Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 26 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 18 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Former high school sweethearts Dawson and Amanda find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances. [Relativity Media] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 26
  2. Negative: 16 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    Oct 16, 2014
    The Best of Me was a better film than I expected. Much of that is due to the performances delivered by Marsden, Monaghan, Liana Liberato and especially young Australian actor Luke Bracey as the younger version of Marsden’s character.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Oct 16, 2014
    What makes it slightly better than the others is an affable, low-key chemistry between James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as star-crossed lovers.
  3. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Oct 16, 2014
    The Best Of Me is neither the best Sparks adaptation, nor the worst; it’s merely the most recent.
  4. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Oct 16, 2014
    Even as characters are tweaked and actors bring a slightly different energy than his other movies, The Best of Me is still the same mushy Nicholas Sparks adaptation with drama so overwrought audience members can’t help but laugh — at least until they’re sniffling during the closing credits.
  5. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Oct 16, 2014
    The bad news is that no matter how charming or fizzy the chemistry between the actors might be, they're still trapped in the dead, fake melodrama and brainless coincidences of a Nicholas Sparks story.
  6. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 16, 2014
    Sparks’s preposterous approach has crystalized into cliché.
  7. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Oct 15, 2014
    Already hobbled by an overwrought story that turns positively Hallmark-Movie-preposterous in its third act, journeyman director Michael Hoffman (Soapdish, The Last Station) can’t conceive of a single memorable set-piece or rouse his actors into action. By the time Marsden’s character has very polite sex with the love of his life with his pants still on, I was done.

See all 26 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Oct 19, 2014
    The movie itself is a quality film containing a different feel, ending and plot than many sappy, love films. However, the film will be unsatisfying to readers of the book because of the unnecessary plot changes. Expand
  2. Oct 17, 2014
    In “The Best Of Me” it is 1992 and Amanda (Liana Liberato) and Dawson (Luke Bracey--looking too old) become high school sweethearts. She comes from a wealthy Louisiana family while he is described as ‘poor white trash’ by his father (Sean Bridgers), with her father, Jon Tenney, trying to buy Dawson off, not succeeding. For unknown reasons Dawson leaves the town and Liana.

    Twenty years later we meet Dawson (James Marsden) who is now an oil rig worker who just escaped death and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) is married, has a son, lost a younger daughter to leukemia and whose husband (Sebastian Arcelus) is a drunkard.

    Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, with the screenplay by J. Mills Goodloe and Will Fetters, we know true love won’t run smooth. Along the way we meet Dawson’s two redneck brothers played byHunter Burke and Rob Mello, Gerald McRaney, as Tuck, his mentor and the reason for Amanda and Dawson getting together again all these years later. The writers throw in all the cliché twists and turns that good romance novels/films have hopefully in paying off with the audience in tears. There are two surprise twists that unfortunately are telegraphed before they happened.

    The soundtrack tries to work on the heartstrings while Louisiana is photographed in all its hanging moss glory, skies with millions of stars, the actors looking their best and

    A HUGE mistake, which might not have been as obvious had the movie not constantly shifted between 1992 and 2012, is the fact that the younger Dawson, not only looking too old, has no resemblance to the older Dawson plus none to his father and two brothers. At least the young and older Amanda both have long curled hair so there is some resemblance. All the actors do what is required of them and there is chemistry between the younger Amanda and Dawson along with the older pair.

    “The Best Of Me” is not an unforgettable romance movie but gives the audience what it comes for, though logic has to be left at the door when walking in. Having to choose between this movie and “Fury” we made a good choice.
  3. Oct 17, 2014
    Usually I do not agree with the critics’ score but they just about nailed this one! I should however mention I do not like romantic movies or “chick flicks”. The only reason I watched this was because my girlfriend, yet again, forced me to another Nicholas Sparks’ so-called “masterpiece”. Now, I never read the book so I am unable to compare the two, which is why I am just basing my opinion as a random-movie-watcher-fan and not a die-hard Nicholas Sparks’ fan.

    Anyways, The Best of Me was somewhat entertaining and I found myself to enjoy it more than other romantic movies, the acting was fair majority of the time, it had some matured elements, and it was not overly dramatic in my opinion, but they were some scenes that ruined it for me. The movie was predictable; I was able to determine several plot twists and upcoming scenes. I was disappointed several times between the plot, ending, and themes.

    In conclusion, I know this movie deserves a three when my girlfriend has mixed feelings over it...enough said. I personally would not recommend this movie to anyone I know. I guess for Nicholas Sparks’ fans, this movie may be worth watching in theaters, but for non-Nicholas Sparks’ fans (like me) do yourself a favor and wait to Redbox this one.
  4. Nov 7, 2014
    Another annoying love story, The Best of Me was unoriginal, predictable, and will be known as "another love movie." Director Michael Hoffman does not give a legitimate interpretation of a realistic relationship, and the whole film reads "drama" all over it. Expand



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