Trees Lounge

7.11 h 35 min1996R
All Tommy wants from life is what everyone else has—a job, a girl, a good time. But the harder he tries, the worse things get. And the more time he spends at Trees Lounge, his Long Island neighborhood bar, the more involved he gets with the lives of the colorful characters he meets there.
Steve Buscemi
Carol KaneDaniel BaldwinSamuel L. Jackson
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Michael ImperioliSuzanne ShepherdSteven RandazzoJohn VentimigliaElizabeth BraccoChloë SevignySeymour CasselEszter BalintDebi MazarRockets RedglareMichael BuscemiAnthony LaPagliaBronson DudleySteve BuscemiMark Boone JuniorMimi Rogers
Kelly ForsytheSarah VogelBrad WymanChris Hanley
R (Restricted)
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4.1 out of 5 stars

290 global ratings

  1. 60% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 16% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 9% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 6% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 9% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Original Toe KneeReviewed in the United States on May 16, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Steve Buscemi Masterpiece
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Be careful, you may not agree.... This one is for art film aficionados... it holds up very, very well after so many years. Not necessarily the perfect reflection of the lives many of us have lived and endured, but there are notes of tenderness beneath many of the scenes... I am especially impressed how this film showcased some new talent who have all done very well since. The script is solid and real... the people multi-dimensional...and this film showcases the same dilemmas s that so many of us have somehow survived... No solutions are presented, just a slice of reality that will have you reflecting on years you spend from mid-20's to early 40's... May cause you to wonder, where is this all going? Good question... one you get to answer for yourself.
16 people found this helpful
Philip TannenbaumReviewed in the United States on May 11, 2021
2.0 out of 5 stars
Don't bother with this movie, despite the great cast.
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Oh man, a movie about losers, and not even beautiful losers in the typical Hollywood way. Just losers, and one particular loser who can't do a thing right and can only make matters worse for himself. This move is so unpleasant, that I stopped watching it after 15 minutes, and didn't come back to it for months. I watched all 4 Seasons of The Crown, just to avoid this. Anyway, I finish what I start, so I did come back to it, but wish I didn't. These are people I would never want to know and neither would you. Its a good cast, but, not really even a story. You'll feel great about yourself after you watch this, because whatever you've got in life, its better than these folks.
12 people found this helpful
zentaraReviewed in the United States on September 4, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
life, love, and losers in 1970's America
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If you grew up in the 1970s you can really appreciate how this movie captures the times. Great to see all my favorite actors when they were young and starting out. I am really glad that Amazon is digging out these oldies but goodies, they are far more engaging than the modern fast action, sex, and death movies .
9 people found this helpful
mnwReviewed in the United States on November 13, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Who cares about this derelict?
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This was a Steve Buscemi vanity project. I get that, & I knew it going in.
However, I can not feature why anyone would want to spend an hour & a half watching a daytime drinker demonstrate what an unpleasant alcoholic DOES-- a character with no redeeming features.

Unlike most reviewers here, I couldn't find any deep meaning in this. Buscemi does show the droopy-lidded charm which made him a star.
8 people found this helpful
Christina ReynoldsReviewed in the United States on August 6, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Visually Unappealing but great use of symbolism
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Trees Lounge is a 1996 comedy-drama film and the debut of Steve Buscemi as writer and director. It was produced by Brad Wyman and Chris Hanley and features a large ensemble cast of actors, including Buscemi, Anthony LaPaglia, Chloë Sevigny, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film's black humor is based on examination of characters' self-destructive behavior, centered around their shared hangout of the titular bar and lounge.

My least favorite aspect about this film is a bit of a double edged sword. As the title suggest, this film takes place in various scenes at times, but the epicenter of it is the bar referred to in this title. The lack of stimulation required a lot of intrinsic motivation from the audience to finish this viewing, and the lack-luster environment leaves a lot to be desired. There is only so much one can expect after reading the description above however, so it's not like they don't try to warn you....

The flip-side of my previous point is that their is an inclusion of an ingenious use of various storytelling elements to "chug" the plot a long and make sense of the overall themes within this film. If 'TL' is taken at face value - just about a group of people that happen to hang out at the same bar and have their own lives - it gets boring quick and it can seem like it's begging to be turned off. This bar, however, is used as a metaphorical representation of things most people value in their daily lives: consistency, support, and a feeling that they belong. Scenes happening outside of the bar appear to have a particular amount of chaos to them in comparison to scenes taking place where the most confusion and drama and would be expected: Inside 'Trees Lounge' . This alone makes this a movie worth watching - even if only just once.

This movie is nothing to write home about in regards to visual allure, but it's fantastic use of symbolism is easily appreciated.
I would recommend (Even if not strongly)!
4 people found this helpful
football fanReviewed in the United States on September 7, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Existential ideas in an American movie.
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Being and nothingness at the Trees Lounge means being served a cold beer when the older bottle runs dry.

