Moonlight Mile (2002) Poster

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7/10
Great acting is enough
rbverhoef31 May 2004
This is a very well acted movie that deals with a sudden loss in a family in a better way than I would expect. The movie avoids the usual clichés and through some very strong performances shows us how it could really be. The dead person is the daughter of Ben (Dustin Hoffman) and Jojo (Susan Sarandon), her fiancé named Joe (Jake Gyllenhaal) is now living with them. The girl was murdered, simply because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now Ben and Joe go into business together and the all try to live on in their own ways. Joe befriends a girl named Bertie Knox (Ellen Pompeo) who also has lost someone.

Like I said the subject is handled in a very good way. May be the movie makes some easy choices, especially near the end, but the acting is so good and real here that the movie is easily forgiven. Gyllenhaal plays the same kind of part as he did in 'Donnie Darko' and 'The Good Girl', not the most happy one. He has the best single scene, although overall veterans Hoffman and Sarandon are as good as he is. The best thing though is Ellen Pompeo. Her character has a certain sweetness and nice way of dealing with things and Pompeo finds the perfect note for playing this part. See it for the acting and you will find a lot more.
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8/10
An underrated masterpiece.
us315 January 2006
"Moonlight Mile" is one of the most beautiful films ever to be made. Highlighted by phenomenal performances by Hoffman, Sarandon and Hunter, the film is truly inspiring, despite some overly-sentimental moments.

Brad Silberling has created an amazing piece of film. The story starts out quite shakily, but manages to quickly find its feet and, thus, saves itself from being another overly-indulgent, kitchy movie. Some might battle with "Moonlight Mile"'s pace, as the film takes its time in developing its characters. However, the film is character-driven and these developments are fundamental to the film's progression.

Holly Hunter's performance is Oscar worthy, even though her role is quite small. Judi Dench won an Oscar for her 8 minute performance in "Shakespeare in love" and I see no reason why Hunter should not have been nominated. Amongst a cast of film legends, Jake Gyllenhaal holds his ground. It is obvious that he has had less experience in the acting field, but his performance is still great. Gyllenhaal's climatic monologue near the end of the film will give you goosebumps. It is the best part of the film and in my opinion one of the best scenes in cinema history.

In a film about one of the most life-changing, traumatic experiences one can endure, subtlety rules. Little things drive the film and the characters in the film begin to appreciate the smaller things in life. And that's what makes the film so beautiful and so real. The subtlety of the comedy and romance is what makes the drama that much more bearable - which brings us back to the films central theme: coming to terms with loss and trying to move on from it. These beautiful little moments are what make the film.

One might have mistaken "Moonlight Mile" for a Cameron Crowe film as music plays a vital part. The film's music is as evocative as the action on screen and the film's epic moments are emphasised by the films perfectly fitted music.

This film has been overlooked and underrated, and should have received more credit. Silberling has crafted an outstanding piece of cinema, which is rich with emotion and evocatively inspiring. Some cynics may find the film too sentimental and will claim they predicted the entire movie, but if one is able to ignore the odd mushy moment (there's one or two), "Moonlight Mile" is a cinematic triumph. Treat yourself to this amazing film!
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10/10
Fantastic film with even more fantastic acting!!!
luce_8573 June 2005
This film is perfect if your looking for a good cry but with some humorous bits too, in fact this films got everything you want in a drama, joy, sadness, hope, fear the lot. OK this movie is not for everyone some people are bound to find it really boring and a bit of a drag so if you into all action and full of energy kind of films then I would advise you not to even consider this but to all the people who are into dramas or Jake Gyllenhaal then I would recommend this movie 100%. The acting is truly amazing, they are all really believable as the roles they are playing. Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon as the parents of their murdered daughter, Ben and Jo Jo, clinging on to her fiancée as they feel he is a big part of her and don't want to see him leave them too, while Jake Gyllenhaal as the part of Joe the nearly son-and -law to Ben and Jo,Jo, who tries to be perfect for them and be everything he wants them to be despite what he wants..which he really doesn't even know..he's confused..doesn't know what he wants to do in life. As he said, "I want to figure out what I want to do".

This film is truly beautiful and shows deep emotion that isn't in any way corny.A film that I think is very underrated.To be honest I saw it for Jake Gyllenhaal but after seeing it it is now one of my favourite Jake films.

