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Coal mining disaster survivor struggles to find his way.
MaryS-33312 July 2014
I wasn't planning to attend Little Accidents when it screened at the Seattle International Film Festival. With 450 films from which to choose, a film about a coal mining disaster sounded depressing. However, when I was sent a free pass from SIFF, I went anyway.

Not only was I was pleasantly surprised by Sara Colangelo's debut feature film, I was moved by it. Little Accidents is the type of film that stays with you long after the lights come up.

Although it is a coal mine disaster that sets the events of the film in motion, the action begins months after the accident, as Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) returns to his life in the small West Virginia town after convalescing from injuries that he sustained in the accident. He is the sole survivor.

Life is anything but normal as Amos finds himself torn between telling the truth about the cause of the accident, and keeping his mouth shut, which will dishonor his ten friends who died. If he testifies that management's cost-cutting decisions led to the disaster, the mine will be closed and his friends and family will be left without any way to feed their families.

Just as the town is beginning to deal with the loss of the miners, the son of one of the mine's managers (Josh Lucas) goes missing. Is it retaliation or a freak accident? Young Owen, played by Jacob Loftland (Mud), who is the son of a killed miner, has the answer, but he deals with his own struggle to reveal the truth.

The character-driven film follows the seemingly parallel story lines of Amos, Owen and Diane Doyle (Elizabeth Banks), the mother of the missing boy, but eventually the parallel lives begin to intertwine as they find themselves connected by fate.

The performances by everyone in this film, especially Holbrook and Loftland, are superb. A touching scene between Amos and Diane outside a convenience store nearly left me in tears.

Although I felt the relationship between Amos and Dianne could have been developed further, I was fully satisfied by the completion of the plot lines and left feeling blown away by the entire experience, which was enhanced by the attendance of the director, Colangelo.

Colangelo directed a 2010 short by the same name, which deals with issues of the working class. She wanted to set the expanded feature film in a mining community, after being moved by so many recent coal-mining accidents that she was unable to get off her mind.

One interesting piece of information that Colangelo provided was that the movie was shot in 24 days and entirely in film, in order to capture the grittiness of the subject matter. Kodak donated half of the film.

Little Accidents isn't so much a film about a coal mining disaster as it is a film about loss and how we choose to deal with the tragic events that occur in our lives. Of all the films I saw at SIFF this year, this is my favorite.

The film is set to be released in January 2015. Go see it!
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Guilt and remorse
deloudelouvain2 April 2015
Dramas are normally not the kind of movie I'm going for so I was not expecting much before watching this movie. After seeing it I must say I'm not disappointed at all. It's certainly worth a watch. It's a movie about all kinds of accidents, guilt and remorse, coping with losses. I thought all the actors gave a good performance. The filming was not bad either, I thought it was enjoyable to watch. The storyline is entertaining enough to not get bored. It is kind of slow with not much action but that's why it's a drama and not an action movie. Nothing wrong with that if you like that genre of movie. I probably won't watch it a second time but I certainly don't regret watching it.
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Heavy Breathing
ferguson-617 January 2015
Greetings again from the darkness. You know how we always hear that there are no secrets in a small town – how everyone knows your business? This first feature film from writer/director Sara Colangelo exposes the fallacy of that notion. It seems all residents of this small mining community are carrying secrets, and some are whoppers!

The story picks up about a year after a horrible coal mining accident killed ten local miners. The lone survivor was Amos (Boyd Holbrook) who is struggling with physical limitations resulting from the incident. However, generating more pain for Amos than his withered arm and leg is the internal battle the ongoing investigation is causing him. Should he expose the known safety issues that caused his co-workers to die? If he does, those 10 families probably get justice and a financial reward, but the mine likely shuts down - crippling the local economy and throwing much of the town out of work. If keeps quiet, those families get nothing and it's business as usual for everyone else.

Amos is joined in a daily conundrum of secrets by: Owen (Jacob Lofland), who is much too young to handle the situation an accident has placed him; Owen's brother James (Beau Wright) who has Down Syndrome and is even less equipped to keep his secret; the mine's supervisor Bill (Josh Lucas) who defends his poor decisions by saying he only did what the company forced him to do; and Diane (Elizabeth Banks) who is Bill's wife and reacts to the disappearance of her son and lack of respect for her husband in a manner that can't possibly end well.

