The 2018 drama movie Ben is Back on Netflix tackles drug addiction and its impact on relationships. Although it takes place on Christmas, the subject is grim and is nowhere near those happy Christmas movies that you love to watch with your entire family. Peter Hedges directs the movie which stars his son Lucas and Julia Roberts.
Although it’s a drama, its tone suddenly shifts in the second half. It unexpectedly becomes a slow-burn thriller. Keep reading more to decide whether this movie is for you or not.
What is the plot of Ben is Back on Netflix?
Ben is a 19-year-old opioid addict and he gets a leave from his rehab to visit his family in New York on Christmas Eve. But his arrival is not met with too many hugs and happy smiles. His mother Holly has mixed feelings – she’s both happy and wary. Suddenly, Ben’s dog, Ponce goes missing and it becomes a mystery.
Who are the cast members?
- Julia Roberts
- Lucas Hedges
- Courtney B.Vance
- Kathryn Newton
- Rachel Bay Jones
- David Zaldivar
- Alexandra Park
- Michael Esper
The filming for Ben is Back on Netflix mostly took place in Yonkers, Sloatsburg, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Haverstraw, New York, New City, and Garnerville.
Check out the reviews
The Julia Roberts movie has an above-average score of 6.7 on IMDb. A user on the platform wrote: “The 103 min length was decent, but the pacing felt really slow and lacked any luster or peaks in its screenplay.” Elsewhere KarenYVR feels differently, “A passionate project that is ambitious, raw and tender, centered on the redemption addicts can get from their family.”
Roger Ebert writes: “Ben Is Back” ends on a note of vague hope, but it’s a reminder that Christmas Day is just one more opportunity to take it one day at a time.” Meanwhile, according to The Guardian, “There are good intentions and good performances here, but they’re squandered in a movie that isn’t quite sure what it should be and how far it should go.”
However, contrary to popular belief, the movie isn’t based on a true story.