You have to buy into Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close and judging by the reviews most critics are not.
It’s about a boy (Thomas Horn) who loses his father (Tom Hanks) on 9/11 because Hanks was attending a meeting on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center. Horn feels guilty about it because of his behaviour when his father phoned home several times that day before he died.
Afterwards he finds a key in an envelope with the name ‘Black’ on it in his father’s belongings. Hoping to find a connection with his father, who always gave him quests, Horn sets out on a mission to talk to every Black in the New York phonebook to find what the key unlocks.
Although he doesn’t know it at first, he’s helped in his quest by his still grieving mother (Sandra Bullock). He’s also helped by an aged boarder, who cannot speak, presumably his grandfather. This is the best role in the movie, wonderfully acted by Max von Sydow. And he does it without speaking a single word.
This reviewer only partly bought into this sentimental and emotional story, which tugs at your heart. But, despite an amazing acting job from young Horn, it is hard to accept his precociousness and believe this 11-year-old could get around New York like this, especially since he’s afraid to take public transit. That said, the movie takes you to unexpected places and it’s a journey that’s worth it.
Rating: four deer out of five
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There’s Real Steel for action and 50/50 for solid drama.
Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.