As is common in poverty-stricken communities, there is even more to add. Owen's father was one of the miners killed in the accident, and Owen was among the group who last saw Bill and Diane's son alive. Also, Amos is living with his father who is paying the health price for a lifetime of coal mining. The film is bookended by Amos' testimony regarding the accident, and in between we see these intertwined lives and much soul-suffering and personal stock-taking. It's a reminder of how powerful grief can be, especially after such an instantaneous tragedy.

Boyd Holbrook and Jacob Lofland deliver outstanding performances. Mr. Holbrook's career is in skyrocket mode as he appeared in 8 projects during 2013-14 (including Gone Girl, The Skeleton Twins), and has 5 more for 2015 (including Terrence Malick's next film). Young Mr. Lofland was a standout in both Mud (2012) and his recent recurring role on TV's Justified. Also of note is one of the few dramatic turns for Elizabeth Banks. We have come to expect comedy excellence from her (even as Effie in The Hunger Games), but we have rarely seen the emotional depth she portrays here.

The movie is beautifully shot by Rachel Morrison, and the film stock provides the grainy look that adds to the realistic feel necessary for us to be absorbed into this isolated world. Comparisons to other mining movies are expected, and North Country (2005) and Matewan (1987) come to mind, however, those were centered on mistreatment in the workplace and labor issues, respectively. This movie is much more concerned with grief, and for some reason The Stone Boy (1984) comes to mind. Dealing with tragedy does not become easier with age, financial status or social standing. Ms. Colangelo's film provides an intimate look at this.
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Gloomy and depressing, but superb acting ....
peterp-450-29871612 May 2015
"You gonna be the big shot that closes down the Bonford Coal Company? We lost men in there. I'd keep to myself, if I was you. Just keep telling them you don't remember. Try to get back to work, back to being productive."

You made plans for a cozy movie night ? Are you sitting all comfortably in your seat buried under bags of chips and a bottle of Coca-Cola at your fingertips? Then I advise you to put on another movie than "Little accidents" because this movie won't make you happy. Not even a little bit. It shows a series of truly sad and depressing circumstances and occurrences. A fatal mine accident leaving 10 miners dead, an unfortunate incident with consequences, the wrenching dilemmas, the immense grief after losing a loved one, not knowing what's the fate of a missing person and the misunderstanding within a marriage. It's all included in this social drama, set in a dying town that looks so gray as if it was covered by a layer of coal dust. A story about two people in this "village without a future" whose lives run parallel, without them realizing it, with several points of contact : a dramatic event, the grueling truth that they keep secret and the decision whether or not to reveal it. Eventually, these parallel lines intersect and end in the same way.

"Little Accidents" is a melodrama in which various interest groups are diametrically opposed to each other. On the one hand you have the working people whose lives depend on whether or not they close the Bonford Coal Company. And on the other you have the representatives of the victims and the unions who want to sue the company for negligence and pursuit of profit on the back of the underprivileged workers, making them work in hazardous conditions. Just like Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) did. He's the sole survivor of the mine accident. After a rehab, he returned to his town in West Virginia and finds himself immediately confronted with this dilemma. He's constantly harassed by both interest groups. At the same time we meet Owen Briggs (Jacob Lofland), son of one of the victims in this mine disaster. His mother Kendra (Chloë Sevigny) tries to pick up the thread again, while Owen takes care of his younger brother James (Beau Wright), an endearing little boy who has Down syndrome. Although Kendra overwhelms both boys with electronic gizmo's, Owen is still struggling to integrate into the community and seeks the company of a group of young people who in the end only bully and exploit him.

