The opioid crisis has understandably been responsible for two recent movies, the first is “Beautiful Boy” starring Steve Carrell and now “Ben is Back” with Julia Roberts. The message within both of these movies is the same: the pain drug addicts cause other people in their family is very often as great or greater than the pain they cause themselves. When you are desperately trying to rescue someone from themselves and they just continue on the same path, what can you do? Ultimately the responsibility for changing a disastrous human life is up to the person whose life is a disaster and no amount of hope, pleading, begging, paying for extremely expensive rehab, from anyone else is going to rescue any person from self destruction.
I thought the title of this film, “Ben is Back” is a bad one considering the dire subject matter but the acting from both Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges was outstanding. Ben is Back was both written and directed by Lucas Hedges father, Peter Hedges. Its been an amazing run for Lucas Hedges who is bound to receive and academy award nomination for this movie along with Julia Roberts, although I thought this movie was too weak in too many areas for her to win. The problem with this movie is after a very strong start, eventually degrades into a search mission to find a dog that was stolen from their house by some very dangerous drug pushers. I was surprised at this simplistic direction, considering how severe and complex the drug addiction problem has become in this country. Despite all of this, I do give Ben is Back a solid recommendation.