Home Page > Movies Index (w/mixed oldies) > > Movie Review

This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Amber Alert in the Big Apple

Ezra on IMDb

Plot Overview

kid drawinghome readingbad dogOld man Stan (Robert De Niro) was a low per­forming husband whose wife finally left him. Having then failed at three chef positions he's now a door­man at a fine New York establishment. His son Max Pernell (Bobby Cannavale) who lives with him is a stand-up comedian at the local Comedy Cellar hoping to get a break with the Jimmy Kimmel show out of L.A.. He's not yet the rage but he rages at the system. His estranged wife Jenna (Rose Byrne) is divorcing him while living with her lawyer boy­friend. The former couple's autistic son Ezra (William Fitzgerald) exhibits advanced reading skills for his school grade but undeveloped social skills. He's just gotten kicked out of a third elementary school for his disruptive influence. Authorities want to put him in a special school, but his parents demur (“You have family and they have to answer to us.”) When the kid gets spooked and leaves his home and then flees a barking dog to a narrow miss with a cab, Dr. Kaplan puts him on Risperdal and enrolls him in a special day school. Hot­headed Max gets hit with a restraining order but then spirits Ezra away with him, eventually to make his audition for the Kimmel Show. It's a road trip of discovery.


hand crank ice cream makerHere the sensitive boy and harried family encounter some triggered conflicts à la, (Prov. 30:33) “Surely the churning of milk bringeth forth butter, and the wringing of the nose bringeth forth blood: so the forcing of wrath bringeth forth strife.” The idea in the proverb is that a state of peace and conciliation can change to one of conflict just as a liquid (milk) can change to solid (butter) through constant agitation (churning.) Or hit a critical area (nose) and it bleeds. We see an ice cream treat & a bar­room punch. These principles are illustrated in the movie when the dad being accustomed to but short visits with his son takes him on the road where they will continually be on each other's nerves. It's enough to make them lose it. There was also the earlier incident when the literal minded autistic boy over­heard his mom's lawyer lover make an idle, sarcastic threat against Max, so he precipitously tried to go warn him. That resulted in a chain of events getting out of hand.

Production Values

” (2023) was directed by Tony Goldwyn. It was written by Tony Spiridakis. It stars Bobby Cannavale, Robert De Niro and William A. Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald a child actor performed well the autistic kid with­out over­playing it. Cannavale also gave a good performance as a caring but beset father. Vera Farmiga and Whoopi Gold­berg played supporting roles as well.

MPA rated it R for language, some sexual references and drug use. It has a good town and country mix. Runtime is 1 hour 40 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

During the travellers' visit to a mothballed parochial camp one of the skeleton crew remarks, (Romans 6:23) “the wages of sin is death.” That leaves us to fill in, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” a subtle gospel message. That hardly makes this a faith-based movie, but we'll take what we can get. It's family-friendly if we count hodge­podge families. It's touching showing the realization of a handicap's potential.

Movie Ratings

Action Factor: Weak action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well, at least you can't see the strings. Video Occasion: Better than watching TV. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.