Ben Is Back: Julia Roberts Is The Mom You Want on Your Side

 In Drama, Everything, Good
Courtney B. Vance, Lucas Hedges, and Julia Roberts in Ben Is Back.

Ben Is Back

?Directed by Peter Hedges?
?Written by Peter Hedges?

The review:

This is a great movie to add to your Christmas-But-Not-Feeling-It list* as Julia Roberts is a fabulous steely mom character and Lucas Hedges does well while withering under his family’s appraising eye.** It’s not a film that’s reinventing film as we know it, but it’s a solid story of one family drama. Courtney B. Vance is excellent as the stepfather trying to make the best decisions.

The verdict: Good

Cost: Disney+ Hulu bundle monthly charge ($12.99)
Where watched: at home

Consider also watching:

Further sentences:

*You know, it’s Christmas time, but things aren’t exactly warm and cheery.
**They are sizing him up for good reason as this is the second 2018 movie to deal with the parent-child relationship when the child’s drug use has become drug abuse.


  • Is there a point where you think Julia Roberts should have made a different decision?
  • What do you suppose happened after the final scene?

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

When Peter Hedges was developing the film he had no intention of casting his son Lucas Hedges in the titular role, and had already created a shortlist of other actors he was considering. It was Julia Roberts who, after seeing the younger Hedges in Manchester by the Sea (2016), insisted he be cast.

Other reviews of Ben Is Back:

Orange background with a white frame. Text: You don't know what you're doing. I'm not worth it. —Ben is Back. Read the three sentence movie review at
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