Kevin (10 out of 10 ) An excellent film. Honest, maybe brutally honest, but at least it doesn't sugarcoat the characters' problems.
Paul (8 out of 10 ) I just could not get around the two dimensionality of Beth, the mother. She stays the same-- no character arc for this woman-- just flat-line cold and remote throughout. If she had somehow come to terms with her first son's death at the end of the movie-- and how it had affected her relationships with her surviving son and husband-- then the family dynamic could have re-adapted more positively than having mom just drive away in a cab. Instead, it is just father and son reuniting emotionally. I'm not asking for a Hollywood ending-- just a richer texture for all characters in a small ensemble.
Lynn (10 out of 10 ) This film was as close to reality as a film could have been in 1979-1980. I remember what time of day and what movie theater I watched this movie for the first time. I remember weeping through Con's breakthrough. And I thought Beth's inability to change was more authentic than not. I remember arguing with my mom about Beth's character. She as a mom understood the monumental loss that Beth went through. The reason I rate this movie so high is that people are still talking about it in 2015.
Karl (10 out of 10 ) Alvin Sargent is amazing. Also, I'm a bit confused by "two dimensional", two is more than one, making her multi-dimensional, which is good. One dimensional characters have only one trait, hence "one dimensional". She is a brooding, shrewd, selfish bitch in denial. She hates her son, but loves her neat and perfect life.