Top critical review
I wanted to like this movie
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2020
WARNING: SPOILERS. DO NOT READ IF YOU DON'T LIKE SPOILERS.
SECOND WARNING: A DOG IS KILLED IN THIS MOVIE - DELIBERATELY KILLED BY ONE OF THE CHARACTERS. IF YOU ARE SENSITIVE TO THAT, DO NOT WATCH THIS MOVIE.
I wish someone had warned me about that. I would not have watched it if I'd known. It happens about 20 minutes before the end, so I kept watching to see what happened. But I would have avoided it altogether if I had known about the dog. Not only that, the Britt Robertson character is pregnant, looks at least seven or eight months along, and the baby dies in utero. NOTE TO FIRST-TIME DIRECTORS: YOU DON'T MESS WITH CHILDREN AND ANIMALS. YOU JUST DON'T. YOU WILL LOSE VIEWERS - AND FANS - IF YOU DO.
I really wanted to like this movie. Thomas Dekker directed it. Britt Robertson is in it. Natasha Lyonne is in it. All of them are favorites of mine. If the story had stuck with the accident and ***SPOILER*** the twin storyline it would have been good. Why did they need to drag in physical and sexual abuse as well? The fact that Jack could not accept his mother's death as well as his father's makes sense when the viewer finds out that his father tried to drown Jack but mistakenly drowned his twin Andy instead, and his mother, while she didn't actually try to stop it, at least the way she tells it, she didn't want it to happen. She knew it was Andy and she let him die and let Jack live. So even though Jack thought he was close to his father, his father was obviously mentally ill and not only wanted to kill Jack when he was a baby, he actually did - or so he thought. Jack remembers his mother slapping his father around. I'm sure guilt kept his father from fighting back.
The problems with this movie are mainly with the writing. Rory Culkin does a good job with the material he has to work with. Britt Robertson is only on screen for two to three minutes - literally on screen, Skyping with Culkin. Natasha Lyonne has a bit part as a vet tech. The movie is all Culkin. In retrospect, as a viewer you have to wonder how many, if any, of the other characters are even real - but I don't think that was intentional on the part of the writer. The mother, yes. The neighbor, maybe. But is the fiancee real? The baby? You only see them on a computer screen. And obviously if the mother died in the accident, Culkin's character killed the dog. Or did he? The ending leaves it all pretty much up in the air.
Final thoughts: Don't waste your time on this movie. It isn't worth it. I should have paid attention to the 5.0 IMDb rating. But because three of my favorite actors were involved, I ignored it. Won't do that again.