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The Best of Me

7/10
Romance . Drama
 

A pair of former high school sweethearts reunite after many years when they return to visit their small hometown.

 
Actors: Sean Bridgers , Jon Tenney , Sebastian Arcelus , Clarke Peters , Caroline Goodall , Gerald McRaney , Luke Bracey , Liana Liberato , James Marsden , Michelle Monaghan
Directors: Michael Hoffman
Country: USA
Release: 2014-10-17
More Info:
  • Bill Zwecker

    The Best of Me was a better film than I expected. Much of that is due to the performances delivered by Marsden, Monaghan, Liana Liberato and especially young Australian actor Luke Bracey as the younger version of Marsden’s character.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    Movies this silly, crass and manipulative really shouldn’t be allowed to exist in 2014. But we’re guiltily glad that they do.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    As a moviegoer, however, you do have a choice. Either weep with them–or laugh at them. Or stay far, far away.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    What makes it slightly better than the others is an affable, low-key chemistry between James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as star-crossed lovers.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    Like the artificially sweetened junk food it is, this all goes down pretty easily.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Kimber Myers

    The Best of Me features actors who are playing well above their material, but Monaghan and Marsden aren’t enough to save this film.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

    The Best Of Me is neither the best Sparks adaptation, nor the worst; it’s merely the most recent.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    The Best of Me is full-on Nicholas Sparks, through and through, checking all the boxes in the by-now well-established formula. It's just not the best of Nicholas Sparks.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    It’s a case study on how the quality of screen partners is only as good as the quality of the romantic obstacles separating them.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    This tale of two former lovers reuniting after a 21-year separation also functions as a study of two terrific actors struggling to overcome the relentless mediocrity of their material.

    Variety Full Review
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    The Best of Me is neither worse than his other films nor particularly better. At 118 minutes, it is, however, one of the longest. Interminably long, dragging out its molasses heart through what seem like three different endings.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Peter Keough

    Isn’t fate a funny thing? Especially when Nicholas Sparks makes it up. Filmmakers love to adapt his stuff because he puts together narratives riddled with contrived coincidences and implausibilities meant to seem like the workings of providence when in fact they are the creations of a hackneyed mind.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    The Best of Me plays like the worst of Nicholas Sparks.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Stephanie Merry

    Even as characters are tweaked and actors bring a slightly different energy than his other movies, The Best of Me is still the same mushy Nicholas Sparks adaptation with drama so overwrought audience members can’t help but laugh — at least until they’re sniffling during the closing credits.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Sheri Linden

    Aaron Zigman’s score provides reassuring downhome uplift — perhaps a necessary element in a tale of impossible, perfect love, where everything happens for a reason and is as it should be, even when it’s terrible.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be swept away — about as much as you would be by artificial roses. Movies like this may look like the real thing, but they're not.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    The bad news is that no matter how charming or fizzy the chemistry between the actors might be, they're still trapped in the dead, fake melodrama and brainless coincidences of a Nicholas Sparks story.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Jason Clark

    Even with lowered expectations toward escapist fare taken into account, the film is a long slog, with Marsden and Bracey conveying little but Crest smiles and smolder, while Liberato and Monaghan are stuck doing endless cry-face.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Eric Henderson

    Even permitting that the movie's setup counts almost by default as one of Nicholas Sparks's more complicated scenarios, that makes his failure to draw up compelling, flawed, human characters all the more conspicuous.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    Sparks’s preposterous approach has crystalized into cliché.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Sparks would be delighted if this movie were compared to his other story about reunited lovers, but compared to “The Notebook,” The Best of Me is the coffee-stained outline of a sales pitch for sleeping pills.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Michael Ordona

    The film is an improvement on previous Sparks moody-doomed-love opuses such as “The Last Song” and “Dear John.” If that is damning with faint praise, the cogs here are the same as in his previous love machines

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    In The Best of Me, the melodrama feels so hurried and half-baked that the end result isn’t just disappointing. It’s borderline infuriating.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Stephen Holden

    The screenplay is so haphazardly constructed that when the movie seems to be ending, it refuels with preposterous new developments.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    There have been times when the right team has been able to transcend the gooey schmaltz of Sparks’ stories. This effort, however, sinks like a rock thrown into a sun-dappled lake shaded by magnolia trees sparkling under a sky of shooting stars.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Already hobbled by an overwrought story that turns positively Hallmark-Movie-preposterous in its third act, journeyman director Michael Hoffman (Soapdish, The Last Station) can’t conceive of a single memorable set-piece or rouse his actors into action. By the time Marsden’s character has very polite sex with the love of his life with his pants still on, I was done.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
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