3 out of 4 stars
There are few things Maggie Kramer loves more than her house on her plot of land in a small Vermont town. Her brother, Ben Farmer, is definitely not one of them.
We meet Maggie (Angelica Huston, “The Addams Family,” “The Witches”) and Ben (Bill Pullman, “Independence Day” series) as Maggie is walking around her land in her pajamas and trusty cowboy hat. She hears machinery and immediately knows something is wrong. She finds Ben on a backhoe digging a hole. Maggie calls the cops on him for trespassing. When the local sheriff (Brian d’Arcy James, “Spotlight,” “Ghost Town”) doesn’t throw Ben in jail, Maggie takes matters into her own hands. She shows up to the site with her shotgun in hand. When Ben doesn’t back down, Maggie shoots him. She doesn’t kill Ben, doesn’t want to — he is her little brother, after all. After threatening him once more, she takes him to the hospital. She does make him ride in the bed of the truck, however.
Ben then checks himself out of the hospital, against doctor’s orders, and resumes living in his small, beat up trailer in the woods. He has a close-knit group who hangs around him — his childhood best friend, Gerry (David Morse, “The Hurt Locker,” “The Green Mile”), Curt (Jim Parrack, “Suicide Squad,” “True Blood”) and Ray, (Victor Williams, TV’s “King of Queens”). Ben, Ray and Curt hatch a plan to get Ben his land and Maggie’s, too. Having grown up with Ben and Maggie, Gerry just wants to keep the peace. He loves them both and wants them to bury the hatchet of the years old family feud.
We get glimpses of Ben and Maggie growing up. Their father is in the flashbacks and it is made known right away he is a single father; their mother died. Their father shows them which flower was their mother’s favorite. Maggie holds onto that sense of nature and gardening throughout her life. A young Gerry even makes his way into a few of the flashbacks.
Just when you start getting mad at a character, Rebeck uses a well-timed flashback to develop the character and throw in minor plot twists.
Rebeck and her team do a great job with the cinematography. Filmed in New York, Rebeck said it’s as close to her native Vermont as she could have asked for. The nature shots used are aesthetically pleasing and well thought out. The use of close-ups is shot just as well, something Rebeck attributes to her team.
Given the harsh language throughout, adult themes and some violence, leave the kids behind for this one. If you are in the mood for a movie that tackles serious issues in a comedic light, make a date-night out of “Trouble.”
(Great Point Media)