You won't believe what just crashed into Milton's azaleas.

Release Date: 2023-08-10
Original Language: English
User Score: 7.269/10 (212 votes)
Popularity: 26.83
Genres: Science Fiction, Comedy, Drama
Where to watch: A NOSOTROS US / United States:fuboTVfuboTV, Paramount+ with ShowtimeParamount+ with Showtime, Paramount Plus Apple TV ChannelParamount Plus Apple TV Channel , Paramount+ Amazon ChannelParamount+ Amazon Channel, Paramount+ Roku Premium ChannelParamount+ Roku Premium Channel

Overview: A flying saucer lands in the backyard of an elderly suburbanite with memory problems, who forms a bond with the scared alien inside.

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A Review by Brent Marchant
Written on 2023-08-12

Seniors often face painfully lonely times by themselves, frequently craving the companionship of virtually anyone who’ll keep them company, even if it’s just someone to listen to them and their stories. Such is the case with Milton Robinson (Ben Kingsley), a 78-year-old widower apparently in the early stages of Alzheimer’s who lives by himself in a small western Pennsylvania town. He has almost no one in his life except for his nagging daughter (Zoe Winters) and two elderly acquaintances (Harriet Sansom Harris, Jane Curtin) who join him at weekly town council meetings. But that all changes with an unexpected event – the crash of a UFO into his backyard azaleas, an incident that unwittingly connects Milton with a seemingly sympathetic but non-speaking alien whom he and his cohorts lovingly name Jules (Jade Quon). This unusual partnership thus provides an unlikely outlet for Milton and company to share their thoughts about loneliness, aging, regrets and other highly personal subjects in frank, sweet and heartfelt (if a bit one-sided) conversations, with Jules serving as an impromptu interspecies sounding board, as it were. But can this relationship be kept secret, especially when Milton casually lets things slip that catch the attention of his fellow townsfolk and snooping government authorities? Director Marc Turtletaub’s latest presents a tender tale of what it’s like to be a senior in America as told from an unconventional standpoint, one full of warmth and sensitivity and peppered with elements of quirky humor and unexpected plot developments, all brought to life by its fine ensemble. However, with that said, the picture is also somewhat uneven in terms of writing, pacing and character development (including, somewhat ironically, that of the title character). While this engaging comedy-drama definitely has its heart in the right place, it nevertheless feels like it should have gone through another round of script revisions before being committed to celluloid. It often feels like it’s drawing upon themes found in “Cocoon” (1985) and “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” (1982), incorporating them into a story of its own, but it’s that third component that never quite feels complete or thoroughly thought through. That’s unfortunate, because, if the story and screenplay had been more fully developed, that would have made this a much better picture. I truly expect more from the producers who brought us “Little Miss Sunshine” (2006) and “The Farewell” (2019), yet it’s a shame we didn’t get that this time around.

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