You Can Count On Me

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Brother and sister, Terry and Samantha "Sam" Prescott (Mark Ruffalo and Laura Linney) were extremely close as children, especially after their parents were killed in an automobile accident. Now a single mom, Sam lives with her son, Rudy (Rory Culkin), in her parents' house and works at the local bank. Terry shuns responsibility and drifts from town to town and job to job. He only contacts Sam when he needs money. And he is once again in financial trouble. Sam has mixed feelings about her prodigal brother returning for a visit, but 8-year-old Rudy becomes very fond of his uncle. Besides resenting Terry's request for more money, Sam worries about his influence on Rudy. Trouble develops when Terry decides his nephew should stop fantasizing about his no-good father and meet him face to face. YOU CAN COUNT ON ME won top honors at the Sundance Film Festival for acting and directing. It will appeal to those who like character studies and appreciate a thought-provoking theme about family relationships.

Sam has many commendable qualities, including her sense of duty and responsibility toward her son. But frustrations with her brother, plus dealing with an obnoxious new boss (Matthew Broderick) and an old boyfriend, almost overwhelm her. Soon she is in an adulterous affair with her married boss. A passionate groping in a car, a motel scene with graphic motions, and other clandestine meetings show how out of control Sam is. To her credit, she turns to her minister for counseling, seeking forgiveness for her affair. She also arranges for the minister to talk with Terry about taking responsibility for his pregnant girlfriend, whom Terry abandoned. Terry smokes marijuana, takes Rudy to a pool hall to gamble, and lies to Sam about taking the boy. Terry also gets arrested for assaulting Rudy's dad in a bloody fistfight. An abundance of cursing includes 28 obscenities and four regular profanities. You can't count on this film to pass for wholesome viewing because of graphic sexual activity, drug use and foul language.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
The Shooting Gallery, 609 Greenwich, 7th Flr., New York, NY 10014

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Many (28) times - F-word 12, s-word 13, other 3

Profanity: Several (6) times - Regular 4 (GD 3, JC 1); Exclamatory 2

Violence: Few times - Moderate (leg cut accidentally, two men fight, bloody nose)

Sex: Once - Graphic (unmarried couple in motel, motions no nudity); implied once (unmarried couple in bed)

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Adulterous office affair with couple groping each other, passionate kissing

Drugs: Few times (smoking pot and cigarettes, wine drinking, drinking in bar)

Other: Man takes boy to pool room; devout church member confesses her affair to minister; minister counsels unbeliever; uncle becomes father figure to nephew; importance of family ties stressed

Running Time: 109 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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