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The Discoverers

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Justin Schwarz

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About the Movie

Washed-up history professor Lewis Birch (Griffin Dunne) takes his begrudging teenagers on a road trip to a conference in hopes of jumpstarting his career and reconnecting with his kids. But, when Lewis’s estranged father goes missing on a Lewis and Clark historical reenactment trek, they're forced to make a family detour. The Birch family find themselves on a journey of discovery and connection as they make their own passage across America. THE DISCOVERERS is a charming, bittersweet comedy and moving debut feature from writer/director Justin Schwarz. Led by Oscar- and Emmy-nominated Dunne's striking comeback performance, this heartfelt tale of family dysfunction and rediscovery features an award-winning ensemble, including Emmy Award-winner Stuart Margolin ("The Rockford Files"), Emmy-nominee Cara Buono ("Mad Men"), Madeleine Martin ("Californication"), David Rasche, (IN THE LOOP), Dreama Walker (“Don’t Trust the B in Apt 23”), Devon Graye ("American Horror Stories"), NBR-winner Ann Dowd (COMPLIANCE), Becky Ann Baker ("Girls"), Scott Adsit (“30 Rock”), and John C. McGinley ("Scrubs").

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 26
  • Fresh: 23
  • Rotten: 3
  • Average Rating: 6.2/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: "The Discoverers" counters its many contrivances with relaxed pacing and an evocative sense of the American woodlands by bonfire light. – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, May 15, 2014

Fresh: Schwarz lacks the writing chops to adequately embed the character's predictable learning curve into a richer narrative fabric, but Dunne's perf is pitch-perfect. – Ronnie Scheib, Variety, May 12, 2014

Fresh: More warm-hearted than funny, Schwarz's feature debut benefits from an intelligent script and sympathetic lead performance by Griffin Dunne. – John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter, May 12, 2014

Fresh: Schwarz is clearly drawing from the same bag of tricks as many of his indie comedy predecessors, but he's refining them. Even his wide, Wes Anderson-ian compositions have a purpose. – Heather Baysa, Village Voice, May 13, 2014

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

A new classic!

I saw this in the theatrical release and was blown away by the superb cast and heartwarming story that could have easily slipped into saccharine predictability but gratefully did not and instead delivered both poignant and hilarious moments with ease! This is one of those movies that I think will be a go to classic to watch again and again.


This is a great American road trip movie wrapped up in a perfect indie family comedy. In addition to the perfect cast, comedy that comes from character and conflict, absorbing story, etc., it’s got all these great little touches, like the way Griffin Dunne’s character is desperately hanging on to academia, or the affable cultishness of the reenactors. Enjoy!

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The Discoverers
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Released: 2014

Customer Ratings