I loved it!
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8/10
Surprisingly good indie with an amazing cast
Travis_Bickle014 July 2005
When I first started watching this movie I was a bit confused. I had expected some drama and romance, but instead it looked like a comedy! But when I kept watching, I realised I was wrong, although I have to admit that the first half an hour is rather comedy than drama.

Anyway, "Moonlight Mile" is highly enjoyable. What exactly makes this movie so great? It's the acting. The cast is outstanding. Susan Sarandon and Dustin Hoffman are truly amazing as always. Jake Gyllenhaal, who we know from "Donnie Darko", was excellent as well. But, like I already said, Hoffman and Sarandon are the true stars in this one. They were both so funny from time to time! "Moonlight Mile" is definitely worth watching! A true indie with great performances!

8/10
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7/10
Good acting saves this
q-taran1 January 2005
True, this movie is not for everyone. It is not for action junkies and it isn't that exciting as dramas go. But the excellent acting by the three main leads will hold your attention, if you let yourself get into it.

Dustin Hoffman is completely believable as the dad whose hopes and dreams have vanished with his daughter and he struggles to hold on to them in a state of denial. Susan Sarandon's character has accepted the fact and turns away from friends' sympathy. And as the fiancée in a slight state of paralysis from numbness, Jake Gyllenhaal proves he can play more than disturbed teen. The girl's parents try to hold onto him as their last hope of clinging to their daughter. Joe (Gyllenhaal) doesn't want to hurt them by leaving, but has to find his own path now.

The actors keep the movie going for longer than expected. Even though by the end you're glad it's over, it'll stick in your mind. It's the kind of movie you only see once, or else you'll get sick of it. But the one time will be enough for you to appreciate its quiet despair and hope.
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Great performances highlight Moonlight Mile.
Li-112 April 2003
*** out of ****

While not quite a great movie (it just barely misses the mark), Moonlight Mile is still an excellent drama that showcases some of the finest acting talent around, wrapped amidst a beautifully told story of a young man (Jake Gyllenhaal) who's trying to do what everyone expects out of him, but against the desire of following his own heart.

Moonlight Mile plays as a cathartic experience. The premise bears truth to it, as it parallels writer/director Brad Siberling's own real-life experience when his girlfriend was murdered by an obsessive fan. But most importantly, almost every part of this movie feels natural in its emotions and storytelling, not the result of some sentimental hackjob put together by a big studio. Siberling's intent is to portray a normal family dealing with life, loss, and love and whatever obstacles may come their way and he does a fine job of it.

There are moments Moonlight Mile doesn't entirely ring true, but those moments are glossed over by the acting. From Gyllenhaal to Ellen Pompeo to Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon, the cast is uniformly superb. Even though the climax is set in a courtroom (typically the setting for cliche hell in dramas), Gyllenhaal's emotional outpour makes the scene work almost magnificently.

An admittedly very irksome element of the film is the score, which is yet again another rip-off of the music to American Beauty. Moonlight Mile's straightforward, honest approach doesn't match the quirky tone of the score, resulting in a few off-kilter moments of balance. But otherwise, this is a first-rate, truthful drama, and certainly superior to the overrated and similary themed In the Bedroom.
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9/10
Charming and engaging, NOT for weak-minded action nuts.
dragonfixer22 May 2004
This movie was a surprise to me. Tuned it in on HBO and enjoyed the entire movie, laughing out loud at several surprise parts. The characters run the gamut of emotions, and those who did not enjoy this movie never took the time to gauge the feelings of the characters involved. Ellen Pompeo's character is fabulous, Dustin Hoffman's whole demeanor shows a father's grief, but in his own way.

I highly recommend this movie to those who take a little time to read the characters, and who don't expect the director and writer to spell it all out for them.

