Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    88
    The real surprise here is Lewis, who seems to have finally hit on a role that balances her usual flakiness with smarts and an offbeat poignancy, and she delivers the strongest work of her adult career.
  2. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    70
    Alternately breezy and profound, pic hits enough emotional chords to connect with audiences, which will be charmed by a newly mature Joshua Jackson, a deeply aged Donald Sutherland and a friskily romantic Juliette Lewis.
  3. 70
    Juliette Lewis makes Aurora Borealis into a funnier, richer, more powerful film than it has any reason to be.
  4. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirshling
    67
    Lewis, in particular, is a charmer; it's a loss that she never became an A-lister. And Jackson is, as always, earnestness itself. The movie would be a quality guilty-gloopy pleasure if it weren't so deadly overlong.
  5. The latest "Dawson's Creek" alumnus to break out of his WB bonds, Joshua Jackson proves himself all grown up in this sweetly scrappy indie.
  6. Although it is overloaded with backstory and often tries too hard, Aurora Borealis finds a reasonable balance between romance and family drama.
  7. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    60
    Aurora Borealisulth -- yes, that title eventually comes home to roost -- doesn't offend in any way, but it's so self-consciously quaint, so unwaveringly "nice," that you nearly wish it did.
  8. 50
    The fixation of independent movies on the arrested development of bourgeois dullards may have less to do with the relevance of the topic than the class of people who get to make movies. Whatever the case, James Burke directs from a screenplay by Brent Boyd.
  9. 50
    Think you're depressed now? Wait till you see Aurora Borealis, which spends almost two hours watching Ronald Shorter, a suicidal old man, die.
  10. 50
    Most successful in capturing the emotional elements of its story, the film relies on its excellent cast to balance out sketchily drawn characters and the unfortunate obviousness of its plot.
  11. True, the film doesn't need 110 minutes to tell a story this pat, but hey, in dark times, it takes longer to deliver a feel-good message.
  12. The script offers neither character revelations nor plot twists. It unfolds by the numbers, like the product of an amateur screenwriter's salon. Its second-hand ideas originate in movies ranging from 1960's "The Apartment" to 1997's "The Ice Storm."
  13. 50
    An unremarkable comedy-drama.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 4 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. ChadS.
    Apr 30, 2007
    7
    During a pick-up hockey game, Duncan Shorter(Joshua Jackson) goes ballistic after a friend botches-up his perfect pass. The twenty-something During a pick-up hockey game, Duncan Shorter(Joshua Jackson) goes ballistic after a friend botches-up his perfect pass. The twenty-something slacker brushes up against the right epiphany when he realizes that hockey is a serious matter. After some careful thought, he'll realize it's life that's not a game, but there are indeed real winners and losers. "Aurora Borealis" tells the story of a Minneapolis native who needs to get lost in love, then get lost. His grandfather(played by Donald Sutherland) wants to die because he feels like a burden to his wife. What goes unsaid is that he's also an albatross to his grandson. Exactly what are Duncan's motivations, we wonder, as he helps Ronald(Sutherland) late in the film? Freedom, at long last, from caregiving and the onus of the past, must've crossed his mind with Kate's departure looming on the horizon. By the way, Juliette Lewis is great as the only well-adjusted, mature young person in the film; this coming from an actress known for a bevy of neurotic and sociopathic characters. "Aurora Borealis" is a feel-good movie for late bloomers. Full Review »
  2. TovaE.
    Sep 28, 2006
    9
    Great acting by all the lead actors.
  3. KenG.
    Sep 23, 2006
    5
    The problem is Jackson (who is the lead character), is the least interesting character in the movie. He's so nice, and wholesome, that The problem is Jackson (who is the lead character), is the least interesting character in the movie. He's so nice, and wholesome, that he never comes across (except for the first few minutes), as the somewhat troubled guy, with personal demons and an attitude problem that the filmmakers want us to see him as. The movie also doesn't work as a love story, as I couldn't have cared less if Jackson and Lewis ended up together. The acting isn't bad, Sutherland and Lewis are pretty good, and even Jackson wasn't bad. (The problem was more the way his character was written, than with his performance) Full Review »