Ben is Back

What is so moving and effective about Roberts's work here is her shrewd subversion of her long-established persona.


Ben is Back

Nineteen-year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) unexpectedly returns home to his family's suburban home on Christmas Eve morning. Ben’s mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is relieved and welcoming but wary of her son staying clean. Over a turbulent 24 hours, new truths are revealed, and a mother's undying love for her son is tested as she does everything in her power to keep him safe. Ben is Back also stars Courtney B. Vance (“The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”) and Kathryn Newton (“Lady Bird”).

"Unflinching and unforgettable addiction drama about a mother who can't quite trust the son she loves." —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

"Hedges is a flayed nerve, jittery and raw. Roberts may be the true revelation, though: She begs, she bargains, she swears like a teamster." —Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
Drama, Addiction
Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

Loving an addict is a nearly impossible thing to do. Writer/director Peter Hedges captures the aching difficulty with a crystalline and harrowing clarity in “Ben Is Back.” It stars his son, Lucas Hedges, as Ben, and Julia Roberts as Ben’s mother, Holly, whose Christmas wish is to have Ben home for ...

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