Enjoy!
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7/10
Susan Sarandon a knockout in this performance.
wisewebwoman29 September 2002
Warning: Spoilers
She adds total believability as the mother of the murdered daughter. ***Minor spoilers***There was loads to like in this movie, but Jake Gyllenhaal's performance was not one of them, unfortunately. His likeness to Tobey Maguire distracts me and also there was not much to his dialogue in this, he sat, reacted and stared emotionally a lot, which I have seen him do in other movies. Maybe he just has a one note performance that he totes around from movie to movie. He has one brilliant scene however, and this one is not the one in the courtroom that some reviewers loved. This is a scene at a dinner party and it is beautifully scripted and timed. Dustin Hoffman was very good in his role and I really liked how everything was so beautifully understated. Dabney Coleman in a small role was wonderful. I also loved how the compassion and need between Joe and Bertie was managed but I did not like the resolution at the end, I felt cheated. How many words had Bertie and Joe exchanged to make the possibility of a relationship credible ? The lust I can understand, the shared grief also, but "a drop everything and take off together" ending was the easy way out for the script writer for it seems that is what we demand in our movies today. 7 out of 10
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10/10
In the bedroom with an uplifting theme!
ms172016 April 2003
This movie is undeniably an emotional twister ride, but it makes you want to ride it again. This movie has a similar theme to In The Bedroom. Imagine a movie that deals with death as a part of life, grief with comfort in others, anger of loss. Imagine a movie that deals with relationships between strangers and family, love and hate. Imagine the struggle between accountability and being hurtful, living your life for someone else to help them and fulfilling your desires......now imagine that the movie is not the waste of time In the Bedroom was and you've got THE MOONLIGHT MILE. (does this speech remind you of Matthew McConaughey in A Time To Kill? I hope so)

OK. This movie is fantastic. It is worth seeing. It has Susan Sarandon's best performance since Dead Man Walking. Dustin Hoffman is steady as a rock throughout and Jake Gyllenhaal seems as if he stumbles into nailing the role perfectly. And Ellen Pompeo is such a natural beauty. This is a much more upbeat way of dealing with the only guarantee in life (which is death) than in the bedroom, city of angels (which is also done by brad siberling) or anything else I've seen recently. It is very real and honest and not enough movies can be this way....deeply depressing for moments, hopeful for others, and times where you're not sure how they'll react. But everything fits. It has a great script and the soundtrack is really fitting for the movie. I'm not sure what the hell the user Li-1 was talking about when he said this movie's soundtrack was a ripoff of American Beauty....NONE OF THE SONGS ARE THE SAME EINSTEIN!!! I'm giving this movie a 10/10 even though it's really a 9/10 because other people leaving reviews are not rating it accurately.

RENT THIS MOVIE. WATCH IT TWICE.
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10/10
Simply exquisite
Sweet_Ophelia2 July 2004
This is an absolute gem of a movie. The script is absolutely delicious, the acting out-standing and to put it bluntly, this film is brilliant.

Joe Nast's (Gyllenhaal) world suddenly becomes very claustrophobic when his fiance, Diana, is shot dead. Now Joe is stuck in Diana's child-hood home with her two grieving parents; Jo-Jo (Sarandon) and Ben (Hoffman) who both deal with their loss in very different ways. Ben wants to keep moving, not slow down long enough to feel the pain of it all while Jo-Jo just lets her emotions run rampant. Joe, meanwhile, doesn't know what to do with himself. Does he stay in the small town, and go into commercial real-estate with Diana's father? Or does he leave, and find out what he wants to do? The second choice becomes increasingly tempting when Joe meets local waitress and postal-employee, Bertie (Pompeo), who is dealing with the loss of her own loved one, Cal, who left for Vietnam 3 years ago and doesnt look to ever be coming back. Joe and Bertie reluctantly fall for each other, and the relationship and trial of Diana's murderer propels Joe to confront all of his battling emotions and release a secret he's been desperately trying to communicate to Jo-Jo and Ben.

Gyllenhaal, Sarandon, Hoffman and even new-comer Pompeo are absolutely magnificent. There is a comedic twist in Moonlight Mile, which they all play very well, but know when to shift gears and tug the audience's heart strings. Each deliver a beautiful performance with the help of director and writer Brad Silberling, a genius who you should be sure to be on the look out for.

I have read some real hair-pulling comments about this remarkable film. Some people have seriously bagged the hell out of it. But these are the same people who couldnt even realize where they pulled the title 'moonlight mile' from. For those idiots, it came from Bertie's song 'Moonlight Mile' by the Rolling Stones that Joe plays on the jukebox.

