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Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Ever since the premature death of his father, 25-year-old Minneapolis slacker Duncan (Jackson) is content with shuffling aimlessly through life, hanging out with his lifelong friends, and ditching one dead-end job after another. Duncan takes a job as a handyman in a high-rise that allows himEver since the premature death of his father, 25-year-old Minneapolis slacker Duncan (Jackson) is content with shuffling aimlessly through life, hanging out with his lifelong friends, and ditching one dead-end job after another. Duncan takes a job as a handyman in a high-rise that allows him to be near his gravely ill grandfather Ronald (Sutherland), who's more than a handful for his grandmother Ruth (Fletcher). That newfound sense of purpose, plus a budding romance with home healthcare provider Kate (Lewis), gives Duncan the motivation to take charge of his life. However, Kate isn't one to stay in the same place for too long, and Duncan is soon torn between following her to California and a new, more responsible life, and his feelings of familial obligation to an increasingly suicidal Ronald. (Regent Releasing) Expand
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. 70
    Juliette Lewis makes Aurora Borealis into a funnier, richer, more powerful film than it has any reason to be.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 50
    An unremarkable comedy-drama.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. TovaE.
    Sep 28, 2006
    9
    Great acting by all the lead actors.
  2. 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. Expand
  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) Expand

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