"Growing Up Is the Biggest Adventure"
What You Need To Know:
THE BOYS ARE BACK is a poignant drama of love and responsibility working through tragedy, alienation and loss. Told in a naturalistic style, the movie depicts the relationship between the protagonist and his sons in a manner that grounds its themes in the real world of everyday life. The cast does a fine job, including its star, Clive Owen, under steady direction from Scott Hicks, who directed the acclaimed movie SHINE. The movie’s moral elements are diminished, however, by Romantic attitudes toward parenting and some strong foul language. Extreme caution is advised.
(B, Ro, LLL, V, A, D, M) Light moral worldview about a recently widowed father raising two sons alone, including pro-family elements, some themes regarding love and responsibility, being an involved father is considered a positive thing, and one positive reference each to God and an afterlife, marred by some unresolved Romantic elements where father recommends loose discipline in raising children; eight obscenities, seven strong profanities referring to Jesus and 12 light profanities such as My God and For God’s sake; light real violence and slapstick comedy such as rude man in a bar headbutts protagonist and a fight breaks out, boy jumps repeatedly into tub of water, partying youths invade a home and wreck it, pillow fight; no sex scenes; upper male nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, lack of discipline, man imagines himself talking to his dead wife, partying youths invade home and vandalize it, and man divorced from first wife, who he apparently left for another woman, but there is no mention of any details about this past situation.
THE BOYS ARE BACK is an Australian movie about a widowed father who must cope with raising two sons alone.
Based on a true story, the movie stars Clive Owen as Joe Warr, a sports writer in Australia whose beautiful second wife loses a difficult bout with cancer. Joe is faced with caring for his young son, Artie, all alone. He sets up a loose set of rules.
Harry, Joe’s teenage son in England from his first marriage, suddenly shows up on Joe’s doorstep. Joe applies the same loose discipline to Harry as to Artie. Life is good for a time with this makeshift all-male family, until Joe’s duties at his job conflict with his duties of caring for his two sons.
THE BOYS ARE BACK is a poignant drama of love and responsibility working through tragedy, alienation and loss. Told in a naturalistic style, the movie depicts the relationship between the protagonist and his sons in a manner that grounds its themes in the real world of everyday life. The cast does a fine job (including its star, Clive Owen), under steady direction from Scott Hicks, who also directed the acclaimed movie SHINE.
THE BOYS ARE BACK shies away, however, from offering any easy or glib answers about coping with tragedy or raising children. Though it admits that, at the end of the day, children need at least some structure and discipline, it neglects to say exactly how much or where. Thus, at a crucial moment the father admits he needs to be a better father but he doesn’t completely abandon his easygoing style of parenting. This Romantic attitude diminishes the movie’s moral elements.
Even so, the movie comes down firmly on the side of fathers taking a strong role in the lives of their children. And, it shows that love and humor can cover over a multitude of sins.
There is some strong foul language in THE BOYS ARE BACK, but there is no sex or explicit nudity. The foul language warrants extreme caution, especially for older children or pre-teens, as do the movie’s themes about dying, death and the loss of a child’s mother and a man’s wife.