Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: Seven Days in Utopia follows the story of Luke Chisolm, a talented young golfer set on making the pro tour. When his first big shot turns out to be a very public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas, home to eccentric rancher Johnny Crawford. But Johnny's more than meets the eye, and his profound ways of looking at life force Luke to question not only his past choices, but his direction for the future. (Utopia Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 23
  2. Negative: 9 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 31, 2011
    In addition to being one of the finest golf movies ever, this film raises the bar on faith-based cinema.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 2, 2011
    It's a lot more cornball – i.e., enjoyable – than "The Tree of Life," which tried for some of the same things. Utopia, with its big blue skies and peachy-keen people, may not rank right up there with Shangri-La, but it's close enough.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Aug 30, 2011
    Provides little more than a pleasantly passable Christian sports parable delivered as a sort of Texan golfer's version of "The Karate Kid."
  4. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Sep 1, 2011
    If the combination of Christian bromides and golf tips strikes you as a recipe for boredom, stay away.
  5. Reviewed by: Gary M. Kramer
    Sep 2, 2011
    Seven Days in Utopia is flawed in so many ways -- the editing, writing, acting and Matthew Dean Russell's direction are uniformly weak -- that this well-intentioned film does its positive messages a disservice.
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 1, 2011
    A stultifying hybrid of athletic instruction film and Christian sermon.
  7. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Sep 1, 2011
    The movie is terrible partly because it's badly written, directed, and conceived and partly because it lacks the necessarily thematic coherence to accomplish proselytism of any kind.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. Sep 4, 2011
    just saw this movie and really enjoyed it. Robert Duval is great and I loved his character and the unconventional way that he taught Luke. Great scenery and great message for all of us! Expand
  2. Sep 4, 2011
    What can I say, Robert Duvall is awesome as always! In addition to Mr. Duvall's superb performance, the movie's message accurately points out that Golf is a game that can teach valuable life lessons. Living with perspective, balance, and emotional control are a few of them. I felt my time well spent which is not something I can say for most movies. Collapse
  3. Sep 7, 2011
    Someone finally made a movie with a real life story that didn't have just a bunch of cussing and sex.....Just some decency for a family to enjoy.......Hope the general public gives this movie a chance and decides to spend their dollar on a movie with a message. Expand
  4. Sep 2, 2011
    A movie with a message,,,what a concept! It is so refreshing to be moved by a movie and feel that it was truly a great investment of time and money. Kudos to Robert Duval! Expand
  5. Sep 13, 2011
    Boring Christian propaganda flick--reality as they would like it to be rather than what it is. Christian fantasy. This is the kind of world imagined by people wanting to avoid dealing with the world and all it complications. When I was ten I would have enjoyed it. Expand
  6. Oct 26, 2011
    Seven Days in Utopia is the sweet story of promising young Texas golfer Luke Chisholm (Lucas Black) who chafes under the control of his mentor father. In his first golf match on the pro tour, his father (Joseph Lyle Taylor) abandons him publicly, and Luke melts down and leaves the match, driving until he reaches Utopia, Texas. There he meets retired golf pro Johnny Crawford (Robert Duvall) who helps him get back his game over the next seven days while he romances local girl Sarah (Deborah Ann Woll) and endears himself to the town folk (Kathy Baker, Melissa Leo). After his lessons in Utopia, complete with Bible instruction, Luke then returns to his now remorseful and conciliatory father for another chance at the tour.

    Because the venerable Robert Duvall, Melissa Leo and Kathy Baker signed on for this production, I ventured out to see Seven Days in Utopia. Despite its seasoned cast, this film comes off as well-intentioned but amateurish. With the exception of Duvall and Leo, the performances were shallow stereotypes of rural Texas people made worse by some silly costuming. The filmmakers clearly believe rural Texans are completely lacking in sophistication and never watch TV, shop at a department store or visit a hair dresser. The final absurdity comes when the local boy played by Brian Geraghty takes off his straw hat and gives it to Luke as a farewell gesture of friendship--everyone knows that any Texas cowboy worth his salt would never part with his hat--just ask Lyle Lovett. The film also has a gimmicky ending which left me feeling as if I had been watching an infomercial for the past 90 minutes. In short, this is a sweet fairy tale that portrays life and Texas as the filmmakers imagine it, and not as it is. The lack of authenticity in the setting and characters leave the plot ungrounded and the film difficult to regard as serious cinema. Sometimes this happens when filmmakers are more intent on making a statement rather than telling a good story, or they are just inexperienced. Either way, I can only give Seven Days in Utopia a three. 'Nuff said, ya'll. This review also appeared at
  7. Aug 7, 2012
    Manipulative garbage. Shameful schlock. I have lost total respect for Robert Duvall for allowing himself to be involved in such a syrup infested predictable piece of made for TV embarrassment. God Bless. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews