You Can Count on Me (2000) - Drama

Hohum Score



A single mother's life is thrown into turmoil after her struggling, rarely seen younger brother returns to town.

IMDB: 7.5
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Stars: Laura Linney, Matthew Broderick
Length: 111 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 35 out of 232 found boring (15.08%)

One-line Reviews (110)

The film was fair with skilled acting and a fairly entertaining story (except for Linney's acting which is mediocre).

Sammy(Laura Linney) stays in the town she was raised in, and leads a normal if uneventful life.

He exists only as a pawn in Sammy's dreary life.

The emotional tension between Sammy and Terry made the story engaging and I cared about the characters.

Gentle story slow to start, reluctant to end .

absolutely recommended for people who are pretty bored of the big budget fake hollywood scripts, with their outwordly characters.

An early scene was very contrived.

This is such a film and its down to earth attitude is refreshing and worth watching.

The worst movie I've seen in years .

However, 111 minutes of it on film was tedious and a serious downer without mercy.

11/10--The most compelling movie of the year .

While this could have been an interesting plot line, the decision to portray it as mundane takes most of the drama out of it, merely presenting the story as a series of facts.

It makes it bland and boring...

After a slow start the film settles down into the characters really well and draws its strength from there, which is just as well because some of the narrative developments are better than others.

Too slow for words...

Culkin is actually quite endearing in his performance of Rudy, Jr.If this is supposed to be a celebration of the mundane, then it shows why the mundane is not usually celebrated.

His character is a flat boring guy trying to make a small town bank more efficient.

If there is a downside to the film it is that it gets off to a slow start.

Lisa attacks her mother for attending "boring Opera productions", in which "stupid people just want to prove how loud they can sing", without realising that she herself embraces an operatic vision of life.

Ostensibly a tale of redemption this movie is basically a waste of the audience's time.

Story begins well but becomes predictable with drab locations and uneven directing by Kenneth Lonergan.

Meanwhile, Sammy gets a marriage proposal from her nice, but boring boyfriend, played by Jon Tenney.

Every minute draws you closer to the main characters, each one more enjoyable than the last.

Lonergan has an engaging style as a novice director: his camera placement is designed to eavesdrop, not intrude, and his sly observations keep this quiet, unassuming film interesting and likable.

Sammy lives a painfully drab life that consists of nothing more than driving her son to school and going to work at a small bank.

Both characters engage in rituals of denial, burying their pain, engaging in flights of fancy and never discussing "things" directly.

Very Enjoyable, Realistic and Perceptive .

The movie is charming, witty, heartwarming, unpredictable, VERY funny, and so great.

And engrossing.

I'd be curious to find out what sort of preparations they went through for their roles, because the results are stunning.

The story was totally unsensational but totally absorbing.

Predictable "Lifetime channel" plot lacks originality or suspense.

Some people may find it boring, because it is too real, or may strike too close to home for them.

This movie has the most engaging characters I have ever seen.

Laura Linney and Mark Ruffalo excel in this drama; which despite its emotional and emotive foundation, still has many comical lines and humorous situations that add to the realism of hope, love and confusion in the development of the seemingly straightforward plot.

Would Terry disappoint the kid and thus fail in our view, did he have the right to comment snidely on his hometown to Rudy like that, etc. The constant tightrope made it gripping to watch.

Realistic, moving & entertaining story of small-town USA.

I saw it about four weeks ago and when I walked out of the theatre I knew that I had seen a good film.

"You can count on me" was a thoroughly enjoyable film.

Overall then a superior drama that is well written and well acted to deliver an engaging human story that works by avoiding the pitfalls, clichés and weaknesses of other stories within the same sort of vein.

But I found Ruffalo's performance compelling - you can do worse than a successful Brando imitation.

It is a perfect slice of Americana in this new millennium, involving a staid community of 'dull and narrow' people forging onward to an uncertain tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Sammy gets a marriage proposal from her nice, but boring boyfriend, played by Jon Tenney.

Although some have noted that this film appears to have no plot, it is very engaging nonetheless.

