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Genres are ThrillerDr Produced in 1996, USA
Available Quality: DivX, iPod
Rating: 6 out of 10 (4105 votes)
|Meryl Streep||John Heard||Liam Neeson||Alfred Molina|
|Ann Magnuson||Alison Folland||Daniel von Bargen|
When teenage son Jacob is being accused of murdering his girlfriend, the well-respected and close-knit Ryan family is in turmoil. Jacob flees, father Ben destroys possible evidence, the village community turns hostile and mother Carolyn is forced to temporarily close her doctors practice. Then Jacob gets arrested and soon finds himself and his family entangled in a web of truth, trust and lies, all on his way to court.
18 June 2013
Edwards Performance incredible!
This movie goes as evidence of Edward Furlong's incredible potential. Hehimself led a captivating performance, definitely outdoing Meryl StreepandLiam Neeson, who were terrible. The plot was suspenseful, and Edward'scharacter, Jacob Ryan, played out the suspense and thrill.Definitely a 10!~Sakinah
17 June 2013
severe plot line problem
While not a terrible movie it has a few serious problems. The problemsstart with the casting. Edward Furlong is cast to play the 16 year oldson of parents played by Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson, but at age 16 heappears to be roughly five inches shorter than Streep and is utterlydwarfed by Neeson. Furlong looks more like he was their 12 year old sonthan their 16 year old son.Next problem is that certain points you need to catch at the beginningof the film simply slip by far to fast to catch. In a murder mystery orsomething with major plot twists that might be tolerable, but not inyour ordinary family drama.But to me the most troubling problem (and if you are determined to seethe movie regardless you might not want to read on, because this willgive away most of the movie) is that it simply does not make sense.The story is Furlong has pulled off the road with his girlfriend andparked in the snow, gets stuck, they argue and tussle with each other,with him pushing her and accidentally causing her to fall face-first onthe car jack. He then flees. She's found, rushed to the hospital anddies. The movie then deals with the family struggle of how to deal withthis in court. Getting the kids' story out takes at least half themovie and by the time it gets out things are moving fast and littlethings, like making sense, get lost in the wake. If Furlong and thegirlfriend TOGETHER had been absolutely unable to get the car out ofthe snow, and the deep rut he had made in it, it makes no sense thatafter she is spread out on the ground and unable to help he then getsthe the car out by himself -- that is the kind of inconsistency anyprosecuting attorney would have latched onto, and which any defenseattorney would have seen as a major problem in court (I make thesecomments as a criminal defense attorney).But that's not the only problem with the kid's story. It was supposedlyan accident. He cared about her. He never wanted to hurt her. And yetafter she is hurt he cleans up the scene, gets that stuck car out ofthere, leaves, she is found and is STILL ALIVE long enough for anambulance to reach her, get her to an emergency room and have a seriouseffort to save her life before she dies on the table in the ER. Theentire issue of her having BEEN ALIVE and left to die is ignored. Notmentioned once by him, his family, the girl's grieving mother, hisdefense attorney, the prosecution or the judge who heard the case. Itis as if the director forgot that in the second scene in the movie wesee Meryly Streep, a doctor in the film, called to the ER to help withefforts to save the girl, long before we know her son was involved inthe girl's death. The scene leaves no doubt (I went back and watched ita second time to be sure because the inconsistency seemed so glaring)that the girl was still alive when she reached the ER.But she was left to die by the kid for whom we are supposed to feelsympathy.Not only are there problems with the issue not having been properlyaddressed by any of the characters who would have addressed it, thefact that we need to feel sympathy for the kid is a problem. Easy tofeel sympathy for him in having his life thrown into chaos as a resultof an accident.... hard to feel sympathy when he would have had to haveleft his girlfriend there to die, and when in cleaning up the scene hewould have had to have had enough contact with her (she fell on the carjack, and he removed the jack and put it back in the trunk of the car)that he certainly should have noticed she was still alive.Despite strong performances from the actors and good cinematography,the movie was a bit disappointing because of direction, casting and thescript.
17 June 2013
A Great Movie.
Before & After is a moving film with great acting. Streep and Neeson were the best two the film could have had. It wasa moving because you know that it could really happen and parents would act that way and do those things.
16 June 2013
Before and After
This movie has an average story...although not happy end, but good movies.Very realistic movies.Every actor did a splendid job in this movies.I think that this movie is worthy to see.
