Charlie's brother, Sam, dies in a car crash that Charlie survives. Charlie is given the gift of seeing his dead brother and others who he has lost such as his friend who died in the military, but when the girl he falls in love with's life is at risk, he must choose between his girlfriend and his brother.
In the competitive world of modern agriculture, ambitious Henry Whipple wants his rebellious son Dean to help expand his family's farming empire. However, Dean has his sights set on becoming a professional race car driver. When a high-stakes investigation into their business is exposed, father and son are pushed into an unexpected crisis that threatens the family's entire livelihood.Written by
Sony Pictures Classics
A small character study that doesn't lead to anything as interesting as it should
"At Any Price" is a small Midwestern film about a small Midwestern family in a small Midwestern town. It translates well for any farming community. It also translates well for any character study fans, but it's the thrilling elements that should have been heightened to make it a better movie overall.
Dennis Quaid stars as Henry Whipple a determined business man failing in the farming business and Zac Efron as Dean Whipple who wants to be doing anything other than following in his father's footsteps. He's also the son who stayed who gets to watch his parents dote after the possible arrival of his older brother who went to find himself on a whirlwind adventure around the world. Dean is stuck in Iowa trying to find himself while being groomed for the family farm but wanting to race a car around a track in circles.
As a character study, it had the perfect set-up with both Quaid and Efron playing the troubled Whipple men with half-assed smiles on their faces and fear in their eyes. But "At Any Price" isn't a character study; it's a thriller. The mysterious score starts early on and keeps you guessing when something dark or sinister is going to occur. Sub- plots are introduced with Dean's attention-starving girlfriend and Henry's illegal activities. And while they do eventually lead to something interesting, they're hardly interesting themselves and could have been tightened up significantly.
And then comes the thriller climax and the character study climax when father and son finally have something to connect with. But as the thriller climax, it just kind of happened with no additional build-up or intrigue and it made everything that came before it a little less interesting then it was before. A decent movie about the flailing Whipple men just went out with a whimper. "At Any Price" is decent as a small indie film but it needed to be tightened up with more significance to the on-going events to be a good movie.
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