Paramount Pictures | Release Date: September 18, 1980 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Universal acclaim based on 18 Critic Reviews
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Wonderful performances by Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, and Timothy Hutton. [19 Dec 1980, p.2-10]
Los Angeles TimesCharles Champlin
An outstanding start to the fall season, reassuring in its quest for excellence and its deep concern for the family. It's a fine and touching piece of work for any season; in 1980, it is rain after drought. [21 Sept 1980, T1]
NewsweekJack Kroll
If the film has a problem, it's a kind of excess of goodness at the expense of imaginative excitement. The real hero is the psychiatrist, played with a riffing Jewish beat by Hirsch as a counterpoint to the tight Wasp rhythms of Conrad's family. There's a feeling of therapy more than revelation, but perhaps for our multifariously sick society therapy has become revelation. This seems to have been a major point in Guest's novel, and Redford has dramatized it with integrity, honor and compassion. [22 Sept 1980, p.76]
Boston GlobeBruce McCabe
Moore's conception of the character is compelling. She rivets us. She's assisted by the superb performances Redford has elicited from her co- stars, Sutherland and Timothy Hutton, who plays Conrad, the guilt-ridden surviving brother of the dead boy. [26 Sep 1980]
Washington PostJudith Martin
The story of a boy's re-entry into family and school life after a mental breakdown, it is of strikingly high quality. Redford apparently has a fine eye, and the ability to draw the very best from veteran actors Mary Tyler Moore and Donald Sutherland, as well as from a youngster, Timothy Hutton. The entire cast, to the smallest parts, are excellent. And the dialogue, costumes and settings are so perfectly appropriate that they approach satire. [26 Sept 1980, p.17]
Given the source material, the film is as good as respectful adaptation could make it: a high-class soap opera, compulsively watchable despite a quality of insight eventually exposed as trite and dubious in the extreme. [26 Sep 1980, p.F1]