Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.
In order to provide for his destitute family of drifters, a likable, sincere, able-bodied 15-year-old boy comes to hire on among a burned-out ex-con's group of aging forest laborers. As the man becomes more and more aware of the boy's abusive home life, his deeply buried humanity is roused. Drinking and smoking incessantly to remain detached from his volatile temper, he finally takes the matter into his own hands - come what may - when the boy's alcoholic father finally goes too far.Written by
David Gordon Green often casts locals in his movies. Gary Poulter was a homeless man in Austin. Poulter died on the streets of Austin on Feb. 19, 2013, 2 months after filming ended. See more »
When Gary takes off his vest by Joe's truck, his shirt pulls up and a microphone cable is visible going into his waistband. See more »
Hey, you old man, you look at me. I got som'in' to say to you. Every time we land someplace new, you say it's gonna be different, but it ain't. You mess up... a lot... then you leave a mess for me and Momma and Dorothy to clean up, and that ain't right. That's all I'm sayin'. Hell, I do what I gotta do. You do whatever the hell you want - whatever you can get away with. You're just a... selfish old drunk. Yeah, that's what you is. Yeah, this place is gonna be after us. Hell, ...
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Nicolas Cage plays Joe, a generally kind man from the South with a violent streak he'd like to keep hidden. That proves difficult when he becomes friends with a poor teenage boy (Tye Sheridan of Mud fame) whose severely alcoholic father (Gary Poulter) likes to beat the tar out of him. Hailed as a return to form for frequently slumming Cage, I wouldn't personally call this one of his best. He's more subtle and more into it than he has been in a while, for sure, but this role isn't as good as his best work. He's definitely good, though. Sheridan is about as good here as he was in Mud (the two stories have a lot of similarities that are hard to deny). Poulter is the real stand out. Apparently he was a homeless man whom Green had met in Austin. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after the film was finished. The story is a little thin to justify its two hour runtime, but it's a pretty good movie.
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