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Undertow (2004)

HD   R Closed Captioning

David Gordon Green

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About the Movie

Teenaged Chris (Jamie Bell of Billy Elliot) lives with his father, John (Dermot Mulroney), and his little brother, Tim (Devon Alan). When Chris' mother dies, his reclusive father moves the family to a shack in backwoods Georgia, where they raise hogs. One day, John's estranged brother, Deel (Josh Lucas), gets out of prison and shows up on the farm. John is less than thrilled to see him, but agrees to let him stay with the family as long as Deel helps him look after his boys. Chris is initially drawn to his wild-man uncle, but it soon becomes clear that Deel has more on his mind than a family reunion. Greed and years of resentment lead to violence, and Chris finds himself on the run, towing his sickly brother along, with Deel in pursuit.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 119
  • Fresh: 65
  • Rotten: 54
  • Average Rating: 5.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: A deep-fried piece of Southern Gothic that wears its unpleasantness like a merit badge... – Scott Foundas, Variety, Jul 7, 2010

Rotten: Hamstrung by a feeling that its director was striving for oddity, purely for oddity's sake. – John Anderson, Newsday, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Those going to Undertow expecting a thriller will find the proceedings slow going. However, those who are seduced by the characters and the setting will find that the 105 minutes pass quickly. – James Berardinelli, ReelViews, Sep 16, 2006

Fresh: From its opening lines and first enigmatic image, everything about Undertow is both dreamlike and real, artfully elusive and matter-of-fact. – Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle, Jul 21, 2005

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Before Pineapple Express . . .

This movie is the culmination of Green's work prior to Pineapple Express. While the film is certainly quite different from Green's later efforts, the haunting atmosphere of this psychological thriller is sure to please. Powerful, painful, bleak, and beautiful. A true masterpiece.

Jamie Bell + violence+drama= Undertow

This movie far exceeded my expectations when I read the description of it. Jamie Bell is fantastic as the distraut, yet protective character as he tries to keep his brother safe and run away from his uncle. The movie is constantly switching from being very slow-moving to bursts of emotion and confrontation. Anyway, I'm not very good at describing things, but anyone with a brain would love this movie and not help but be drawn into it. Phantasmagorical.

This movie sucked

This might have been the dumbest movie i have ever seen in my life and whoever thinks its good should jump off a