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Uncle John

Uncle John

Mar. 16, 2015 USA114 Min.
Your rating: 0
9 887 votes

Video trailer

Synopsis

Uncle John revolves around the struggle to keep a mysterious disappearance unsolved

Uncle John
Uncle John
Uncle John
Uncle John
Original titleUncle John
IMDb Rating6.3 1,249 votes
TMDb Rating6 13 votes

(15) comments

  • GManfredSeptember 23, 2015Reply

    Not Much Happening In Smalltown, USA

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • remembervhsSeptember 24, 2015Reply

    excellent

    There’s a lot to like about this movie.

    Its deliberate pace will alienate some viewers. Others will appreciate
    the artful way the back-story is unveiled and the lack of up-front
    exposition. The performances are all excellent, but John Ashton steals
    the show as the title character. The direction and photography are
    fantastic as well.

    I found the structure interesting, and was surprised at the some of the
    choices that were made. Many films follow different story lines and
    bring them together for a definitive conclusion. In Uncle John, the two
    story lines do pass by each other but they don’t merge. And after their
    brief meeting, they go their separate ways.

    I found the story following Ashton’s character to be the more
    interesting to of the two and I believe a movie could have been
    successfully made using that storyline alone. Still, this film works
    and I will definitely check out Steven Piet’s next.

    If you do enjoy Uncle John, I would give this film a try:

    Small Town Murder Songs- http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1429392/?
    ref_=nv_sr_1

  • nowegoSeptember 25, 2015Reply

    Worth Seeing

    After reading the reviews (2 of them) and seeing very little negativity
    about this movie I watched it and happily enjoyed it.

    Not really a mystery and for most it would be a bit on the slow side,
    but mature audiences that like a good story would enjoy this.

    John Ashton of Beverly Hills Cop fame (enjoyed his acting ever since)
    holds the movie together well.

    Some of the acting would be regarded by many as a bit amateurish and
    the movie definitely was shot on a very low budget, but it still holds
    together well.

    Give it a try, you will not regret it.

  • bob_megSeptember 29, 2015Reply

    A daring gem of an indie and finally a proper showcase for John Ashton

    John Ashton is one of those supremely gifted character actors that
    constantly find themselves in movies not quite worthy of their talents.
    The litmus test is this: Search through Ashton’s film resume here on
    IMDb and find movies you’ve seen that he’s starred in. His wide-eyed,
    wizened face has been endearing you longer than you may realize (his
    most famous turn has got to be as Judge Reinhold’s gruffly sardonic
    mentor in ”Beverly Hills Cop”). His comedic delivery is often so dry it
    crackles.

    This makes him the perfect find for the title role in director Steven
    Piet’s surprisingly engaging, often very funny thriller ”Uncle John.”
    The film begins with John hauling away and burning a body in one of his
    fields on his rural Illinois farm. The victim turns out to be a guy
    named Dutch who (from the vitriol spouted by almost everyone in the
    small town) people despised — and even more so when he found religion
    and embarked on the not-too-smart idea of going from door to door and
    ”apologizing” for his past sins.

    Piet and co-writer Erik Crary’s script is rather bold in its execution
    however, because it doesn’t just stick with John and his quietly
    engrossing story. The writers ping-pong constantly to another plot
    revolving around John’s nephew (Alex Moffat) and a co-worker he’s
    tentatively courting (Jenna Lyng) at a small commercial ad agency in
    Chicago. For a good part of the film, you’ll wonder what the hell this
    plot has to do with the A-story, but after a while you won’t care:
    Moffat and Lyng have such an electric chemistry and their dialogue is
    so real, so drop-dead funny at times, that it’s just a joy to watch
    (the B-story actually does provide a lot of insight into John’s
    character, though it’s not really needed thanks to Ashton’s skill).

    It’s one of those
    two-trains-speeding-down-the-track-rolling-right-for-each-other-type
    scripts (think ”No Country for Old Men,” though not on that scale,
    obviously). And of course there’s a time bomb at the collision point,
    and quite a menacing one, in Ronnie Gene Blevins, who plays the dead
    guy’s angry, redneck, slightly-psychotic younger brother.

    It all comes together because of Ashton, however. As per usual, he
    conceals virtually everything he’s feeling, but in that cunningly
    transparent way that lets you into his subconscious — whether you
    want to be there or not. He tells you everything you need to know about
    his life, his dead wife (who Dutch was snaking), and his sense of
    morality without saying much at all. It’s all in that face and those
    eyes, which have just gotten more expressive with time.

    ”Uncle John” also gets the look, feel, and cadence of rural Illinois
    stunningly right. The diner scenes with John’s daily cronies (Don
    Forsten, Gary Houston, and Matt Kozlowski — all worth mentioning) are
    priceless and not just in non-condescending accuracy. They’re a
    wonderful Greek chorus. And Alex Moffat’s dry-ice deliveries recall
    David Spade at his sharpest.