15 June 2013
Before and After is a minor masterpiece of compelling storytelling and even remarkably clever with its use of suspense. It's about a police officer who knocks on a family's door one night and basically accuses the teenage boy of being a murderer (since a teenage girls body was discovered out in the snow, and the boy was the last person to be seen with her). This prompts the mother and father to react accordingly (and believably) to such surprising news.What makes the suspense work during the first 40 minutes is that the boy actually runs away from home, so there's *two* interesting aspects to the storytelling- the father attempting to cover up a potential murder involving his son, and the whereabouts of the teenager. I really liked this aspect of the storyline. It was a little different from the usual "Did he do it?" murder mystery because half of the mystery was just figuring out where he was.Without spoiling too much, eventually the boy is discovered and, you know, the storyline does a pretty spectacular job keeping you guessing whether the boy actually murdered the girl or whether it's all a huge misunderstanding. The second half of the film is taken up with many lawyer/courtroom segments- most of which are pretty interesting (thankfully, since normally these portions drag on and on in other movies) but not as memorable as the first half of the movie with the murder cover-up and the missing boy. Perhaps the ending wasn't as shocking or as interesting as I had hoped, but there you have it. Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson play the mother and father role perfectly and my appreciation for their talents has been raised another level after the movie was over. Just a terrific acting performance all around. Even the teenage boy and his sister are phenomenal actors/actresses. Overall, for some good suspense and a solid murder mystery, this is easily a 5-star movie and I really hope you give it a chance.
15 June 2013
should have been a Lifetime original movie
This is an all too common problem: someone somewhere convinces bona fidemovie stars, in this case Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson, no less, to appearin a feature film that, without movie star names attached, would haveendedup as made for TV. This is a weak script with bad, predictable dialogue -very disappointing with such a cast. With some reworking, it might havebeena very powerful family story, perhaps never as compelling as OrdinaryPeople, for instance, but better than it was.
05 June 2013
From the beginning I had my doubts about this film. During the openingscene, I braced myself for an onslaught of Sundance clichÃ©s, but as thefilm progressed, I was pleasantly surprised. Before and After is a gemof a character study with believable performances by Meryl Streep andEdward Furlong. Liam Neeson's performance as a father with a reservedpsychotic sense of protection toward his son is one of the film'shighlights. There were some weak spots in the dialogue, but otherwisethe script was well-written and engaging.Be prepared to be sucked into this movie; it's slow-paced, but thesubtle suspense will make it nearly impossible to stop watching. Justwhen you think the film has told its story and can't develop anyfurther, you discover that you've seen the beginning of Act II insteadof the film's climax.
05 June 2013
If you like unbelievable melodrama, you may like this
** Spoilers ** In this movie about a young boy who does not show up athome one cold evening and the ensuing mystery of why, there are plotholes galore: how did the kid get the car out of being stuck, why didhe drive home, why did he leave the bloody evidence in the trunk, wheredid he go on that cold night after returning the car to his home, whatkind of clothes did he take with him, what did he do for money, why wasthe father so immediately defensive about his son, what was themotivation for the kid's remaining totally silent and sullen upon hisfirst meeting with his parents, were they willing to let some other kidtake the rap, why did the people who threw a rock through the widowwait around long enough to get caught up with? I could go on.The movie does hold your interest until you start asking yourselfquestions about what is going on.This is the weakest performance I have ever seen Meryl Streep turn in,she just does not seem engaged. Liam Neeson gives it a go, but isdefeated by the poor script. Julia Weldon is O.K. as the daughter, butshe speaks with a philosophical maturity well beyond hertwelve-something years. I thought Edward Furlong was effective inplaying the sensitive and moody teen and Alfred Molina brought somespark to his portrayal of a bulldog attorney. But overall pretty much awaste of acting talent.The unfortunate thing is that there was enough talent here to make thisso much better if the script had just been tightened up.
31 May 2013
Great Film!! Read the book!!!
I saw this movie for one reason, and one reason only-Edward Furlong. Butwhen I rented this movie (or rather my parents, for my birthday)I didn'texpect the movie to be so great. I was watching, and I thought, wow, thiswould make a great book. After the 2nd time I watched it, i noticed thatitwas a book, and it was twice as good as the movie.The movie is about a teen(Edward Furlong) who runs away after"murdering"his girlfriend. His parents are doctor (Meryl Streep) and artist (LiamNeeson. After their son is reported missing, they spend at least 1/2 ofthemovie waiting for him and bearing nasty and sometimes brutal words fromtherest of the townspeople. When he gets back, we hear what really happens,andfrom then on, the movie sort of sags, and eventually dies. The cast wasgreat, though, and the script was so close to the book, which made meprettyhappy to see.If you are into crime drama, this is a definite 10!!! A must see. (PlusEdward Furlong is EXTREMELY hot)
30 May 2013
Before (high hopes) and After (what happened!?)