Dont be fooled. This film can appear slow at times, but if you stick with it, you realize that every single sentence, every solitary scene, has a deeper meaning. Take the symbolism of the 'watches' for example. This is a smart film, dont expect to just sit there and not have to do any thinking- absorb it, cheesy as it sounds, it truly is magnificent. appreciate moonlight mile, dont just write it off like some loser's have.
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9/10
well-written, well-acted
mayerpaul2 June 2003
Jake Gylenhaal reprises (see: Donnie Darko) the sensitive, slightly confused young man searching for truth and its attendant emotional clarity. The characters (with the possible exception of Sarandon) attempt to hide truth, mostly from themselves, with silence and various feats of mental slight of hand. When all is finally revealed, I would have liked to believe that the characters would act nobly the way they do here, even if the character dialogue up to this point has not given all of them razor sharp definition. However, it is the acting of the cast (especially Hoffmann's) that makes us believe they are the people we see at the end of the movie, and their synergy with Brad Silberling's writing/directing makes the film work. (It is particularly revealing that Silberling had Sarandon and Hoffman in mind when he wrote the original draft; rent DVD if possible) We are convinced of the characters' virtue through well-written dialogue and well thought out character relationships. Would Sarandon's "wickedly honest" character really have married a schmuck? No, indirectly taking the heat off Hoffmann's character to prove himself prior to his ultimate acceptance of the truth. What about Bertie? (played by the lovely Ellen Pompeo - read: attractive, not just another hot airhead) Her involvement with the Gylenhaal character adds an extra twist to the Gylenhall-Sarandon-Hoffman triangle and her presence as a love interest adds levity to an otherwise pretty serious subject, but should she really get as close to the Gylenhaal character as quickly as we're led to believe? What do they have in common? The death of someone close and a Rolling Stones song nobody heard of before the title of this movie. Why did their involvement have to be a rapidly flourishing romantic one? I think an I-like-you-and-you-like-me would have been sufficient to complicate the situations in business and on the home front vis-a-vis Gylenhaal's former relationship with Hoffman and Sarandon's daughter. The rest of the character relationships develop naturally, at a well-measured pace, but this one races miles ahead. This is the only real flaw I found with the movie. The soundtrack is fantastic and also shows vision on the part of Silberling in that he conceived of certain key scenes with these songs in mind.
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flawed but compelling family drama
Buddy-5120 October 2002
In `Moonlight Mile' a middle aged couple, along with their prospective son-in-law, attempt to come to terms with the sudden, senseless murder of their daughter right on the eve of her wedding. Oddly enough, considering the grave nature of the subject matter at hand, it is amazing just how upbeat and sunny much of `Moonlight Mile' turns out to be. This is a film about death that does not come across as lugubrious and morbid – though often at a price. We occasionally sense that it is avoiding the ugly darkness of the subject it has chosen to tackle. Perhaps the film's cheery, optimistic tone is just that spoonful of sugar we need to help the medicine go down.

Writer/director Brad Silberling certainly knows whereof he speaks. He based his tale on the death of his own girlfriend, actress Rebecca Schaeffer, who was slain by a crazed fan in 1989. As a result of his personal experience, Silberling is particularly adroit at dramatizing the utter inadequacy of people's responses to grieving loved ones. He captures with dead-on accuracy the superficiality and hollowness of the clichés, shibboleths and expressions of concern proffered, however well intentionally, in the name of `compassion' and `understanding.' Silberling shows that, in a time of grief this all-encompassing, a family unit must turn in upon itself, shutting out the rest of the world in the process.

This is what happens with the Floss family. Ben and JoJo can speak openly and frankly about their daughter only with each other and with the young man, Joe, who was on the brink of becoming a member of their family and who not only lives with the couple but is all set to become a partner in Ben's commercial real estate company. In a way, Silberling has set a difficult task for himself right from the start. By choosing to not show us Diana before her murder, we find ourselves unable to sense the void her death has left in the lives of these three people. We are caught a bit off guard by the strangely casual tone of the opening sequences in which the family prepares for and attends the girl's funeral. Ben, JoJo and Joe all seem to be taking this shocking death a bit too much in stride. It is hard for us to believe that she has only been dead for three days when the story opens. Yet, on the other hand, we know that people do often manage to find amazing stores of inner strength that help them get through the early stages of a person's death – only to collapse into grief once the funeral is over and all the guests have gone home. This happens to be the case here – though the moments of despair in this film never plunge quite to the depths of those in, say, `Ordinary People.' In fact this might almost be called `Ordinary People-Lite,' a film about grief for a mass audience that doesn't want to be too disturbed by the experience.