The central figure of this group of young people is JT Doyle (Travis Tope), son of Bill (Josh Lucas) and Diane Doyle (Elizabeth Banks), leader and the one who turns up to be missing one day. The only one who knows the true facts about this disappearance, is Owen. But anxiously he keeps his mouth shut about it. This ensures the parents of JT facing a period of long waiting for the outcome of the investigation. The reason why this secret remains with Owen, is the fact that JT's father is one of the board members of the coal mine, who could be responsible for the fatal accident. Probably Owen thinks he could be accused of acting in an act of revenge. The moment the statement of lightning will be seen as untrue, his position as a director of this company will be practically untenable. Diane suffers the most under the disappearance of her son, while father Bill launches himself entirely into his work, and feels more and more neglected which leads to a surprising affair. The result is that the lives of Amos, Owen and Diana get intermingled because of these circumstances.

It's a pretty depressing film. Don't expect smiling faces. It feels more like a competition in "who looks the most depressing". Holbrook plays a surprising role as the half-crippled laborer who's facing a difficult choice. The choice between the relatives of the victims and the non-affected who still benefit from the fact that the only industry in their town still exists. The helplessness and at the same time the shame of being the only survivor, is written all over his face. "It was a waste to save me,if you think about it. I ain't got no family, no kids."as he admitted himself. Also Lofland (known for his role as a helpful teen in "Mud") plays an outstanding role. That intolerable burden he's carrying is played by him in a masterful way. Even in the quiet moments you can see that suffering. Elizabeth Banks (known as Effie Trinket in "The Hunger Games" and as Lydia Mercer in "Man on a Ledge") manages to bring a difficult role to a successful conclusion. She has no problems to bring a mix of diverse emotions: pride, despair, reconciliation, loneliness and dejection. All in all a talented cast.

"Little accidents" isn't a perfect film and has a tendency to become cheesy. It's only sadness you witness and some used themes aren't very original. After a while I got the feeling that it surely was overly packed with gloomy events. But in retrospect you can only admit that this is just part of everyday life. However, the lived through renditions and worked out characters ensure that this gloomy and dark film still makes a good impression. In other words, a wonderful film that shows how disaster can strike mercilessly.

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Little Accidents: A great piece of art.
niutta-enrico4 March 2015
Don't watch it if you are not in the mood (if you don't want to feel sorrow) but as soon as you feel serene enough I strongly suggest that you watch this film because I'm sure you will appreciate it very much.

I really can't understand how it got only 8 reviews (at the time I'm writing) on IMDb. Which I consider a sign of deep disinterest.

Actually it's a great piece of art that deals finely and very sincerely with human condition. The story is meaningful and touches many aspects of life. Among them (and I found this the most interesting), it shows how sorrow can make you feel more alive.

Female Authors (Sara Colangelo both wrote and directed it) are becoming better than men! This is amazing and (being myself a man) a little bit destabilizing.

Finally (and I know I shouldn't say this) I don't want to dispute Academy decisions but on my opinion Jacob Lowland's is by far best male actor's performance in 2014. Who cares if he is just 19…
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You can almost breathe the coal dust.
jdesando20 January 2015
"What do you think it's like to die?" Owen (Jacob Lofland)

It's a given that tragic death in a small town stays forever, impinging on virtually every life now and hereafter. First-time writer-director Sara Colangelo's Little Accidents, set in a coal town, echoes The Sweet Hereafter's frozen aftermath of children's deaths aboard a bus plunging into a pond. Both involve decisions to reveal or not the culpable parties; both intercut among those players who are most affected by the tragedy.

Young Owen (Jacob Lofland) witnesses the death of JT (Travis Tope) and hides the truth. JT is the son of manager Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas) and Owen is a deceased coal miner's son. The accident that killed his dad and nine others is under investigation as the union fights to suppress testimony from conflicted survivor Amos (Boyd Holbrook, who reminds me of Keith Carradine) that would incriminate the coal company and shut down the mine.

You can see the inter-connections, as is true in any small town, and the inherent conflicts, exacerbated by the closeness and the sometimes illicit connections, such as JT's mom, Diana Doyle (Elizabeth Banks), and Amos. Colangelo keeps the plot slowly moving ahead while some characters and events border on the formulaic. When Owen helps Diana with her garden, the plot takes an unfortunate contrivance tack. Yet the drama is still effectively bound to us as figurative for communal responsibility and domino-effect relationships and tragedies.