.Spoilers.There was a lot of good things about this movie. It was a compelling andinteresting story right from the beginning. The acting was seemingly wellplayed...... until the third act. What on earth happened to the directionof this film? I have not read the book, so I don't know if it has the samedirection as this movie played out... but the third act did not even seemlike the same movie. The acting took a nose-dive, and the melodrama beganflowing freely like ipecac down the throat.From the beginning, I thought: Hey, sure, it's plausible that the Fatherwanted to save his son, and that these goofy things with the cover-up, andthe family binding together to uphold the lie, were certainly no stretch ofreason. Then we get to mom's, and Eddie's character's confession, and thewhole thing is a puke-fest of gotchas and ridiculous moral claims aboutright and wrong which are, at best, pointless opposing claims about whetherright or wrong and the law are the same thing.Don't misread me, though. I really enjoyed the beginning of this movie. Ijust hated the end.6/10
27 May 2013
I hate this movie!!!
This goes down in my book as the worst movie that I did not walk out of.The entire movie was unrealistic. Meryl Streep completely overacted andbythe end of the movie, I completely lost respect for all the actorsinvolvedthat they would appear in such garbage.
27 May 2013
Meryl is SSWWEEEETT
Meryl is awesome in this movie. she like roxs my world. I luv her long hair in this movie. I luv how she can make herself cry when she is not sad. It is so funny
25 May 2013
A Very Solid Piece of Storytelling
THE PLOT: Solid drama detailing how a family copes after their teenageson is accused of killing his girlfriend.THE POSITIVE: Thoroughly engrossing and believable from beginning toend and full of some very intriguing plot twists. It is fascinating howit examines things from a completely unique perspective namely thefamily members of the perpetrator, which is rarely ever done. The storyis also interesting in that it gets the viewer too become quiteattached to Furlong who plays the accused. The film also forces theviewer to face and question their own moral judgements, which is goodsince many films these days seem timid at digging too deeply intoanything of a serious nature or forcing the viewer to confront any oftheir preconceived notions.THE NEGATIVE: The film lacks any real cinematic style and at timesalmost looks like it is a TV-movie. Streep is okay here, but this isdefinitely not one of her better performances. There is a love makingscene here between her and Neeson that looks very mechanical and iscompletely unnecessary. Viewers who have had family members or friendsthat have been victims of crimes may find themselves upset with some ofthe moral conclusions.THE LOWDOWN: Overall this is a pretty strong drama that presents a lotof issues that are very timely and haven't been done anywhere else.Despite a lack of flair or visual style it is still a very strong pieceof storytelling with a very good performance by Furlong.THE RATING: 8out of 10.
25 May 2013
A Much Underrated Film
Since I missed this movie when it played in theatres and love anything that Meryl Streep does and also am a big fan of the writer Rosellen Brown, whose novel the film was based on, I rented the DVD, expecting the worst, from some of the reviews I had read. I am happy to say that my time was not wasted in watching "Before and After." Meryl Streep as always is the consummate actress. When she is on the screen, you cannot take your eyes off her. Liam Neeson certainly is no slouch as an actor either.The film stays fairly close to the story line of the novel, as best I recall. Ms. Brown's novels, though very serious, always ring true. In her world, nothing is promised. In this instance a family living in Massachusetts is torn apart when the teenage son Jacob is accused of murdering a local teenage girl. While both the novel and film are entitled "Before and After," we are dealing essentially with the "after" here, as in one moment both our entire lives and the lives of those we love can be irrevocably changed. This movie asks hard questions. To what lengths should one go to in protecting his family? Should one tell the truth no matter what the cost? Is one innocent until proven guilty?This is certainly a film well worth watching. If you liked the movie-- or even if you didn't-- you will find the novel ever more thought-provoking.
24 May 2013
A Sobering Believable Drama.
When a Married Couple (Two-Time Oscar-Winner:Meryl Streep & Liam Neeson) discover that thier teenage son (Edward Furlong), who may have murder or accidentely murder his girlfriend. When he runaway from the Law, years have Passed and they find him and now he has to go in Court to Prove that his Innocence or Guilty.Directed by Barbet Schroeder (Single White Female) made a Believable Drama. Strong Performances by Streep, Nesson and Furlong highlight this Flawed film. This was a Box Office Disappointment in Theaters but the film did well on Viedo. It`s not a Perfect film but it`s well made. Screenplay by Oscar-Winner:Ted Tally (The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon) Grade:B+.