That may sound like a more negative assessment of the film than I am trying to convey, for `Moonlight Mile' is an often sharp and incisive piece of moviemaking, intelligently written and beautifully acted by Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Jake Gyllenhaal and Ellen Pompeo as the postal worker who falls for the grieving husband-to-be. Set in New England in the 1970's (for no reason I can fathom, actually), the film is really the story of Joe and his coming to grips with the reality of his situation. Essentially weak-willed and eager to please everyone about him, Joe has to decide whether to allow himself to become absorbed into the lives and world of this couple – functioning almost as their surrogate child – or to break away from this co-dependency and strike out on his own, with or without the new woman in his life. The film deftly balances a number of seemingly conflicting moods and tones, as moments of subtle satire and lowbrow slapstick yield to scenes of searing drama and heartbreaking emotion – just as in life. Admittedly, the end of the film may be a bit too neatly arranged and upbeat for this particular material, but the extraordinarily skilled and gifted cast makes us believe it anyway. One might wish for a bit more grit and messiness in the presentation, but `Moonlight Mile' – which has been exquisitely photographed, by the way – still has the power to move us.
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10/10
Maqic of Ellen
eroglu19 July 2005
Actually I can't be objective about that movie because of Bertie Knox (Ellen Pompeo)and I want to focus on her. Dustin Hofman, Susan Sarandon and Jake Gllynhall were really great but for me Ellen Pompeo was the real star of Moonlight Mile . I saw a lot of character like Bertie in the movies before. Desperate and sad small town girl but non of them were acted as real as Bertie. Every man in this world easily in love with this character which Ellen Pompeo gave life. Ellen Pompeo will be or must be a great Hollywood star in the future. She have a gift, she can touch the souls of viewers from white curtain when you watch her, you want to share her sadness. Moonlight Mile was a great film. Congrulations Ellen Pompeo and all other crew of the movie.
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1/10
"In the Bedroom" + "Ordinary People" + "American Beauty" = derivative mess
jt199920 July 2003
This is one of those crappy soap opera/T.V. movies from a television director, Brad Silberling, who hasn't quite figured out what a feature film is -- or should be. It's distinguished by trivial, cliched, daytime serial dialogue, a nauseatingly trite, maudlin story, unlikable, unattractive lead characters, an inconclusive, unsatisfying ending and a score lifted directly from "American Beauty."

It also features constantly ringing rotary phones that no one decides to answer for at least four to five rings (is this to tell us the story is set in another decade, and if so, why?) But worst of all, the film suffers from "name-calling syndrome," that is, characters who know each other constantly and annoyingly use each other's names in normal conversation --just to make sure we don't ever confuse any of this with reality. Here's an example:

Ben: "So, what do you think, Joe?" Joe: "I'm not really sure, Ben."

That type of crap. Straight out of a soap opera, or a stage play. Just for a little variety, sometimes the names come at the beginning of a line, like this:

JoJo: "Oh, Ben, stop acting like that!" Ben: "Jo, what are you talking about?"

Maybe the idea is to keep reminding the audience who's who, to make sure we never forget their names (God knows we wouldn't be able to follow the story without that crucial information). But all this technique really does, of course, is keep telling the audience, over and over again, "it's only a movie, it isn't real."

Because in real life, people who know each other almost never use each other's names -- not unless they're calling out to get each other's attention, or want to kill each other, or both.

This film doesn't rival the top offenders in this category, thank God -- the worst being "American Buffalo" (which made me run screaming from the theater after about fifteen minutes) and "Wonder Boys," both of which achieved a false, theatrical quality strictly because of this annoying tendency. "American Buffalo" is based on a play, so one can see how it suffered from not being properly adapted, but "Wonder Boys," taken from a novel, has absolutely no excuse.