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison effectively creates the working-class milieu, much as in Out of the furnace, in part because she uses a great deal of natural light reinforced by old-fashioned 35mm film. It's not a gloomy world, just one dominated by grey skies and dim futures. No sunshine can mitigate the sense of loss pervading the town. These Accidents are hardly little.
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Viewed Premier in Beckley, WV Feb 6 ,2015
numlinedancer7 February 2015
Saw premier of Little Accidents last night at Marquee Cinemas in Beckley WV. This movie was filmed locally and is a deeply moving story of the aftermath of a mining accident. The emotional punch of the character's stories is gut felt and stays with you long after the movie has ended. We in Raleigh Co WV are so excited that director Sara Colangelo wrote and directed such a poignant, realistic view of the locale and personality of the characters without staging "hillbilly" attributes. The locations are real and so are the actor's portrayals of the characters. Excellent acting by cast. This director has talented eye for the artistry of a scene as every scene was beautifully staged. We were dumbfounded she chose to attend the premier here, where she worked directing! Definitely a winner!! R. Absher
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Strong performances but an unsatisfactory ending brings the film down
estebangonzalez1011 March 2015
"Your testimony as you can imagine is of the utmost importance to us."

Little Accidents is Sara Colangelo's debut feature film and despite some of the issues I had with the pacing and some unexpected turns the story takes it still had some solid performances that kept me engaged with the movie. With a little more polishing Colangelo may become an important filmmaker because she does manage to deliver some well crafted scenes and interesting characters. It is a character study of a small American coal mining town that has recently experienced a fatal accident that claimed the lives of several miners. Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) is the only survivor and on the one hand he is feeling forced to testify against the executives by the families' who have lost their loved ones, and on the other, miners from the same company want him to keep quiet so they can continue to work without experiencing any setbacks. He would rather stay quiet than say anything. The blame is mostly geared towards Bill Doyle (Hosh Lucas) who is an executive of the mining company. Meanwhile he and his wife, Diane (Elizabeth Banks), are dealing with the disappearance of their son JT (Travis Tope). The only person who knows what happened to JT is a young boy named Owen (Jacob Lofland) who would rather keep the secret to himself than confess what actually happened. Owen's father was also a victim of a coal mining accident and we see the contrast between his family and the Doyle's. Once we are introduced to all these characters we begin to see how some of them overlap with each other in a small town where secrets are hard to be kept. Colangelo sets up the story pretty convincingly but once the characters begin to interact with each other there are moments that feel forced and melodramatic. There is just too much going on in the town for a film like this.

What I enjoyed the most about Little Accidents despite all the melodrama and forced interactions it introduces were the performances from the cast. Elizabeth Banks has a much more subtle performance than what we are used to seeing her in and Josh Lucas is also believable as the mining executive who is trying to keep busy at work to keep his mind off of the loss of his son. However the two stand outs in this film are Boyd Holbrook and Jacob Lofland who are internally wrestling with secrets of their own. Lofland was outstanding in MUD although most of the attention was geared towards Tye Sheridan's performance. He is the one who has gotten much better roles, but that doesn't mean Lofland should be ignored and in this film he proves he has the acting chops to carry a film.

The greatest failure of Little Accidents is that it tries to cover too much melodrama in a short period of time. Instead of focusing on one of the accidents, it introduces us to another one and shows how some of the characters overlap with each other. I didn't find the relationship between Banks and Holbrook believable and it all felt rushed. The underlying message of the film seems to be that "truth will set you free," but in the end it was all too obvious and the audience is left unrewarded for the time they had invested in the film. I found some of the camera movement a bit distracting at times, but that is my only complaint in the technical department. In the end, Little Accidents simply doesn't deliver despite an interesting premise.
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Very good performances but plot skewed
dbaytug22 May 2017
I appreciate there may be temptation to "feminize" certain narratives but a mining disaster film is not one of them when the narrative's main tension is whether or not the protagonist male is or is not going to say one thing or the other. That was the tension in the film that was poorly developed in order to develop a side-bar that of itself was not developed either but was there in my view to justify Elizabeth Banks' character's errant behavior. As it was, her husband's character barely got a look in, despite his being blamed for the fandango, facing ruination and despite having to deal with the same (side-bar) loss as Elizabeth Banks.

