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This Americanized remake of the French classic The Return of Martin Guerre (1982) transports the story's setting from the 16th century Gallic countryside to 19th century Tennessee at the conclusion of the U.S. Civil War. Richard Gere stars as Jack Sommersby, a wealthy landowner who returns to his small cotton farming town of Vine Hill three years after the Civil War's end. The defeated Confederate soldier is ready to resume his past life with his young wife Laurel (Jodie Foster). Thinking her husband long dead, however, Laurel has become engaged to Orin Meecham (Bill Pullman), an… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Though there is a near vaccuum at the center of the film, Sommersby is never boring, largely because of Ms. Foster's beautifully self-possessed presence."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"It's really an old-fashioned hankie-soaker with Gere and Foster ably jerking tears. An odd yet convincing couple, they won't replace Rhett and Scarlet, and frankly, my dears, who can? But belles wring and bosoms heave in a manner most pleasing."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"A winning and soul-stirring exploration of the spiritual meaning of one man's sacrificial death."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"Hobbled with a meandering script, an erratic performance by Richard Gere, and an overbearing score by Danny Elfman."
‑ Stephen Farber, Movieline
"At least satisfying and often is poignant."
‑ Mark R. Leeper,
"From start to finish, it is a well-crafted film: part love story, part mystery, and all drama."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"If you're looking for a picturesque romance -- with a little intrigue on the side -- you could do worse than Sommersby."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"The story idea is an interesting one, but it doesn't quite pan out in the end. There are too many unanswered questions and unresolved conflicts."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Relatively weak popcorn drama."
‑ Christopher Null,
"The cast is uniformly good, including Gere in the title role. But it's Foster who really glows here, giving her character a sense of depth and innocence that makes the entire unlikely premise more palatable."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"A square peg pounded into a round hole -- or, more exactly, a medieval European story that has been unsuccessfully updated to the period of the American Civil War."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Lacks whatever magical ingredient there is that makes a film a moving experience and instead settles for being an adequate but not a remarkable achievement."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A powerful piece of filmmaking. Gere and Foster are as immaculate as always."
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Sommersby is not a terrible movie, there are just many things about it that aren't quite right."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
More reviews for Sommersby on Rotten Tomatoes

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