the idolizing younger brother who bears heavy remorse for a boating accident that took his popular sibling's life, Hutton gives full dimension to Conrad, wringing truth out of every frame – especially when he unloads at an intense midnight session at his psychiatrist's office.

Extraordinarily boring slice-of-life movie .

Incredibly emotional and psychologically intense.

I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for the secret at the heart of the opening family interactions.

So, when I recently saw it again, I was completely immersed in their world and couldn't get over just how good this movie really is.

Even with some details the balance is tilted more toward the virtues of the film that makes enjoyable the drama of real life.

There is little to zero entertainment value in this stodgy tale.

And special mention must be made of Dinah Minaff's riveting acting.

However, I think the movie is a bit too slow...

I highly recommend it to everyone.

) as poppa, Calvin Jarrett, just doing another variation of his predictable, watery-eyed, "Goofy" character, assuring us all, once again, that his presence, as always, was easily forgettable.

Mary Tyler Moore plays a grating and miserable character that is too contrived to either be hated or empathized with.

Sutherland saves his character from being pathetic and portrays a man of intense love who does not know what he should do.

Heavy movie but very compelling .

He knows that, and he also knows he is violent, boring and a little dangerous.

He brings us into their lives and makes a study of their motivations, thoughts, and dreams fascinating viewing.

The film is gripping from beginning to end, as we watch a family slowly disintegrating before our very eyes.

Other elements, such as the script, editing, music, camera, photography, etc, are tailored to specifically foreground the performances, or, to put it another way, are intentionally bland (or minimalist) enough to focus all energy into the performances, which have every opportunity to sky.

Stunning insight into a family falling apart.

Hutton's performance is extremely compelling, in fact he is remarkable.

The writing is strong if not gripping, it's thought-provoking and intriguing enough to keep the audience invested in it.

Is veridical, non melodramatic, thrilling and, at least, human.

The highlight of this film is the stunning "Oscar-winning" performance by Mary Tyler Moore.

I find films like this very enjoyable, the ones that deal with death and people trying to go on with living and having more problems as they go along.

Mary Tyler Moore, as the mother, is engaging.

Actually, Sutherland looks a bit like Goofy, so he's only half-dull.

This is probably the best movie I've ever seen that has such a slow moving plot.

All of that cliché ridden "Why does everything always have to be about YOU?!

Yet, there are even times and scenes when it is so emotionally enjoyable it's difficult to keep your eyes.

)Then, on the other hand, there was Donald Sutherland (ho-hum!

Playing a vain and pretentious woman with a fragile ego and heart of ice can be tricky.

People my age found Ordinary People dated or otherwise a miserable, aimless, pointless movie.

Compelling if occasionally overwrought...

It's an absolutely stunning film with highly emotional scenes that are going to stick with me for quite some time.

Moore is flawless in her delivery of this empty shell middle aged woman that has nothing left inside to give to anyone.

This film is worth watching even on WE.

The family itself is from a middle class background and the film examines what happens when something goes wrong for one of these oh so ordinary and perfect families for whom tragedy is an unexpected and unknown visitor.

compelling performance of compelling character .