Neither does this p*** poor film. Sorry, Brad. Maybe it's time to go back to T.V.
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8/10
will watch this again and again because of the acting
elyn8612 February 2006
I worked at a Blockbuster so I had the opportunity to watch movies that I normally wouldn't watch due to not wanting to waste money. When I started watching Moonlight Mile I was already hooked on Jake Gyllenhaul and this movie just added to my admiration of his acting ability along with his amazing sex appeal. I am sure everyone knows about him now because of all the movies he has been in since. I just hope everyone takes the time to watch this one as well. One of my favorite romantic scenes ever(!) is when Jack and Ellen Pompeo are in the bar by the jukebox. OH MY GOSH! (Speaking of Ellen Pompeo, I will brag again to tell you that now most people know her from Gray's Anatomy but I was such a fan after watching this movie. Check it out!
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1/10
Ouch, Ouch, Ouch
pyewacket3 October 2002
One of the really bad films of the year. It would be tempting to blame it on writer/director Brad Silberling, but no one in this film acquits him or herself admirably. Susan Sarandon struggles to bring her usual fiery passion to a

dully-written part, Dustin Hoffman looks great but is otherwise a bore, and

Jake Gyllenhaal comes across as an annoying Tobey Maguire clone, but

even more annoying than Tobey.

The nadir? Possibly this line from Sarandon: "You've given us all a big

truth enema." Yeah, there's eloquence for you! Gyllenhaal whines his way

through an unbelievably bad courtroom scene that provokes a desire to

smack him one, and Holly Hunter looks embarrassed as a district attorney.

A low mark for all concerned.
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2/10
Mediocre TV-Movie Dressed Up As A Prestige Project
Flipper19 October 2003
The tone wavers so wildly in the first 20 minutes, we don't know at first whether we are watching a smart black comedy or a sincere drama. The film offers such eccentricities as an oft-vomiting dog named Nixon and a pretty young postmistress invoking Lucy Ricardo's grape-stomping episode, and for all the gloom of the plot we may as well be watching The Accidental Tourist. But soon enough the film settles into an unambitious, by-the-numbers drama of people overcoming grief and adversity way too quickly, all thanks to the cliche of the young man who dares to speak the truth. Jake G pulls off some very touching moments but he is not capable of singlehandedly supplying a point of view to this erratic, poorly focused story (as what actor would be?). His commendable work in the courtroom is undermined by the scene's complete implausibility. It is hard to see what such heavyweight acting talent saw in this project, which almost never rises above TV-movie mediocrity and predictability, despite the specious aphorisms contained in the dialogue. The production values are very high and yet no one sounds like they live in New England and no one looks like they are living in the 1970s. (Holly Hunter's presence reminded of The Firm, another film that made me wish it was about her.)
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So close, but...
onlycurious19 July 2003
How I wish I could pin this one on the director. Of late, I've been particularly peeved with "directorial artsiness", manifested by music playing over dialog, backlighted scenes, hand-held cameras, etc. It didn't happen in Moonlight Mile. And the acting was superb -- certainly to be expected with three Oscar winners, a bright up-and-coming young man, and a shining new ingenue. But, it dragged. Oh, my, how it dragged. Scenes that looked as though film had been purchased wholesale; painfully unscripted silences; sequences that appeared more "stills" than "movies. Is the director at fault? Perhaps...but can you really blame the director? Because, in this case, the director also WROTE the screenplay! In other words, he apparently WANTED it that way. So, what can I say...except that I will carefully avoid any further efforts on which Mr. Silberling writes, directs...and produces. Unless I need a sleeping potion, accompanied by skilled but wasted actors.
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Assemblage of truths and emotions
Serge_Zehnder12 August 2003
Not reality! As we all know by now, movies are incapable of conveying reality, only truths are allowed to enter this strange universe of would-be fiction and would-be reality.

"Moonlight Mile" reserves itself to be on the side of truths drenched in emotions that might seem contrived and sappy, but are nevertheless truthful. The movies story, about people's grieve and solitude, is conveyed by a ensemble of brilliant actors, a script that's cheesy at times, but honest all the way, and a director that never succumbs to a mere show-off of soap-opera glitz as so many other reviewers have remarked.

