The Comeback Trail parents guide

The Comeback Trail Parent Guide

Not even the star power of this cast can save this poorly executed film.

Overall C-

In Theaters and Digital on Demand: Movie producer Max Baber is in serious trouble. A loan he took from the mob has come due, and Max doesn't have the money. The only way to raise it is to collect the life insurance on one of his actors...

Release date August 13, 2021

Violence B-
Sexual Content B
Profanity D
Substance Use C-

Why is The Comeback Trail rated R? The MPAA rated The Comeback Trail R for language throughout and some violence.

Run Time: 104 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Max Barber (Robert DeNiro) has had a long and deeply unsuccessful career as a grindhouse movie producer. Most recently, his film Killer Nuns attracted a major protest from the Catholic church and appears to be on track to sell exactly zero tickets. This is a problem for Max, because he borrowed the money he used to make Killer Nuns from a very, very dangerous man. Reggie Fontaine (Morgan Freeman) wants his money back, and if he doesn’t get it, he’s made it abundantly clear that Max can expect his life expectancy to drop off sharply. But Max has a plan: to kill an actor and collect the life insurance. Unfortunately, he cast the legendary Duke Montana (Tommy Lee Jones), and Duke has a remarkable ability to survive…

You might think, on cursory inspection of the cast of this film, that here is no possible way it can be bad. The premise was also reasonably promising – I like a good scam movie as much as anyone, and with that cast, it has to be good…right? Wrong. The combined star-power of Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Morgan Freeman cannot save this movie. That’s because there are two big problems with this movie: The writer and the director.

Conveniently, those are the same person: George Gallo, the man responsible for Vanquish, a movie less enjoyable to watch than a trash fire in a condemned sewage plant. As soon as I saw his name on this, I knew it was a lost cause. I was willing to keep an open mind based on casting alone, but Morgan Freeman couldn’t save Vanquish either, so I don’t know why I bothered.

The Comeback Trail has a retro slapstick sense of humor, and it does not work well. The “jokes” mostly involve Robert DeNiro (or, more probably, his stunt double) getting thrown a few feet by various animals and accidents, and since it wasn’t funny the first time, it doesn’t improve with repetition. His unhinged screaming and Tommy Lee Jones understated Texas charm are really the only thing that make this film at all watchable.

Those of you willing to sit through the entire film just for a little Tommy Lee Jones may also want to know that this movie has a considerable swear count. We’re averaging around one f-bombs every two minutes with this film, which is probably more than you’d prefer for family movie night.

Directed by George Gallo. Starring Robert DeNiro, Tommy Lee Jones, and Morgan Freeman.. Running time: 104 minutes. Theatrical release August 13, 2021. Updated

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The Comeback Trail
Rating & Content Info

Why is The Comeback Trail rated R? The Comeback Trail is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout and some violence.

Sexual Content: There are some brief sexual references.
Profanity: There are 53 extreme profanities and 14 scatological curses, as well as occasional use of mild profanities and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco. An individual is briefly shown taking prescription medication.

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This film is mostly a combination of The Producers and Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood. Modern Westerns include The Revenant, Hostiles, 3:10 to Yuma, The Magnificent Seven, True Grit, and News of the World. Viewers may also enjoy neo-Western crime dramas like Hell or High Water or No Country for Old Men, which also stars Tommy Lee Jones. Children may enjoy Rango.