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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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"An Unfinished Life" is the inscription on 21-year old Griffin's tombstone. He died in a car accident and the driver was his pregnant wife Jean (Jennifer Lopez). Ten years later, Jean is trying to raise their daughter but is being abused by her boyfriend, Gary. She runs to her husband's father (Robert Redford), a bitter old cowboy who has a ranch in Montana where he cares for his only friend (Morgan Freeman). Einer has never forgiven Jean for his son's death, but grudgingly lets them stay with him. Meanwhile, Gary is searching for Jean and is getting closer.

This little movie is really a gem. It's quiet and gentle and the actors are wonderful. Redford looks the part of the beaten-up old man consumed by hatred and grief. Lopez is also good, and Freeman gives his usual stellar performance. The mountain setting is breathtaking and serene, and there is a nice subplot involving Freeman and a grizzly bear that is quite touching. I don't know why this movie didn't reach a larger audience, but I do recommend it. It's a realistic look at people who need to forgive, be forgiven, and find meaning in their lives. Excellent.
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on 20 July 2008
Years before, Gill Gilkyson and her husband flip a quarter to see who will drive through the night in order to avoid a much needed rest stop. Tragedy strikes and Gill (Jennifer Lopez) is left alone and pregnant, and disowned by her father-in-law, Einar Gilkyson (Robert Redford). Life for Gill has since been spent living with abusive husbands until one day she finds the courage to leave the latest, Gary Wilson (Damian Lewis) and return to Wyoming and Einar's ranch. Einer has since been looking after his life-long friend Mitch (Morgan Freeman), who was mauled by a bear and is now left crippled for life. Here begins the troubled story of three characters, each attempting to deal with their troubled pasts. Can Einar forgive his daughter-in-law for an accident that occured so long ago, accept that life is not always fair and, most importantly, accept Gill and his new-found grandaughter into his life? Can Gill face her own demons and become a responsible mother? And, after years of healing, will Mitch once more confront and forgive the animal who crippled him?

Based on the terrific novel by Mark Spragg and set in the backdrop of rural Wyoming, director Lasse Hallstrom (What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Chocolat) has hit the mark once again with this tense and heartbreaking drama. There are outstanding performances from all the cast, most notably the ill-tempered Redford and the world-weary Freeman, who share a simultaneously tragic and amusing relationship - and the scenery is stunning. The film maintains an optimistic feel despite the tragedies that have occured and the viewer is kept secretly hoping that a happy conclusion is achievable.
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on 19 October 2012
I watched this because I had previously read & enjoyed the book it is based on. I felt the film stayed true to the story in the book & really brought this wonderful tale to life.
Jennifer Lopez plays Jean, who takes her daughter Griff (Becca Gardner) & runs from her abusive boyfriend. They end up at her father in law (Robert Redford)'s ranch, who takes her in despite there being old wounds & differences between the two. Morgan Freeman is wonderful, as always, as the family friend. The scenery is gorgeous; all mountains & lush green.
I loved the film. It's a little slow but give it your time & it will reward you with a touching story of unlikely friendships & the power of forgiveness.
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on 17 February 2013
Saw this movie first on TV. Now it is mine. Damien Lewis this movie nearly made me dislike you. Boy can you act. The whole cast are superb. Why has this movie not had better press? I love it even if the critics have kept quiet. Shame on them.
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on 7 October 2011
Well I expected better from the things I had heard about this movie, maybe it was my mood, but it's not the movie that left me breathless or wanting to tell my friends about it. However it does deserve 5 stars as movie's go it kept me interested, there were moments it got me thinking and the acting was simply superb by all. It was also nice to see a movie that was not full of gore, crude words and gun's going off every minute, like those movies too, but this was so different and rather nice to see.
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on 11 September 2009
A lovely, gentle film about the tensions brought about by family and by history. Robert Redford is a grumpy grandpa still grieving for the loss of his son. Jennifer Lopez is excellent as his former daughter-in-law and Morgan Freeman plays Reford's close friend confined to bed having been attacked by a bear.

It says much for the cinematography and the simple, yet absorbing storyline that these 3 + the excellent performance by the young grand-daughter hold the attention for the best part of 2 hours. An antidote to fast moving, big budget action movies. Utterly charming.
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on 21 July 2010
I didn't know what to expect from this film when I first saw it but I loved it so much I decided to buy it. I get more out of it each time I watch it. The relationship between Morgan Freeman and Robert Redford is captivating to watch and Jennifer Lopez is refreshingly good in her role. I'd recommend it it you want something easy going to watch with a heart warming tale.
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on 16 March 2013
You really can't go wrong with Morgan Freeman (oh that voice!). Throw in a wonderfully moody Robert Redford and an attractive lady (I was gobsmacked....J-Lo can act!) and surely it's a recipe for success? Well, yes for the most part. If you enjoy character devleopment and interaction then this is a 5 star film. If you enjoy a strong plot then you will probably be left wanting. The story is essentially about three people being thrown together and how their differences end up as friendships. One for a lazy evening and a very enjoyable film if you are after a quiet night in.
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on 12 August 2016
THIS film is SO good! I really can't think of a single thing about it that I didn't like and I say that as NOT being a real Robert Redford fan.In order to escape from yet another domestic violence situation and partner, Jean (Jennifer Lopez) returns to the home of her father-in-law Einar Gilkyson (Redford) and takes in tow her young daughter Griff (Becca Gardner). The child is the result of the relationship between Einars son, since deceased, and Jean and whom Redford never knew existed.The film has many ups and downs and there are various plotlines.There are some funny moments and also romance, love, happiness, sadness and a little violence. Acting is superb and Lopez is a bloody good actress given the right material to play with! Also stars Josh Lucas, Damian Lewis and Morgan Freeman. Good screenplay, music and Direction from Lasse Hallstrom.Recommended
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on 20 June 2009
I'm shocked that this film has not been released in the UK earlier, I managed to pick up an ex-rental copy of this on DVD a while ago, after viewing the trailer I knew I'd like the film,I was wrong though I love it, it's the kind of film I can only describe as beautiful.

The setting/landscape are perfect, you've a great cast including Robert Redford, Morgan Freeman, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Lucas and a very talented newcomer (to me at least) Camryn Manheim who plays the daughter of Jennifer Lopez.

It's made by the same director that made Casanova (which I've not seen), Chocolat and The Cider house rules, both of which is are wonderful films.

From the opening credits to the start of the end credits it runs at 98 minutes long, which leads me to my one and only criticism of this film, I wish it were longer, 2 hours plus would have been fine with me.

The following is what's written on the back of the DVD itself:-

Director Lasse Hallstrom delivers Hollywood legend Robert Redford and an incredible all-star cast in a powerful story where a broken family learns the only thing harder than holding on is letting go of the past, Einar (Redford) lives quietly alongside his trusted friend (Morgan Freeman) until the woman (Jennifer Lopez) he blames for his only childs death arrives at his door broke, desperate and with a granddaughter he's never met.

But even as buried anger and accusations resurface, the way is opened for unexpected connection, adventure, mercy and true reunion.

Reading that I guess it sounds a bit of a hard slog, but there's plenty of other things going on in the film together with some good light hearted moments too, Ive just purchased my second copy of this film so I have a brand new copy to go with my ex-rental, it's the kind of film I could watch and once finished go back and watch it all over again,that's how much I love it.
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