Box art for The Greatest

The Greatest

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


Three months after Allen and Grace Brewer's son died in a car accident, Rose shows up on their doorstep, pregnant with his child.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    52%
  • Audience Score
    54%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    52%
    reviews counted: 27
    see all The Greatest reviews
  • Audience

    54%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: I think that the performances and also the kind of relaxed style of direction kind of make this watchable.

- A.O. Scott, At the Movies, Monday, April 5, 2010

Rotten: Do not mistake The Greatest for a movie about Muhammad Ali. And do not think its ambitious title indicates its overall quality.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fresh: Though it sometimes feels more like a collection of scenes than a complete story, some moments are so raw and insightful that they feel like a punch to the heart.

- Claudia Puig, USA Today, Thursday, April 8, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

This is a really hard review to open. I would like to start with a compliment or one of the high points of the film, but nothing is coming to mind. It is really a decent enough movie overall. However, the factor that sticks out the most is that the whole thing feels kind of cheap and amateurish - the script especially. It seemed decent enough while actually watching the film, but it seems truly hideous when reading excerpts now in the aftermath. The characters seemed more symbolic than anything else. Each takes on a particular family role. Susan Sarandon does not play a specific mother as much as a general mother; her role is not personal, but a representation of how parents typically are expected to act in such a situation. The same goes for the rest of the family. Carey Mulligan and Aaron Johnson are probably also rather typical young lovers, but I loved their scenes together. The flashback sequences are hands down the best scenes in the film. Carey Mulligan is typically great, but I'm also biased. She could simply stand and smile at the camera and I would think she had done great work. She also had some great attire. Aaron Johnson also stood out from the rest of the cast. I absolutely loathed him in Kick-Ass, but he was rather interesting here, enough that I'm curious to see him in something else. From a critical standpoint, The Greatest is in most ways an absolute piece of crap. The thing is, I rather enjoy this particular type of crap. It's a tragic tale which tries so very hard to make you ponder mortally and love and appreciating what you've got and all those wonderful things. It mostly fails, but, still, it's a rather enjoyable way to spend 90 odd minutes.

- neverteaseaweasel, Friday, October 8, 2010

4 stars

"I barely knew him, but everything was exactly how I imagined it, everything was just how I pictured it. I had to keep this baby. I think he was the love of my life." A drama that is centered around a troubled teenage girl and a family that is trying to get over the loss of their son. REVIEW The Greatest is a moving drama about the parents of a teenage boy who dies in an auto accident. The parents take in their late son's girlfriend, who is pregnant with their grandchild. Pierce Brosnan and Susan Surandon deliver emotionally charged performances as two people turned into complete mush by denial and obsession over the loss of their son, and Carey Mulligan also does a fine job as a lost soul trying to find some sense of family in the household of her deceased boyfriend. Johnny Simmons does the best he can with a somewhat underdeveloped character and everyone else outside of these four main characters come off as one dimensional and placed within the story for convenience sake. But if what you desire is a movie that will make your heart pang this is it. This one is worth watching simply because of Pierce Brosnan's realistic portrayal of a man making every conceivable effort not to cry, but The Greatest also has other redeeming qualities as well. Susan Surandon is in top form and shows us what being an actress is all about. The somewhat happy ending is a much appreciated relief to an otherwise emotionally draining tearjerker.

- LorenzoVonMatterhorn, Saturday, September 11, 2010

3 stars

"I want to know everything I would know if he was still alive. I want more memories of him." After their teenage son Bennett (Aaron Johnson) dies in an accident, Allen and Grace (Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon) are left unable pick up the pieces and move on after his death. But when the young woman (Carey Mulligan) who's carrying Bennett's unborn baby arrives at their doorstep with nowhere else to go, the tension and pain of Bennett's death is brought forward in a way that will either destroy the family, or finally push them towards dealing with their grief. Scenes of Rose and Bennett's relationship before his death are also woven throughout the movie, and provide a nice way to better know the two characters. The Greatest started off pretty well. The scenario of a family struggling with the loss of a child isn't an uncommon one, but the cast seemed well on their way to delivering a solid story about loss and healing. Mulligan was excellent, and Brosnan and Sarandon were solid, even though they occasionally didn't quite deliver the emotion that they were reaching for in a few scenes. No, my problem with The Greatest wasn't the actors or the premise, it was the writing. The story takes the oddest detours at times, often with little relevance to, well...the actual story. This really seemed apparent with the character of Ryan, whose entire subplot with the girl he meets has little relevance on his character arc, and made his resolution feel artificial, as a result. And Rose and Allen's trip to a teenage party seemed completely out of place, and I was left wondering what it was supposed to add to the story. The characters also didn't appear to have a truly solid identity, and as a result, some of their decisions and interactions didn't come off as genuine. It's like writer/director Shana Feste had ideas about what she wanted to see happen in the movie, but didn't bother to build those ideas around relatable and believable characters. A movie like this depends on making a connection between the audience and the characters, and at times, that connection felt very hollow, for me. The Greatest is an okay movie, but I'm convinced that it could have been much better with a script written by someone with a better grasp on creating solid characters.

- lewiskendell, Sunday, August 15, 2010