You may never get past the "kitsch" when dealing with emotions, just as you've always have some people who feel patronized by these emotions. Everyone has their own favorite movies that stir their inner self the most. I can therefore only recommend "Moonlight Mile" as an example of pure emotions poured on screen. Something that will always divide an audience. Thank God, it's a lot better than this Prozac-State of apathy so many movies leave you with these days. Quite a gem.
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7/10
Good drama
preppy-38 October 2002
A New England family deals with grief. Ben Floss (Dustin Hoffman) and wife JoJos (Susan Sarandon) only child--a daughter--was accidentally shot to death before she was to marry Joe Nast (Jake Gyllenhaal). Nast stays with the parents to help them through their mourning but he's harboring a deep secret himself. He also falls in love with a local girl (Renee Zellwegeer look alike Ellen Pompeo).

Nothing new here script wise but it is well-written and always interesting. There are a lot of nice little touches--Gyllennaal keeps passing by a photo store with wedding pics in the window and every TV seems to be playing "The Newlywed Game" or the "Dating Game". The acting is just superb--Hoffman and Sarandon are (as always) excellent and Gyllenhaal is just great as the wounded boyfriend. He conveys all his emotions and feelings through his big brown eyes and body language.

The film was beautifully shot in (I believe) Northampton MA. Only complaint--this takes place in 1972 but nobody says or mentions it--it took me half the movie to figure it out!
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Hmm...
clairehuber28 September 2002
Excellent cast, excellent writing, awesome music... but something about this film just did not ring true with me. Despite complicated characters and a few twists, in the end I've seen this story one too many times. The end wrapped up a little too nicely for me. Overall, a good film but not completely deserving of all the overwhelming praise that the critics have been showering it with.
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9/10
Not to avoid
Petey-108 August 2012
This movie deals with three people dealing with the murder of a daughter.One of them was her fiancé.Moonlight Mile (2002) is directed by Brad Silberling.It's loosely based on Brad's own experiences.The cast does a great job.Dustin Hoffman is amazing.Today this great actor turns 75.Jake Gyllenhaal plays Joe Nast.Susan Sarandon is Jojo Floss.Ellen Pompeo portrays Bertie Knox.Holly Hunter plays Mona Camp.Dabney Coleman plays Mike Mulcahey.This is a film not to avoid.It's not a kind of film that makes you only cry and feel sad, it can also make you smile.The romance part is something I enjoyed.In the music department there is Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Jefferson Airplane and their guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, not to forget the Rolling Stones.The film's title comes from their song of the same name.
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9/10
It Is A Touching Film
Desertman8429 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Moonlight Mile is a film written and directed by Brad Silberling. This film was loosely inspired by his own personal experience after the time that actress Rebecca Schaeffer,whom he was dating, was killed by an obsessed fan.The film has a great cast in Jake Gyllenhaal,Dustin Hoffman Susan Sarandon,Holly Hunter and Ellen Pompeo,who appears on a screen debut in this movie.

The movie's story starts after the murder of Diana Floss in a restaurant robbery. Her fiancé Joe Nast elects to stay with her parents. Her father Ben Floss is a realtor whose partner has recently left. Ben and Joe go into business as Floss & Son, as this was their plan before Diana's death. Joe goes to the post office to retrieve all the invitations that had been sent out for his and Diana's wedding, and with the help of Bertie Knox he retrieves seventy four of seventy five. She finds the last invitation and takes it to his house later that night. He drops her off at a local bar, and returns home, despite her inviting him in for a drink. Joe and Ben attend a local property fair, and Ben pitches the idea of redeveloping a block in the town to developer Mike Mulcahey

Diana's friends come round to look through her possessions, much to the consternation of her mother Jojo (Susan Sarandon). They then take Joe out for a drink at the same bar Bertie went into the previous night. Feeling trapped at the Floss home, Joe goes to see Bertie and they sleep together.

Ben is frustrated at the lack of progress and goes to the bar to see the owner,where he meets Bertie and tells her about Diana. Bertie finds Joe and confronts him; he confesses to her that he had split up with Diana three days before she was killed.

