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

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: Abigail Brooks has spent her lifetime trying to win an Olympic rowing medal, sacrificing friendship, love, and a "normal life" along the way. When she is named an alternate on the Olympic team she quits in haste. Defeated, Abi moves back home with her widowed, workaholic mother. Tension builds as Abi's mother urges her to "move on" from the rowing life that Abi's father, a coach, introduced her to. Unable to do so, but needing an immediate job, Abi seizes an open crew coach position at her alma mater, Union High. There, the head of athletics is her old boyfriend, Geoff. Abi trains her high school rowers in an obsessive fashion, taking two girls, Hannah and Susan, under her wing. After the girls lose an important regional race, Abi reinvents herself as a coach, and, in the process, learns to have fun again both on the water and off. Backwards is an intimate look at the personal sacrifices and complex choices facing competitive Olympic hopefuls. It is also a film about dreams -- young adults pursuing their dreams... and finding that sometimes a missed opportunity can become an introduction to an entire new life. (DADA Films) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Sep 19, 2012
    75
    Thomas, credited as writer, producer, and executive producer, is the obvious auteur, orchestrating a star vehicle she lacks the screen presence to anchor.
  2. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Sep 20, 2012
    70
    It's simple stuff, but it works.
  3. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Sep 27, 2012
    50
    A movie whose main virtue was its honesty ultimately lands in a place that feels canned and unsatisfying. But on the way there, Backwards isn't so bad.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Sep 19, 2012
    40
    Subplots are introduced only to be resolved within minutes, characters jettisoned at a moment's notice. Those who can't do, teach; those who settle apparently end up pretty happy.
  5. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 20, 2012
    40
    As her boss and boyfriend, an impressively good-natured James Van Der Beek adds a professional sheen to what otherwise feels like a vanity affair.
  6. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Sep 20, 2012
    40
    Pairing a dull romance with an even duller sport (at least as represented here), this cliché-ridden vanity project is more suited to the ABC Family channel than to the inside of a movie theater.
  7. Reviewed by: Tomas Hachard
    Sep 18, 2012
    25
    Streamlines its busy set of plots and subplots into a 90-minute sprint, throughout which characters often confront and overcome their obstacles within the same scene.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

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