I am not sure what the film was trying to say and therefore I give it only a 7. This said, the performances were super and the photography very impressive. The director (who also wrote this) has a very strong talent in my view but must resist the urge to feminize narratives to the point of it losing focus on what the central drama is: men losing lives and whether the mine will survive (to the relief of the remaining miners) or close on account of compensation payments that will bankrupt it (to the relief of the families caught)
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Shouldn't they be looking for JT?
SnoopyStyle11 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
A recent coal mining accident left 10 dead and the town split. Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) is the sole survivor suffering memory lost and a limp. There is an FBI investigation and the families are looking to sue. The main contention is that one of the dead miners, Junior Briggs, had a fight with supervisor Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas) over safety but Amos is either reluctant to tell the truth or unable to recall. Bill's wife Diana (Elizabeth Banks) and their son JT find their car window smashed. Junior leaves behind his wife Kendra (Chloë Sevigny), sons Owen and mentally challenged James. One day, JT runs across the smaller Owen in the woods. They argue, JT starts chasing, and Owen throws a rock. JT falls and gets killed hitting a rock. Owen hides the body and swears James to silence. A search for JT is unsuccessful. Bill is suspended and Diana seeks solace in an affair with Amos.

This movie has a nice quiet devastation. The actors are good. The visual has a good dirty grim. The young lead kid is excellent. The main problem is that the Doyles seem to stop looking for JT. There is perhaps one or two scenes of a search group. It's oddly obvious that they don't even talk about JT after awhile. It got to a point where I wondered if I missed them finding the body. It would make more sense if the Doyles' marriage starts disintegrating after finding their son dead. Their actions don't make emotional sense. This could have been a great indie except for that.
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'Little Accidents' is a good film about honesty, despite its flaws.
bryank-0484417 August 2015
Warning: Spoilers
'Little Accidents' seems anything but little, with the exception of the tiny town this all takes place in. Director Sara Colangelo takes control of a stellar cast in this unsmiling drama about two major events in a small coal mining town. Colangelo does a great job in not jumping on clichés, and letting her characters be true to themselves, but often throughout the film, there are several circumstances and characters that don't get to earn their keep. Colangelo did say she had a three hour film with this, but was cut down to under two hours. I think the three hour cut would have been perfect, but I expect good word of mouth of avid film fans to recommend this one, despite some of its clunky execution.

Boyd Holbrook plays Amos, a coal miner who is the sole survivor of a recent mining accident in this home town that left ten of his co-workers dead, which was caused by upper management negligence. Upon his return home after a few months in an out-of-town hospital, he is still without use of most of his right side, and is still trying to put the pieces back together of what happened. He is physically and emotionally drained at this point, and Holbrook pulls this off nicely.

Meanwhile, high-school freshman Owen (Jacob Lofland, Neckbone from last year's 'Mud') is the son of one of the dead mining victims, where his mother (Chloe Sevigny) is constantly showering him and his younger brother with down syndrome with the newest video games and electronics to keep them happy in the short term. Owen bring his younger brother along to play with some of the other older kids in school, but they all tend to rag and bully the two brothers constantly, even though Owen wants to fit it.

Among these bullies is JT (Travis Tope), who is the son of Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas), who is one of the head managers of the coal mine and directly responsible for the tragic event that left ten miners dead several months ago. During a conflict in the woods with Owen and JT, Owen is accidentally involved in JT's death, and not knowing what to do, he hides the body and does not tell anyone about it. Meanwhile, Bill and his wife Diana (Elizabeth Banks, amazing) conduct a major search for their son with the whole town.

There is certainly an undertone of the class system here, but it is never 'too on the nose', which was nice to see. And being set in a small town, it wasn't that weird to see new relationships form, such as a grieve-stricken Diana taking up a suitor in Amos and befriending Owen, when not one of them knows all of their dirty secrets. I imagine in its true form, 'Little Accidents' is about being honest with one's self and being guilt free, but it takes quite a bit of time to get to this point.