23 May 2013
This is a GREAT movie. I was on the end of my chair until the end. It was very well acted by all. This movie is a must see! The scenery is beautiful also and the story line is great! Before and after is a great title...how your life can change in a second! See it!
19 May 2013
Before and After is about a young boy who has a bad temper, he ends up injail after when he is guilty for hitting his girlfriend after an argumentabout something. The parents of the youngster have to keep everythingtogether and help the young boy. i give this movie 10 out of10.
18 May 2013
Wasted potential - plot and cast
This is one of those films that actually had a decent concept and a good cast, but somehow lost its way on the road to the cineplex. The premise - that of parents trying to protect their son, accused of murder, from being unfairly punished (and how that backfires) - is actually a perfectly good idea. And the cast is primarily comprised of very good actors, including Meryl Streep, Liam Neeson, and Alfred Molina. So what went wrong?The story isn't strong enough, for the most part. It has the pacing of a TV movie, with a new emotional peak every five to ten minutes, and some completely superfluous arguments and conflict just to keep the tension level high. Whether Edward Furlong's character committed murder is revealed halfway through the film, and after that, there's very little interest left - you're left to sit back and wait for events to spiral into a tailspin, with the inevitable bittersweet ending. Also, the characters are rendered fairly two-dimensional; the father (Neeson) is highly-strung but willing to do anything to protect his son, while the mother (Streep) is more conflicted but prone to simply...being baffled and helpless. There is a little bit of room for depth, but the scripted characterisations are simply too shallow to be saved. Even Edward Furlong's pivotal character, the son - who should arguably be the most well-developed of them all - can be quickly pigeonholed and filed away.Last of all, for some really strange reason, this film was and is being promoted as a mystery/thriller. It is neither of these. It's more along the lines of a tense (melo)drama, with very little mystery or thriller elements at all. It's more likely to give you a knot in your stomach than goosebumps.
13 May 2013
Compelling theme is weakened with low production standards
The shortcomings of the United States' justice system are explored in"Before and After". A youth (Jacob) is fighting with his girlfriend and sheaccidentally falls on a jack which kills her. The family grapples withwhether or not to tell the truth not only the courts but to their own lawyerand police officer who is a family friend. Is it morally right to tell thetruth that the girl's death was nothing more than a mere accident and hopethat it will be believed or should a story be made up in the hopes thatJacob will be let off since the police have no evidence. (The father, in theinterests of protecting his son, wiped the jack clean of theblood).We learn of course, that everyone is against the mother and son who want tojust tell the truth, especially the lawyer who is interested more in gettingJacob off the hook, no matter how much of a story he has to invent, how manylies he has to tell, how many people's characters he has to besmirch. Themoral structure behind the criminal justice system in the U.S. is uncoveredas not one that seeks what is right or true but what kind of entertainingbi-polar battles between the defense and the prosecution can be unleashed ina furious game of words.While the theme of the film is compelling, the production standards are low.This seems more like a made-for-TV movie. With big guns like Liam Neeson andMeryl Streep you'd expect better acting. While Streep's performance is okay,Neeson seems like not the best choice for this role. Also, the actor playingthe second dark-haired lawyer seems too clownish for his role. Surprisingly,I found that the young actors were the strongest. The actors playing the twochildren, especially "Jacob" were extremely skilled.
12 May 2013
Who would want a father like Abraham?
After enjoying such fine actors as Liam Neeson & Meryl Streep in prior films, I blame disappointments like this movie on the director. Maybe I just don't like the style of director-producer Barbet Schroeder, who recently failed to impress me with "Murder by Numbers." His better-known works from the early 1990's ("Reversal of Fortune" and "Single White Female") were somewhat better. This crime story could have been much better. "Before and After" focuses on one couple's first run through the legal gauntlet after their self-absorbed teenage son (Edward Furlong) is accused of murdering a secret lover. Evidence is destroyed when artist Ben Ryan (Neeson) acts rashly, while his wife Carolyn (Streep) displays excessive detachment when confronting physical and emotional gore. The award for best performance in this family of four is turned in by the kid sister (Julia Weldon) who narrates a disjointed ending that truly reduces a story with good potential to just another sappy melodrama. In the interest of decency, I claim the Fifth Amendment privilege and will not identify the actor who plays a repulsive cliche of a Greek trial lawyer. The most redeeming moment for the film comes late, when Neeson refers to the Biblical story of Isaac's near sacrifice at the hands of his father, Abraham. Justifying his good intentions that ultimately will doom this New England family to tragedy, Neeson quips "What most people miss is: Who would want a father like Abraham?" Indeed.