HONEY BOY – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

In Honey Boy, Shia LeBeouf takes ownership of his own screwed-up childhood back when he starred on a Disney Channel series and splashes it on the big screen in a form of performance therapy. This biographical shrink session, based on a script he wrote as part of his rehab, is a far cry from his Transformers sci-fi blockbusters that get a skewering in the opening moments. On top of that, he makes matters even more interesting by playing his own shiftless, unstable and self-absorbed abusive father – probably the most honest acting he will ever achieve as he attempts to shoo away the demons that haunt him.

Read more

HONEY BOY – Review by Loren King

Alma Har’el, best known for the 2011 documentary Bombay Beach with its intimate moments of beauty in a gritty story about life on the margins, must be credited for the searing, memory-soaked urgency of Honey Boy, her fiction directing debut. What could have been a maudlin melodrama about family dysfunction is instead, despite the heartbreaking and disturbing abusive father-son relationship at the center, a haunting and lyrical memory piece.

Read more

BEN IS BACK – Review by Diane Carson

With the tragic opioid epidemic, the topic of rehabilitation and a family’s dealing with a struggling member certainly merits cinematic attention. But dramatizing the issue with sensitivity, insight, and honesty presents unique challenges. All the more credit, then, to writer/director Peter Hedges for what he achieves in Ben Is Back, starring his Oscar-nominated, real-life son Lucas as recovering addict Ben.

Read more