There are several instances that are drawn out over the course of the film with much build up, but don't receive a pay off or even a conclusion. I would hope that the three hour cut defines these characters better. The acting by everyone is top notch, and they all deserve some sort of group acting award. And Colangelo's artistic eye is beautiful and stylistic, although there is room for work in the editing room. 'Little Accidents' is a good film about honesty, despite its flaws. And I expect big things in the future from Colangelo.
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Grand tragedy in coal country.
npassage23 June 2015
Just finished this movie and wow, totally overwhelming, sat down and cried for five minutes.

I have to watch it again to see if it's as good as I think it is, but I'm afraid to, the last scene was so incredible with voice over from the previous scene.

Oh dear it is so wonderful, I have to see it again and again.

The only other films that have done this to me are "21 Grams" which I've seen several times, and "Elephant Man" which I saw once and will never see again.

These characters were so natural, it was like you were there. So muted, tamped down, real.

I'll watch it again this evening.
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not the actors' fault
shawnylover8 January 2018
The actors gave decent performances and as someone who's lived in a small town, I thought they were believable in their roles. Unfortunately there just wasn't anything to the story or the movie. Prepare to be bored.
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A saddening film
Gordon-1125 June 2015
This film tells the story of a mining town struck by a tragic mining accident. The after effects have far racing consequences to the residents in the whole town.

"Little Accidents" is a very dark film, so dark that it dragged my mood down within minutes of watching it. It captures hopelessness, helplessness and desperation of many individuals in the town, no matter what social stratum they belong to. The sadness lingers on throughout the film, because of unfinished businesses which should provide suspense but instead gives a haunting atmosphere. The ending gives a little closure to some of the subplots but not all, leaving businesses unfinished. I am so saddened by the film, it's very powerful.
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Much better than I thought it would be.
chrismackey197218 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was going to be a very different movie, as in a really boring, lame, and one that I should skip. However, I liked that there was a murder in it. The summary didn't say anything about that. When that kid fell and cracked his head on the rock, my head jerked back and my eyes were wide. That was...shocking. And the other subplots, such as the coal mine accident, and the personal tragedies of many of the characters were very well done. I like that they took the time to develop the characters. It is kind of slow, so if you're expecting a fast-paced movie, this isn't it.

Even though they did - as I said - develop the characters, there was no development for the relationship between Amos and Diana. 55 mins into the movie, they're in the parking lot at night and she starts touching his hand and then they hug. I don't remember any sort of past relationship those two had. That just seemed forced. Then they have sex, and that seemed even more forced. There was build up. Maybe I missed something earlier in the movie.

I thought the movie ended on a whimper.

I gave this movie a 6-star rating. It wasn't great, but if you wanna see good acting with an OK storyline, I'd suggest you watch it. This movie was not so much about the actual mining accident as it was about the personal problems with the one survivor, as well as a grieving mother, and the killer of her son. I doubt I'd watch it again.
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Let's play Lord of the Flies then Lord of the Rings OK?
juanmuscle4 September 2018
I just thought this was darling. The dialogue was compelling, the way the scenes melted onto each other didn't even feel like there was an editor, its as a providential pen took over how smooth everything seemingly unfolded; and how the threads from the loom flowed together and culminated in a furious but yet delicate climacteric? I could of never done anything like this... It is clear that this person is not just a writer but a total and whole and complete film maker, some people are just born I guess , thank god! :)

Beautifully compelling and yet startlingly tender...
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A light film and a little slow
andresoc-9835412 May 2015
I like this movie first half but gets a little slow after the end moves and one is attracted to the characters, feeling part of them. Although the story is somewhat predictable but no less shirt. Here what I did not like is that there was more connection between Amos and I think Diane was very artificial that connection between the two. Overall it is a film that is well done with good photography and good believable characters, the plot is very well focused in history.

Actoralmente is very good, very well-chosen cast their director also performed a very good script, with some details but not generally perceived.
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nogodnomasters29 November 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Slow talking Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook) was the sole survivor of a mining accident that killed 10 miners. He doesn't remember too much and we don't know if it is from the accident or at the urging of his scab father (James DeForest Parker). The community is divided over the incident. Middle manager Bill Doyle (Josh Lucas) is being set up as the fall guy. The rift is also seen in the children as young J.T. Doyle (Travis Tope) goes missing. Mrs Doyle (Elizabeth Banks) becomes overly involved with the community.

