You Can Count On Me

"Good"

You Can Count On Me Review


Laura Linney is my favorite criminally under-appreciated actress, so pardon me while I gush for a moment about her performance in "You Can Count On Me," a small movie with a resounding ring of truth about an orphaned brother and sister whose lives have taken them in vastly divergent directions.

Linney (the wife in "The Truman Show," the daughter in "Absolute Power," Mary Ann Singleton on "Tales of the City") plays Sammy, the responsible older sister who grew comfortable with small town life and still lives in the house she inherited when her parents were killed in a car crash when she was a child.

She's a fairly nondescript single mom utterly devoted to her young son (Rory Culkin) -- the kind of character who wouldn't be more than background in any movie a major studio might produce. But Linney inhabits every fiber of Sammy's ordinary being, exposing so clearly her heart, her psyche, her hopes and fears that she becomes -- in only a few minutes of screen time -- someone the audience cares about deeply and more deeply as the film goes on. Linney doesn't go trolling for the character's eccentricities, she simply portrays such a vivid, genuine sense of who this woman is that she feels like a long-lost friend. (End gush.)

In the story, however, the one who is long-lost is her brother Terry (Mark Ruffalo, "Committed"), a misery junkie who never got his act together and it's beginning to catch up with him. Embittered Terry has drifted back into town to ask his sister for money, but she's hoping to tie him down for a while and maybe help break his years-long free fall.

Ruffalo matches Linney's determined-to-be-hopeful intensity with his character's percolating contempt for life. Sure, Terry will stay for a while and work a few odd jobs. He'll buddy up to his nephew the way grown men do when they're not comfortable with their adulthood, and he'll screw that up. But when his sister tries to help put his train back on track (her kind of track, admittedly), Terry will blow a fuse, accuse her of interference, and blow a day watching "Jerry Springer" and making a dent in her couch.

The way Terry habitually sabotages himself gives the film a story arc that may be easy to anticipate -- his escalating irresponsibility, sometimes involving Sammy's son, leads to sibling strife. But "You Can Count On Me" is a quiet, uncomplicated movie about the nuances and limits of familial affinity, and moment by moment writer-director Kenneth Lonegran brings such authentic humanity to this relationship it would be hard to not feel a involved and invested in these people's lives.



You Can Count On Me

Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 16th November 2000

Box Office USA: $8.4M

Distributed by: TSG Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Fresh: 96 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kenneth Lonegran

Starring: as Samantha Prescott, as Terry Prescott, as Brian Everett, as Rudy Prescott

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.