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Ben is Back

Country: USA, Language: English, 98 mins

  • Director: Peter Hedges
  • Writer: Peter Hedges
  • Producer: Peter Hedges; Nina Jacobson; Teddy Schwarzman; Brad Simpson

CGiii Comment

When do you turn your back on the son you love?

This is not your run-of-the-mill drug addiction stroy...yes, all the familiar threads are there...but, Mr Hedges weaves in something a little extra...a missing dog! It's not a metaphor...there really is a missing dog...but, it could just as easily serve as one.

The 'dog search' is a route into the drug-infested underworld where Ben is [most] comfortable...his mother - on the other hand - ingests the realities and characters of addiction. It's a tough lesson...drugs have a price-tag and addicts pay for them any way they can. Ben used his body...for the [financially rewarding] gratification of older men. His mother is sick to-the-core...that's her son!

As with all drug dramas, the emotion is high...Julia Roberts throws out a mighty fine performance as she walks an unknown path into grim territory. Lucas Hedges balances his character on a tipping point...between charismatic and manipulative, from being savvy to vulnerable [and back again].

It's a different approach to a [lamentably] familiar story...this - like Beautiful Boy - spotlights the collateral damage of addiction...those who have to dole out the hard love...in order to survive, how sobering drug addiction is...for these [collateral] victims!


The(ir) Blurb...

19-year-old Ben Burns unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben's mother, Holly, is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe.

Cast & Characters

Julia Roberts as Holly Burns;
Courtney B. Vance as Mr. Beeby;
Kathryn Newton as Ivy Burns;
Lucas Hedges as Ben Burns;
Alexandra Park as Cara K.;
Teddy Canez as Officer Thomas;
Emily Cass McDonnell as Bobette Parker;
David Zaldivar as Spencer 'Spider' Webbs;
Jakari Fraser as Liam Burns-Beeby;
Mia Fowler as Lacey Beeby;
Marquise Vilson as Leon B.;
Melissa van der Schyff as Robin Striem

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