We don't know what caused the mine accident, nor do we fully find out. The film is about truth in a town of secrets. The families who were the victims are suing the coal company, while the union workers want to keep the mine operation and their jobs in spite of any safety issues. They claim to be a "dying breed". It is a drama that keeps you engaged as wonder what path this will follow. Good acting. I would think fans of Lifetime would enjoy this one too.

Guide: F-bomb. Implied sex. No nudity.
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The Ultimate Movie Review! - - @tss5078
Tss507818 July 2017
In a small mining town, an accident has killed several workers, leaving a lone survivor, Amos Jenkins (Boyd Holbrook). The townspeople are furious and blame the mines owner, the towns wealthiest resident, a cold, heartless man, who many suspect caused the accident with his shortcuts and cheap business practices. The town is out for blood, but only one of them, literally, as soon after the accident, the mine owners teenage son turns up dead. Little Accidents is yet another example of these dark modern noir type films, that have become so popular the past decade, and normally I am a huge fan of them. This film however, may have had the modern noir feeling, but actually had the old noir story line AKA slow, strange, and confusing. I chose this film because one of it's stars is Jacob Lofland, who at just 21 years old, has only been acting for 5 years, but he is a natural in every sense of the word. Every performance he has given has been better than the one before it. His talent has lead him to leading roles in the Maze Runner series, as well as the AMC show, The Son. Being as fond of his style as I am, I decide to go back and watch his filmography from the beginning, and that's where I found Little Accidents. While Lofland's part was minor, you are still able to see some of the skills that brought him to where he is today. Paired with Elizabeth Banks and Josh Lucas, this was one fantastic cast, featured in a terrific setting, and I was sure this film was a can't miss, but the story had other ideas. Little Accidents was all over the place, some of things that happened have nothing to do with the story, and make little sense. The Bottom Line, don't let a terrific cast fool you, this film is slow and all over the place. The mystery, isn't much of one and the story will leave you scratching your head.
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Acting is great
wingedheartart2 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I have read reviews about this film, and am baffled by some. This film was considered slow by some. Why? Because it isn't an action film? Do we really need speed all the flipping time? Then, one review said it was a film we have seen before. Hmmm. We've pretty much seen all films before, but that sure doesn't stop anything.

Some said the ending just rolled everything up in a neat ball. It doesn't...not at all. Maybe the reviews I read were from cynical people..who knows.

This is one of the most well acted films to come along, and that surprised me. I wasn't expecting it. I really wasn't expecting anything. Just an indie film about coal miners.

It was gritty, and beautiful at the same time. The country/area where it was filmed is gorgeous, but at the center, the coal mine, the dangers of the coal, and the miner's job makes it less beautiful. The mine is quiet, with a danger just sort of always present.

Elizabeth Banks was really good. It was nice to see her in a role where she wasn't playing an over the top character. (Hunger Games) She seemed damaged,but not with too much damage to keep going in her life. Josh Lucas played the company man, about to take the fall for a mining accident, well. The young man from the movie Mud, Jacob Lofland was very good...very heartfelt, and trying so hard to do the right thing. The most engaging character was Amos, played by Boyd Holbrook. He was FANTASTIC. So understated, trying to deal with being pushed/pulled from multiple directions, after surviving the mining accident. He was really, really good. Intense, and just so good in the role. I've not seen him before..or I wasn't aware if I had seen him in a movie before. A great character actor. I hope he sticks with being a character actor...they are so amazing. Sure we all like leading men/ladies, but character actors are awesome. (Sam Rockwell is one of my favs)

As for the story, it is a story of miners, afraid of losing their jobs, if they complain or ask about safety issues, and what happens after a few issues were ignored by management.

