Ben Is Back is now playing

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December 12, 2018 04:50 PM

Ben Is Back gives Julia Roberts one of the finest roles of her career as Holly Burns, a mother with unfailing love for (and hope in) her drug-addicted son, 19-year-old Ben (Manchester by the Sea’s Lucas Hedges).

Taking place over 24 frigid hours at Christmastime in upstate New York, the film — which was both written and directed by Hedges’s dad, Peter — veers from family drama to nervy thriller as Ben returns home unexpectedly and upends his mom’s life (drug dealers from the past come knocking).

RELATED: Inside Lucas Hedges’ Award-Worthy Year: ‘I Feel Like I Really Am Finding My Place’

Fresh from her terrific work on the Amazon series Homecoming, Roberts delivers an emotionally raw performance. Holly’s dawning realization of the horrors of Ben’s former life is heartbreaking to watch, but this gives way to a growing ferocity as Holly resolves to keep her son safe.

Mark Schafer/LD Entertainment/Roadside Attractions

The actress is fully matched by her costar. With Ben, Mid90s and Boy Erased—three movies released in just the past three months—this young actor has had a remarkable 2018.

Ben Is Back is now playing.

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