Laura Linney (Breach) had the unfortunate luck to go up against Julia Roberts for the Best Actress Oscar, but her portrayal of a woman whose life was turned upside down - largely though her own actions - was riveting and emotional.

With hope waning, I dragged myself to the press screening for a film I knew nothing about.

And the far too slow ending - naah, it is just a way of surrendering to the lack of a really good story.

Boring film about dysfunctional people .

The acting wooden, the characters uninteresting????

The performances are all amazing and entertaining...

The poem thus concisely embodies Lonergan themes: how rational minds are prone to irrationality, how emotional storms are both warranted and supremely narcissistic, how moral behaviour is oft made difficult, how private traumas and complications routinely go unnoticed by others, how everyone engages in fantasy projection, how indifference functions as both a kind of maturity and cold-heartedness, how being good and wishing to be seen "being good" differ, how morality is necessary but seems limited and trite in the face of greater injustices, how suffering seems relative, the difference between intellectually knowing and physically experiencing, the imperfections of people and the world itself etc etc.Aesthetically, "You Can Count On Me" is the more conventional of the two films.

there's very little plot, and certainly no action.

Hard Truths, Unexpected Twists, and Emotional Punch .

The acting, scenery, script, and interaction were all unique and well-done, but it was the characterization of Terry that was most engrossing for me.

It should've won best screenplay because Lonergan's writing and directing is pure, honest and engaging.

The movie's main plot is the appearance of her unruly and misguided brother Jessie whose character is by far the most intriguing in awhile.

She holds down a respectable but dull job as a lending officer at a bank, keeps a well-intentioned suitor at arm's length and continues to hope for a male role model for her lonely son.

The synopsis of ‘You Can Count on Me' sounds like one of those daytime made-for-TV movies, but thanks to Kenneth Lonergan's wonderful script the result is a thoughtful, engaging and moving family drama.

When she talks to the priest about their church's stand on adultery, she takes an unexpected stand for orthodoxy, as opposed to a more lenient, merciful admonishment.

It was 30 minutes into this slow-moving, plotless epic before the identity of the two main characters was confirmed.

The events are as unpredictable as the day's headlines, and the people, including those in supporting roles, as human as our neighbors.

Many film critics agreed and gave her several awards for this stunning performance.

They are infinitely fascinating and compelling to the last frame.

The subject matter -- the relationships between adult siblings -- is far too complex and intense to be dealt with in a flippant film like this.

A marvelously unpredictable screenplay and extraordinary direction of the actors are both the work of Kenneth Lonergan, a superbly talented man.

The film has nice acting, but repetitive dialogue and a storyline that has been seen many, many times.

Yet, despite the innate goodness at the core of her being, Sammy, like all us mere mortals, stumbles morally from time to time – most noticeably, in the unexpected affair she finds herself having with her new married boss (Matthew Broderick).

The soundtrack was intrusive, the acting wooden, the characters uninteresting, and the plot -- where it existed -- unbelievable.

Sounds formulaic?

The scenes between them are, to risk a cliché, pure gold.

Ken Lonegran has created a movie which has characters saying brilliant things, not because their geniuses but because they are what you and I would say if we were in their shoes, there is no dumbing down here, yet the story is fresh and as engaging as anything you'll see this year or maybe for a while.

there are many funny scenes in the movie, the movie is well-paced and the script well brought out, the dialogs are enjoyable.

Thank you for this wonderfully entertaining little film.

Having said that I find the premise trite, I'm going to add that I found the development trite as well.

As I sat through one movie after another, a common thread was readily apparent - although very different, they were all poorly made: whether they suffered from flat characters, bad scripts or meandering plots, they were at best, only remotely entertaining.

This film is about as predictable and annoying a family drama as I've seen.

Linney has been one of my favorite actresses since she did "Congo", and thoroughly stupid and thoroughly entertaining movie.

To me, any film that has this much going for it, in terms of dialogue, characterisation and acting can be as "pointless" as it wants.

