Ironweed (1987)

Based on the William Kennedy novel of the same name Ironweed is set in the waning years of the Depression. Jack Nicholson plays Francis Phelan, a washed-up ballplayer (a onetime infielder for the Washington Senators) who deserted his family… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: December 18, 1987
DVD Release Date: February 24, 2009
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Critic Score: 62% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune

Watching "Ironweed" is like having a large, metal object lodged in your brain for 2 1/2 hours. It hurts.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

At last, a real part for Nicholson to sink his teeth into.

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Cathy Burke
United Press International

Ironweed makes the sadness seem isolated and dangerous and unreal; it only exists where the bums live, it doesn't reach into the lives of good families.

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Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times

The film becomes becalmed and confusing; it lacks the novel's great unwavering trajectory.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

Despite its nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time, its superstar cast and its $23 million budget, Mr. Babenco's ''Ironweed'' is skeletal, a mere outline of Mr. Kennedy's far more resonant book.

Empire Magazine

Good performances, but If you're looking for an uplifting tale of hope against despair, look elsewhere.

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Variety Staff

Unrelentingly bleak, Ironweed is a film without an audience and no reason for being except its own self-importance.

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Hal Hinson
Washington Post

Comes about as close to being an unmitigated waste of talent as any movie in recent memory.

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TV Guide

Dim, grim, and relentlessly depressing.

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More reviews for Ironweed

Flixster Audience Score: 60% Flixster User Reviews
Carlos Magalh„es
It looks like it was made by anyone, since Babenco directs it without any passion or conviction and wastes Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep in a tiring narrative… More
John Ballantine
Nicholson and Streep simply just can't do it. What a tragedy for the finest actors of their generation. The script writer is at fault as this film bobs and… More
jay nixon
Brilliantly acted but profundly sad. A sense of gloom hangs heavily over the entire film.
Alec Barniskis
An utterly heartbreaking film about the people on the very fringe of society in the 1930s. It features one of the best performances Jack Nicholson has ever… More
Dean McKenna
William Kennedy's adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel turns into a showcase for Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep, both playing skid-row… More
Erin Collins
I wasn't a fan. The acting was good, but the story was very depressing and a little slow-moving.