    It’s not a film for the impatient, but there’s a mother-lode of riches
    in that there brush fire.

  • Mendocino-CaliforniaOctober 13, 2015Reply

    One of the best movies of 2015 !!!

    I personally would call this a masterpiece. This is so well constructed
    and put together on so many levels. I rarely see a movie of such
    caliber and will see this many more times just to see how well it was
    crafted.

    This is a slow moving movie, and has many layers interweaving in and
    out all over the place like a masterfully scripted classical musical
    piece.

    The relationship between the boy and girl is one of the best
    chemistry’s I have ever seen on the silver screen. I just wanted to
    listen to them, wanted them to be together forever. I almost felt I was
    in their company their level of intimacy was so real and refreshing.

    The acting was so brilliant most of the actors just drew you into to
    their world.

    This movie is slow, its a thinker, and will leave you thinking long
    after the movie ends … and that is the brilliance of a brilliant
    movie.

  • Red_IdentityJanuary 3, 2016Reply

    Pretty good

    I feel like this was a story that could have used a lot more refining
    around the edges, as to make the mystery aspect hit a lot harder and to
    make it more effective. As it is, it’s still pretty good. I do admire
    it’s resistance to go for easy, cheap thrills, as overall the film
    never goes into places that you expect it to go, or to have twists and
    turns that are the usual for this type of film. The acting is very good
    I think, all believable in their parts especially the lead actor
    playing Uncle John. I do think that the film would leave a lot of
    audiences wanting more, and expecting a lot more out of it. As it is
    however, I do feel like it leaves a strong enough impact to really be
    recommended.

  • CelluloidDogJanuary 10, 2016Reply

    Interesting intentions but doesn’t have substance…zzzzzzz…

    This actually won an award? Of course, (for cinematography?!) at a
    small film festival where there isn’t much going on. This film is
    basically about not much. Something about a murder? Maybe. We assume
    it’s a murder but there is no evidence since the film opens with an
    ambiguous scene. And perhaps the whole film is ambiguous. It’s never
    clear if the opening was a murder, it’s never clear to Danny if his
    brother was murdered. It appears more like Dutch, the town’s bully, was
    depressed and wanted to atone for his misdeeds and doesn’t happen upon
    Uncle John but commits suicide and Uncle John covers it up. The lake
    was dragged and nothing was discovered. The lead suspect was a dead
    end. Ben’s relationship with Kate is ambiguous. Is it romance or
    friendship?

    This film spends most of the movie in limbo, not going anywhere. Like a
    sailboat with no wind, in dead calm. Ambiguous relationship/romance,
    ambiguous murder/suicide, ambiguous uncle (he has a hidden side),
    ambiguous writing, and more. Makes for a below average movie. It’s one
    redeeming quality is the fairly good acting. John Ashton does a solid
    job of acting (not award-winning but quietly understated) and the young
    Ben and Kate (Alex Moffat and Jenna Lyng) are charming and have good
    chemistry. It has interestingly good intentions but just doesn’t cut
    it. It’s like the protagonist of the film, the youthful Ben, who is
    unsure of many things. It lacks confidence and closure. But it tries.

    Which for me is tragic, since I tend to favor independent and
    international films, rather than the standard Hollywood fare. But this
    admittedly does not come close to many good films out there. If you
    skip this movie, you wouldn’t miss anything. Real rating? anywhere from
    4.7-5.4.

  • martinrandall-85605January 11, 2016Reply

    Pointless and Slow

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • xhidden99January 17, 2016Reply

    Worst Sound Editing Ever

    Maybe it’s a good movie maybe it’s not. Hard to tell as it has the
    worst sound editing of any movie ever. When there’s dialog you have to
    crank volume to 11 to hear anything and when there’s not, it’s so
    bizarrely loud it actually rattles the windows.

    Others have noted the ‘deliberate’, ‘slow’, ‘patient’ pace of the
    movie. Short form, it’s boring. Bad writing that can’t or won’t fill in
    anything and instead the ‘story’ relies on the audience to sort of
    imagine or write their own story and backstory in their heads. And of
    course long long stretches of sad indie music and tinkling piano keys.

    Dunno, maybe this blend of art-house indie mumblecore is for some
    people.

  • currionJanuary 23, 2016Reply

    FYI – Uncle John is in Wisconsin – not Illinois

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • cblazoJanuary 29, 2016Reply

    A good interpretation of what can really happen.

    Although this movie can be a bit slow and the two plots may seem to be
    polar opposites at first. They come together and the film becomes
    deeper. This picture demonstrates what could be going on at your
    neighbors house. I loved the quaintness, the true location shooting and
    how real the film seems due to the low budget. The main characters act
    fairly well, but there are some flaws in the supporting actors. John
    Ashton was great as Uncle John and portrayed the character’s turmoil
    and quiet strengths very well. The nephew, played by Alex Moffat, was
    upbeat and witty and took the movie in a different direction with his
    quest for love. I think the film is a great movie for buffs or people
    flipping through the independent section of Netflix. Don’t expect gore
    or moments of suspense. This movie is strictly about cause and effect.