Steve Buscemi's movie classic reflects heavily on current philosophical ideas: mainly existentialism. Personally, I first saw Trees Lounge in 1996 at an art house in Malverne not too far from where Buscemi grew up in Valley Stream Long Island. Sometimes the burbs does feel like a burp, a relief of internal commotion, yet this movie is more of a realistic eye opener than the release of internal energy.

As far as story telling, this movie is poignant. Buscemi who wrote, directed, and starred in Trees Lounge. tells the story of a middle-class suburban young man who attempts to get his life in order before it runs out. The young man, Tommy, takes over his uncle's ice cream neighborhood trunk after his uncle, Al, dies from a fatal heart attack while driving his truck on a quiet, suburban neighborhood. Even though this movie is dead serious, it also has comic moments: a young child with money in hand is constantly ignored by Tommy who isn't paying attention and drives right pass him.

In the eyes of some, Tommy might be considered a loser, a never do well. In the eyes of others, Tommy has lived a real, normal life filled with misfortunes and heart breaks. He's just whiling away the time, until his number is called and his ticket on life is punched out. Like the ideas of Satre and Camus, it's all about the idea of here and now then the passage into the existential world of nothingness called so by the famous existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre. Yet before he final moment happens Tommy spends plenty of his time in the neighborhood pub called Trees Lounge. There he chats with Mike, a regular there, along with other customers. It's there people hang out and bond. As far as cinema, this one has a European flair done by an American. Without a doubt, this movie evokes profound thoughts and reflections. If someone hangs out in a bar all the time, is that person a loser? Not in my eyes, it is subjective. For me that person who always hang out in bars, I believe, is someone who is thirsty. There are a million and one stories to tell about hanging out in a bar. I remember once at two in the morning, a burping contest broke out when those drinking started to burp melodiously like a chorus. Thus is life is the burbs, sometimes it's a burp fest. other times, it's quite a bore fest.

When I first saw, Trees Lounge, it was filmed in standard definition. This movie is in high definition. Oh, how the times have changed. The fact, though, that's in HD made it more enjoyable to watch. When I first saw it in SD twenty years ago, the movie had less impact. Regardless, the bottom line is this movie is well-crafted, brilliant, and most of all, an artistic gem. It's nice to know that someone well known behind the camera has something to say in a humble tone without bright lights. Even if that something to say is nothing. The meaningless of life for some, if not many.

As far as knowing his surrounding, Buscemi is well verse in life in both the burb and in the city. He knows young adults want to get out of the burb to live in the more exciting city. After all, the burb could be quite humdrum. And the city offers the antidote, with excitement and opportunity, all existentially speaking.

This movie makes me think, it is well serving for those who spent four years in college, studying an abstract liberal arts curriculum, then find themselves endlessly hitting the pavement, not getting good job offers, only a thank you for showing up. The next stop after a futile job search, why, of course, the Trees Lounge.
33 people found this helpful
DetectorReviewed in the United States on August 15, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
give it a chance
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I tried to watch it once, bu the opening scene was so dull and depressing, I left it right there. Long time later, I clicked on it again and it began on the next scene; it remembered where I had left off...but I didn't. I thought I had come in in the middle. Anyway, it was captivating. I thought, these folks have a great life, community, a place to drink, an opportunity to mess up over and over and over with different people. And it was entertaining. The end takes you right back to the beginning, sad and dull, but the ending, like the beginning is short, which is about all you can ask for out of life, right? That Bill who opened the movie, and sort of ended it, had a long and worthless ending, and the Buscemi character, serially and constantly flawed, is looking at the same over the next 20 or 30 years, is not my problem. It may be a lot of folks problem in life, but not in watching movies.
One person found this helpful
Bradford GordonReviewed in the United States on August 7, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
I'll give it a 5 star because it's Steve's Buscemi's movie.
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It's a very enjoyable movie in my opinion. There are a few things that did not make sense or overlooked while making this movie. First of all if Tommy was a mechanic where is his expensive tool box? He can barely make ends meet. We all know a mechanic's tool box can exceed $30,000 when he can't even fix his own old Nova. Secondly, when Samuel L Jackson comes into the bar with his company truck and runs into his boss, that should've been his last day on the job driving a commercial vehicle after drinking. Anna ruined the movie with her bitchy attitude. She had Mike by the balls because they had a young child knowing he owned a successful business. I think Mike should of told her to hit the road. It would've been in his best interest to pay child support rather than dealing with that bitch. The guy paid his dues and built a business. His like to sit at the bar, but he earned it in my opinion.
2 people found this helpful
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