Walkaway Joe

1 h 29 min2020X-Ray16+
In the tradition of American classics, WALKAWAYJOE is the story of an unlikely friendship between a young boy searching for his father, and a wandering loner hiding from his past. In each other they experience the power of a second chance, and a shot at redemption.
Tom Wright
Jeffrey Dean MorganDavid StrathairnJulian Feder
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Julie Ann Emery
Quiver Distribution
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesmokingviolence
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3.9 out of 5 stars

1373 global ratings

  1. 45% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 19% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 21% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 8% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 7% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Silver Screen VideosReviewed in the United States on November 21, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
A Bit Too Long of a Walk
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You can count the number of excellent pool movies on the fingers of one hand and still have a couple left over to hold the cue stick. There’s “The Hustler,” of course, and its sequel, “The Color of Money.” And then, there’s… Well, many people may have trouble even naming any third pool movie, let alone a memorable one. The latest effort at cinematic billiards, “Walkaway Joe,” isn’t memorable, and it’s certainly not excellent. But thanks to a couple of old pros in critical roles, it is decent viewing for those who can’t get to the local pool hall during the pandemic.

“Walkaway Joe” is a mix of pool movie and another, far more familiar genre, the coming-of-age film. Dallas (Julian Feder) is a 14-year-old budding pool hustler who helps his father Cal (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) fleece local bar players who underestimate the boy’s skills. Cal is a smooth talker and talented pool player, but not much of a husband or father. So, after another argument with his wife, he abruptly walks out on the family. Dallas sets out on his bicycle to find dad but runs into trouble when he tries a solo hustle in a bar. A sore loser threatens Dallas, who is saved by the intervention of a stranger named Joe (David Strathairn).

If you’ve ever seen a coming-of-age movie featuring a sorry excuse for a parent, you’ve seen a substitute father figure like Joe. After saving Dallas from a beat-down or worse, Joe gives the boy a ride to the big tournament where Cal will play. Along the way, he dispenses bits and pieces of wisdom to Dallas but proves just brusque and secretive enough to clue viewers in that he’s no saint. Dallas enters the pool tournament himself, and, not surprisingly, the championship matches him and his dad.

On paper, “Walkaway Joe” is a film with potential. Unfortunately, Julian Feder, who plays the pivotal role of Dallas, lacks the depth to keep up with his far more experienced co-stars. So, he basically mopes and sulks much of the time. The screenplay doesn’t help him out either. Cal is a stereotypical charmer with little of a moral compass. Joe is even more of a non-entity. The script gives him a mysterious past that Dallas eventually puts together. But the movie is not about Joe (despite the title). It’s about Cal and his journey toward adulthood, part of which involves helping Joe confront his past demons. Joe and Cal become little more than plot devices in service of a very familiar story.

That’s a shame because Jeffrey Dean Morgan and David Strathairn are both in their element here and deliver enjoyable performances. Cal has a lot in common with most Morgan characters, and the actor commands the screen in his scenes. Further, Strathairn is more low-key, in keeping with his more introverted characters. With lesser actors, “Walkaway Joe” could have been a disaster. With these two, it’s almost always watchable.

Of course, pool figures heavily in the storyline of “Walkaway Joe.” The game of choice is nine-ball, which Dallas explains to viewers in an opening-scene narrative. Pool fans will appreciate the various trick and difficult shots that appear in the film. Most of these shots occur in various montages, though. The movie lacks any genuine sense of drama about any match, even the tournament championship pitting Dallas and Cal.

Pool fans and Jeffrey Dean Morgan fans will probably enjoy “Walkaway Joe” more than most viewers will. It is about as memorable as watching a couple of bar regulars shoot a rack, and most of the plot developments are incredibly predictable. Still, I enjoyed seeing two old pros at the top of their game and various pool-playing extras whose skills far exceed my own. That cast is considerably better than what you’ll find in the average direct-to-video effort on Amazon Prime, so I’m giving “Walkaway Joe” a mild recommendation. Rack ‘em up.
7 people found this helpful
John HReviewed in the United States on June 11, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Enjoyable Movie
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I liked this movie. It is fairly complex with multiple stories between a father and son and the son and a stranger. A 14-year-old boy must face problems that young adults would have problems with. This movie mixes in billiards, like the Color of Money movie, with a playoff between father and son. Good rental.
10 people found this helpful
John 763Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
I paid, but even if it was free, I’d Still feel cheated.
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I always love good movies about pool players, sharks, hustlers etc. but this is not one of them. I admit I got sucked in just because of the subject matter and preview without checking the reviews here and elsewhere, so hopefully I can cut you off before plunking down your hard earned cash.
The film starts off with a cool opening where the kid is describing some aspect of shooting pool, but goes downhill from there. It doesn’t take long before I realized I couldn’t stand the smarmy snot nosed teen and this dislike would grow throughout the movie. There wasn’t much drama for the big tournament toward the end of the movie, but the end was predictable anyway. Somewhere in there, I think there may have been the premise of what may have been a good story and movie, but it just never happened. I always wonder why do you go to the trouble of putting together some big name actors, invest in studio time and everything else involved with making a professional movie, but then do poor casting (the kid, maybe some directors nephew or something) and use a bad script or screenplay and ruin the slightest possibility giving it no chance to be called entertainment.
3 people found this helpful
G. K. ThomasReviewed in the United States on May 9, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Deceptive Downloading process [haven't seen movie yet. Looks good though. Ignore rating]
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I was going to order this film, but when I clicked on it to get more info I was told I had ordered it. I don't appreciate tactics like that, I was going to order it anyway, but hustling people ain't cool Amazon,
8 people found this helpful
M. PhillipsReviewed in the United States on August 11, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
Falls a bit flat due to a confluence of factors.
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I'd give it a 5.5 overall.

I thought that both David Strathairn and Julie Ann Emery did a first rate job. And although Jeffrey Dean Morgan's acting was fine, my wife and I weren't that impressed with the performance of the star, Julian Feder.

Although the story was good, the rapidity at which events unfolded took made the story feel a bit forced.

Whereas the game of pool fit nicely into both The Hustler and The Color of Money, it just sort of felt like it didn't quite belong here.

Inconsistencies w/o any reason as to why:
Seatbelts off, seatbelts on, seatbelts off. Bike on the rv / no bike on the rv. Flat tire / no flat tire.

I feel that there was a much more enjoyable version of this movie trying to come out, but it just fell sort of flat for us.
2 people found this helpful
MarkReviewed in the United States on May 11, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Worth the rental
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Good story, worth renting. Easy for “critics” to pick apart, but goodness, decent entertainment. Loved Strathairn as lead and as executive producer.
8 people found this helpful
Erik MReviewed in the United States on June 6, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great movie
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Love it
8 people found this helpful
JamesReviewed in the United States on May 31, 2020
1.0 out of 5 stars
Do not watch. Unless you have time to kill, I didn't
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Turned it off 30 min in. I'm a real person btw. Not a shill, why torpedo an independent like movie.. anyway. Tried to hold out, couldn't take it at that last gas stop scene because of "Dallas'. Terrible actor. I acted better in 8th Grade, and easily, and I wasn't good. I mean what is that affectation he's doing with his voice? Take 5 years acting in college thanks. Dilutes and degrades the other class actors in this movie! Get tf off screen!!! Who tf hired this kid!!!?? Who's son is he?!! How did the director not rectify his acting!? Holy hell, I want my $5 back! Don't pay it. Would be five stars except the kid. I'm allowing 1 for the other A+ grade actors that got roped into this. F*ing unacceptable. Hopefully you read this before hand, I know almost nobody does..
4 people found this helpful
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