  • smsennaFebruary 1, 2016Reply

    Like Watching Paint Dry

    I tried to give this movie a chance. It started off well, but the story
    just dragged on, and I felt like I was watching paint dry… There was
    an opportunity by the director, or the writer to make this movie more
    interesting to viewers by expanding on the back story of several
    characters mentioned in the movie and how they connected with the main
    character. If they had done that, it certainly would have made the
    movie more interesting and would have given viewers a clearer story as
    to why the main character, made the choices he made. To me, that
    missing information, was the key to the entire story and it wasn’t
    told… at all. Thus making the film as a whole, hollow!

  • munn269February 17, 2016Reply

    Near perfect little film!

    I watch this knowing nothing about it as I like to do with smaller,
    indie type films.I watched this expecting a horror movie, it isn’t. The
    acting was fantastic, especially John Ashton who I hadn’t seen since
    way back when he was in Beverly Hills! The pacing was slow but kept me
    glued the whole time. The sub story which runs along separately from
    the main story was great. Casting was perfect. Could quite easily pass
    as a Cohen Bros film, very Fargo-ish. The last 20 minutes are so tense
    my heart was thumping! Beautifully shot, I will be checking out the
    director’s other work real soon and I just hope this gets a UK blu ray
    release. A real gem of a film that looks great, sounds great and shows
    yet again that you don’t need £100 million to make a great film! Bravo!

  • jtncsmistadJune 23, 2016Reply

    ”Uncle John”: He’s just as sweet as you can get…unless you get on his bad side, that is.

    Veteran character actor John Ashton (”Beverly Hills Cop” I and II,
    ”Gone Baby Gone”) is sublime as ”Uncle John”, a quiet pillar of a small
    farming community whose residents are blithely unaware how deep his
    still waters run. Deep and dark.

    Seems that John has lost someone dear to him. And there are those who
    will pay for his pain. Dearly.

    Alex Moffat and the stunning Jenna Lyng (a dead ringer for TV’s Lisa
    Ling) are also quite good here as coworkers/burgeoning lovers Ben and
    Kate. The young couple have come a callin’ on Ben’s sweet Uncle John
    for a brief overnight visit. What they don’t know about their kind and
    gracious host won’t hurt these two.

    Which is certainly a damn sight more than can be said for the poor
    bastard who dares cross this benevolent, yet unforgiving, curious
    country gentleman.

  • msrozOctober 19, 2016Reply

    John Ashton tries to keep his revenge secret

    ”Uncle John” (2015) is a rural neo-noir, set in farm and small town
    country of Wisconsin. This is an engaging story. It’s very much noir,
    opening with a murder committed by the protagonist, John Ashton as
    carpenter Uncle John, who lives on a farm. He has a reason, which is
    revenge for events that happened many years earlier. He’s an ordinary
    small town man, nearing 70, with gossipy friends who meet for coffee at
    the local eatery.

    The story holds us by the character portrait of a man attempting the
    perfect crime. We are made to identify with him in his secret endeavor.
    The murdered man has gone missing. The search has not turned up a body
    or clues, but the dead man’s brother has his suspicions, ratcheting up
    the suspense. The themes include privacy and secrecy covering hidden
    deeds and long-simmering hatred and revenge. They come to a boil when
    the dead man, who has hurt a number of people in the community, has a
    religious conversion and, wishing to avoid hell fire, is looking for
    forgiveness from those he harmed and reopening old wounds in the
    process.

    Uncle John has a nephew in Chicago (Alex Moffat) who works in
    advertising with Jenna Lyng. They unexpectedly visit Ashton, adding to
    the suspense.

    The movie is long, 113 minutes, the reason being that a lot of time is
    devoted to the relationship between Moffat and Lyng. This amounts to a
    separate story that’s not directly related to the main plot, other than
    through their surprise visit. The love story balances the thriller
    parts relating to Uncle John, and to some extent it sheds light on his
    feelings for what happened regarding his wife. Without the Moffat-Lyng
    romance, we’d be left with rather a straight crime story whose meaning
    and motivation would have left a bad taste. With this romance, we see
    John’s personal relationships and feelings more clearly and feel
    greater sympathy for him.

    The romance story affords a look-see into the ways of a new generation
    and how some younger people may approach relationships and matters of
    the heart, assuming that their ways are meant to be somewhat
    representative. What we see are two people in their twenties who have
    both dissolved previous affairs of significant length (like 5 years).
    Now they only tentatively approach one another, gradually getting to
    know one another.

    It’s really quite amazing that stories like this are written and made.
    This is part of the neo-noir phenomenon. The noir framework seems to
    offer a rich canvas upon which to paint stories that explore deep and
    dark emotions in a suspenseful way.

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