Labor Day movie poster

Once you get past the temporary insanity of the premise — escaped killer takes mother and son prisoner in their own home and quickly becomes the lover she craves and the father he needs — the weird sincerity of the performances from Josh Brolin, Kate Winslet, and Gattlin Griffith may just win ... no, that's not right. Even if you can get past said temporary insanity, you will still have to sit through the unsexiest making-pie-as-sexual-metaphor scene in cinematic history, wherein an escaped convict in 1987 suddenly starts chattering like a Food Network host circa 2010. "People buy all these fancy gadgets, but sometimes, the tool you need is right there attached to your own body." By rights, the teenage boy involved in this bizarre food triangle should have been too scarred to ever eat another bite of pie. Instead, he becomes a baker. Tobey Maguire's numbed narration is the perfect final ingredient for this handsome, disastrous melodrama from director Jason Reitman. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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