"You Can Count On Me" is one of those rare films that is simultaneously real and entertaining: the characters could be anyone you know, the dialogue, conversations you've probably had, the feelings, universal and the small-town setting so charming you never think "Hollywood.

This movie is so well written, such a fascinating portrait of very real characters, so pleasing on every level.

One thing's for certain: It's refreshing to see a film that's enjoyable on a number of levels without the need for special effects, exotic locations and the excesses of vulgarity that Hollywood so frequently uses.

Mathew Brodderick had what looked to be an interesting minor role for him and then just became a waste of camera time.

Apart from this Sammy is living an empty love life with a man she actually pity's and when the tension gets high she eventually gets involved with her boss.

It's very unpredictable and carries some of the best acting this year.

I keep hearing that the film epitomizes Indie filmmaking at its best but the film also epitomizes some of the worst things about indie film; predictable music used way too pointedly with no subtlety and sloppiness that includes the editing of the film (not to mention a BIG BOOM SHOT IN A MAJOR SCENE!

YOU CAN COUNT ON ME   * * * 1/2   Very enjoyable and unpredictable comedy/drama about an orderly single mom in upstate New York who is visited by her wayward, irresponsible younger brother.

However, his fighting and getting arrested, plus other unpredictable behavior, cause Sammy to order him out.

And it is rather slow.

Reminiscent of "Five Easy Pieces" (1970) only with less well-defined characters and motivations, this is nevertheless an important film to cite as an example of what passes for "relationship" drama in a modern movie industry otherwise dominated by special effects and predictable plots.


In either case, those movies were dead boring because there was nothing special about them to justify going to a movie theater.

Dysfunctional has become the norm, which is fine with me since it spins a far more entertaining tale.

Maybe it was because the Laemmle's Theater on this date in West Los Angeles opened 30-minutes late because the manager forgot to arrive to open the theater with electricity or warm the celluloid film cans a bit, but I thought the movie too cold and too slow in development, too under-nourished in content, forced to position awkward clues about its story development in awkward places, and too typical of Hollywood melodrama in a standard template method of story telling.

I valued this film as much for what it did not include: violence, a contrived romance and a neat ending.

A little less so for Mark Ruffalo, who always seems to be fidgeting and struggling for a line; some sort of James Dean affliction, I suppose.

Maybe then we can get more movies like this one: forthright, entertaining and honest, and be free of this sickening glut of product that currently pollutes the multiplexes.

Lonergan has a skill for taking the mundane and changing it to become something of simplistic beauty.

This is certainly one of the best and most compelling films of 2000.

The central characters are unsympathetic and uninteresting, the situation they find themselves in is one we've seen at least a dozen times before, the locale is trivial at best, but mostly boring - just what we need, another film set in small town America, a regionalism of less and less interest as the American population continues to become metropolitanized - and the filmmaker has gone to extremes to manipulate the audience through gratuitously dominating musical selections - I mean are we stupid or something, does the filmmaker not realize the audience gets it, that the pathos of a character visiting his mother's grave does not have to be hammered home with a grave selection by J.

"You Can Count on Me" is very much a script- and character-driven movie, a far cry from a Hollywood cliché movie.

Even more intriguing, perhaps, is the contradictory nature of Terry (played by Mark Ruffalo, who, I swear, sounds as if he had been dubbed by none other than John Travolta).

The movie is set in a slow paced small town where Sammy, a single mother tries to raise her rule-abiding child, Rudy.

Even so, it's an impressive effort for a first-time director and a well made, engaging film that succeeds solely on the strengths of its narrative material and structure.

There is nothing too complex about the film, which makes it feel ordinary and empty at times too.

He has a natural, charismatic and extremely engaging screen presence, and he is absolutely terrific in this role.

No character is quite the way you expect him or her to be, but each is entirely believable and compelling.

That can sometimes be a sign of a good movie, if it is because many characters are well-developed and compelling.

It's the opposite of standard Hollywood fare with it's contrived characters and formulaic plots.

What a joy to sit back, relax, and enjoy an exquisite character driven quiet drama and that avoids every obvious cliche in film writing.

That aside, this film had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.