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64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

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  • Summary: Set in the late 70's, seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen year old boy, Scott, "Lymelife" is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream. This funny, sad, violent and sometimes tragic look at first love, family dynamics and divorce weaves an intricate tapestry of American lifeSet in the late 70's, seen through the innocent eyes of a fifteen year old boy, Scott, "Lymelife" is a unique take on the dangers of the American Dream. This funny, sad, violent and sometimes tragic look at first love, family dynamics and divorce weaves an intricate tapestry of American life during a time of drastic economic and emotional change. (Screen Media Films) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. 88
    Lymelife, set amid marital decay and teen frustration, isn't quite the "American Beauty" of the 516 area code, but it'll do.
  2. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    80
    Intense perfs by Rory Culkin and Alec Baldwin are standouts in a movie that brims with vivid supporting turns.
  3. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    It's a family drama that treads on well-worn middle-class territory but is redeemed by the complexity of the characters and the intriguing ambiguity of their actions.
  4. Thanks to a strong ensemble cast, it's poignant and funny.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    70
    Scott's coming-of-age bumblings form the piece's narrative rhythm. But the most affecting moments come from Mickey's midlife machinations: Baldwin, who also produced the film, has his best role since "The Cooler."
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    60
    Given how steeped it is in symbolic portent, Lymelife proves surprisingly watchable from moment to moment, thanks to the uniformly fine playing (particularly of the Culkin frères), evocative production design (by Kelly McGehee), and handsome widescreen photography (by Frank Godwin).
  7. 38
    Like so many of these farm-raised films, this one looks polished, but takes no risks, offers no surprises, and contains a final sequence that's laughable for its lack of courage.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 3 out of 12
  1. AlisonR
    May 20, 2009
    10
    My favorite film of the year so far. Touching, mean, funny and very very real. The cast is great, especially Rory and Kieran Culkin playing My favorite film of the year so far. Touching, mean, funny and very very real. The cast is great, especially Rory and Kieran Culkin playing brothers. The smartest casting I've seen in a film in a very long time. This one broke my heart and left me wanting more after its extremely misleading and well crafted ending. Gosh, what a film. My heart is still fluttering. Expand
  2. AaronS
    May 13, 2009
    10
    Let's not pull any punches here..this is the best "cinema" I've seen in 09. Acting, writing, directing are all top notch. My big Let's not pull any punches here..this is the best "cinema" I've seen in 09. Acting, writing, directing are all top notch. My big concern is the powerhouse performance Baldwin gives and Rory Culkin and the amazing Timoth Hutton delivers will be forgotten at award time. This is a Screen Media release. How in god's name did it end up there? It is a Miramax, Searchlight film all the way. It is what independent film is all about. It is exactly how I felt when I went to see Resivior Dogs or Hard 8 or Bottle Rocket. The big difference is Lymelife stomps Hard 8 and Bottle Rocket to death. Maybe not Dogs, but that's a tall order. And forgivable. QT is the man. But PT and Wes A better look in their rearview mirrors. There's a new sheriff in town folks, and his name is Derick Martini. Fearless, blunt, beautiful, hilarious and twisted. Needless to say I am utterly impressed. Expand
  3. Oct 16, 2011
    10
    A touching tribute to the strains of an American family. I found it funny, sad, honest and the acting is sensational. The direction isA touching tribute to the strains of an American family. I found it funny, sad, honest and the acting is sensational. The direction is classy, and it allows the performers to really shine. I highly suggest than any true film lover see this film. It's unlike any other I have seen over the last few years. Expand
  4. PennyM
    May 9, 2009
    10
    The first great indy of the year. Delicate, beautiful, absorbing performances. Several darkly hilarious split your pants scenes. Took 5 or 10 The first great indy of the year. Delicate, beautiful, absorbing performances. Several darkly hilarious split your pants scenes. Took 5 or 10 minutes for me to latch on to Rory Culkin as the lead, but once I did, I kept being reminded of my first boyfriend. And there are a lot of firsts in this film. It's like the director/screenwriter took a whole series of "first times" for Culkin and, with brute force, drags us through each painful, hysterical, awkward moment. All the kiddies are splendid, including Emma roberts and Kieran Culkin. Even the stereotypical bully is handled in a perversely funny and sad way. The "adults" in the film are also splendid. Every adult has a clear desire that is not being fulfilled. Ironically, my favorite scene, and one of the best "revenge scenes" in film history, has nothing to do with the kids. Alec Baldwin and Timothy Hutton at a bar could have played out like every cliche in the handbook. However, like everything else in the film, the scene is handled in a unique and brilliant fashion. The way Hutton screws with Baldwin's mind is nothing short of sheer genius. Although Baldwin is getting a well deserved comeuppance of sorts, you can't help but feel for the guy. And the beauty of the scene is that it turns into a demented torturous scene with one, barely audible, whispered word. Baldwin's face, the sweat on his upper lip, his silence, says it all in a way some silly drivel of words could ever do. Expand
  5. BillL
    Apr 16, 2009
    10
    Cool movie. Like everything Revolutionary Road should have been. This was awesome. Cool ending too. Made my stale mind think.
  6. Flaneur
    May 21, 2009
    9
    Subtler, better-written, and less stagy than 'The Ice Storm' or 'Igby Goes Down'--this cuts deeper than any other film Subtler, better-written, and less stagy than 'The Ice Storm' or 'Igby Goes Down'--this cuts deeper than any other film about the Sick Soul of Suburban Life. Expand
  7. AndreF
    May 3, 2009
    2
    cliche... like a mix of the Squid and the Whale and the Ice Storm and everything indie filmmakers love to rip-off from Scorcese and P.T.A. cliche... like a mix of the Squid and the Whale and the Ice Storm and everything indie filmmakers love to rip-off from Scorcese and P.T.A. But the filmmakers get an "A" for effort apparently the film was shot in only 22 days on a low budget and with a very interesting cast. well done. Collapse

See all 12 User Reviews

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