It is sad, yes a bit slow, but worth it.
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Debbie Downer Movie
Chxface23 June 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This movie has 3 central plot lines

1- a sole survivor of a mining accident 2- a family, mostly the tween son, who lost the father in this accident 3- a family whose tween son went MIA (the kid in #2 accidentally killed this kid then hid the body)

#1 was banging #3 mom as she spiraled out of control not knowing where her son went. #2 son befriended #1 and neither knew what the other was doing. #2 son eventually admitted to #3 what happened at the end.

This was a totally dark and depressing movie. Not one to cozy up to with a cup of cocoa and your loved one.

It was an OK movie, though. The acting was really good.
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See the trailer...see the movie
pebsdad25 February 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This sounded like a terrific set up for a great indie film. Great cast assembly, great look to the movie.


Then I watched the trailer...and saw the whole movie in 2 minutes. Nothing seemed left to dramatic discovery. Maybe there are a few plot points that won't make much difference to the overall movie but all the dramatic elements were basically spoiled for me. Not going to pay to see it now...

If you want to see the movie, which looks great, don't look at the trailer.
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"Floyd Collins" meets "Peyton Place" as newbie screenwriter creates stock, earnest miner types minus the idiosyncrasies
Turfseer24 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
"Little Accidents" is based on screenwriter Sara Coangelo's short 2010 film of the same name. Shot in West Virginia, the chief protagonist is Amos Jenkins, the lone survivor of a mining accident in which ten of his co-workers are killed. Coangelo's central conflict is interesting: will Amos spill the beans and side with the union who want to sue the company for more money? Or will he conveniently "forget" about what transpired so he won't possibly shut down the company and jeopardize his job (the idea of not working bothers salt-of-the-earth Amos, no end).

Coangelo is much less successful with a sub-plot (or a secondary main plot if you will) involving Owen, the son of one of the dead miners, who accidentally kills J.T., the son of a middle management executive at the coal company, Bill Doyle. After bullying Owen, J.T. chases him in the woods, only to be felled by a stone, which Owen hurls at him in self-defense. There's very little interesting about the tortured depression Owen goes through for the rest of the film and even his predictable confession to Doyle and his wife, Diane, proves much more of a relief than cathartic moment for the film goer, at film's end.

One of the big problems with "Little Accidents" is the pacing is extremely lugubrious. The plot is dragged out to the point where one practically finds oneself screaming for the film's scenarist to pick things up! Case in point: the Doyles meeting with the police and subsequent search for the missing boy. Both those scenes could have been cut to the bare minimum to convey what was happening.

Coangelo's characters aren't exactly complete caricatures but more melodramatic stock types. Coangelo imagines what mining folks are like but doesn't quite capture any idiosyncrasies. Instead, Amos meets Diane at wouldn't you know it, a Bible study group! The affair between Amos and Diane is perhaps the most perfunctory and predictable aspect of the film. Rex Reed of "The Observer" is right to conclude that "Little Accidents" is nothing more than a "backwater soap opera without the keener character development the movie needs."

The film has some excellent cinematography as it was shot on location by the talented cinematographer Rachel Morrison. The music, with a haunting score by Marcelo Zarvos, manages to convey the bleak mining town atmosphere utilizing a lone piano and a few violin notes. However, like the film's glacial pacing, the music manages to be over used. The performances are uniformly excellent with special kudos to Josh Lofland as Owen, who once again shines as he did in his earlier break out role, in "Mud."

Ultimately I must agree with Glenn Kinney of who writes that the narrative is marked by "the clichéd solemnity of almost each and every scene." Ms. Coangelo would do well to base her next screenplay on an actual historical incident. That way she can avoid the earnest and ordinary story that she has proffered up here.
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Slutty cheerleader mom vs Lower class miners
LiamBlackburn22 January 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This could be the title. Although this title would seem a bit trite. It would still be accurate. There are several unfortunate little accidents in this tale. The first involves the mine collapsing on top of the 11 miners. At least, this is called an accident on the I couldn't resist. But once you get to the...bottom...of the learn that Management's tale was definitely not very sturdy....It's difficult to identify the protagonist of the story at first, but you ultimately settle on Jenkins. He was the only one who survived the "accident". He does get some action from the slutty cheerleader Mom, whose son died in the first five minutes...Any way, it's a sad story all around. Working in a mine can be very...dreary....
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