Joe goes to dinner at the Mulcahey's, where Mike's wife rudely presumes aloud that she thought Joe was not still tied up with thoughts of his fiancée's murder. Joe states that this is not the case, completely upsetting the mood at the dinner table. This causes Mike to call Ben and call off the deal. The family attends the trial of Diana's murderer. However the murderer's wife elicits sympathy from the jury, and the prosecutor, Mona Camp,asks Joe to testify and help the jury gain sympathy for Diana. While on the witness stand, Joe confesses that he and Diana had split and that they remained friends but were no longer getting married. Ben and Jojo are happy with the confession and gain closure.

Joe symbolically writes 75 letters expressing his newfound clarity about what course his life ought to take and places them in mailboxes around town, hoping that one will get to Bertie.

The movie is a touching film.Although it had some boring moments in the middle part,the movie tells a story about about livable compromises and the doubt and panic that linger once life's plans scatter and persist. Moreover, it's about the hardship of survivors honoring someone from whom they're best off moving on.Moreover,it also tells a tale of a person trying to find his place in the world.

The performances of Jake Gyllenhaal,Dustin Hoffman and Susan Sarandon were good.There is nothing more that one can ask for.While it was surprising that Ellen Pompeo did great and have stolen some scenes as Bertie.She definitely has good acting talent.

Overall,it is one gem of a movie.
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10/10
A very unique film from a hit or miss director.
PhillipMichaelH17 June 2011
Director Brad Silberling isn't the greatest director to ever come out of American film but given that he was trained by working in television and then was even chosen by producer Steven Spielberg to direct his first film says that he is a worthy talent. After 10 years of working in television, Brad Silberling began a friendship with Steven Spielberg, who felt he was the right choice to direct a film which he was producing. The result was the 1995 blockbuster, Casper. While not the greatest film ever made, Silberling proved that he could handle a big budget special effects production and he didn't even have one film to his credit before then but also he showed how he could work well with actors and bring out solid performances. While I'm not defending Casper as a masterpiece, I think it has some inspired moments of comedy and drama in it that dealt with loss of a loved one and how to carry on from such a tragedy. The only thing I could have done without was the last minute of the film where the cast dance along to a Little Richard cover of the popular Casper theme song. Other then that, the movie works well.

Silberling then decided to make a more grown up film but still dealt with the same themes of his first feature, the result was City Of Angels (1998) which was an American remake of the popular art house film Wings Of Desire from 1987. Again, not what most would consider a masterpiece but it still showed Silberling's talent with working with actors and it was also a well made film if you ask me. The heavily emotional scenes with Nicholas Cage and Meg Ryan caught the attention of acting legend Dustin Hoffman and then Silberling was able to make his dream project for his third film.

Moonlight Mile (2002) is loosely based on a real experience. Silberling was dating actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989, who was killed by an obsessed fan. This unfortunate event inspired the idea for his most personal and best film to date. I won't give away too much in this review but I felt that this was a unique film about following your own heart and not focus on what is expected of you. Many films have done this in the past but Moonlight Mile has a different take on it because it is also about grief, keeping secrets and not opening up to people which I think makes it even more thought provoking and inspiring which I feel are the two most important elements to a film.

So check this one out when you have the chance. Again, not the greatest movie I have seen in my life but it's still an interesting twist on subjects that have been repeated many times. Unfortunately, Silberling has made some weak choices as a director. I will not be defending his latest film Land Of The Lost with Will Ferrell but other then that, the rest of his work is rather impressive and while he hasn't reached the same heights as Steven Spielberg or many other directors who work in the genre he works in, he almost got there with this film. Let's hope if he does make another film, it will take us completely by surprise. We can only hope.
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8/10
A Movie That Touched Me
butchntracy10 November 2010
I missed the first few minutes of this movie while surfing for something to watch, but as soon as I switched to it I was hooked. I absolutely LOVED this movie and have found myself thinking about it again and again since I watched it. This will go on my personal list of favorite movies. I love a movie where you laugh along with shedding tears. It's not just one big cry fest where you walk away from the movie feeling down. I walked away from this movie with thoughts of hope and that a future that contains happiness is there. After your family endures a tragedy it may take awhile for you to find your joy again, but you will find it with the the help of others. I would love to see this movie again. I laughed and I cried and I enjoyed every minute that I saw of this movie. I felt my life has been touched by Jake, Ellen, Susan and Dustin's performances.
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