Manchester By the Sea movie review - Aussieboyreviews


This heavy, intense and depressing drama starring Casey Affleck and Lucas Hedges does centre on heavy material. However, it’s beautifully-made from an excellent script.


After the saddening death of his brother Joe, a depressed and grieving uncle is assigned as the legal guardian to his teenage nephew. This forces him to return to his hometown and confront his difficult past.

Movie Images

Movie details

Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Ivy O’Brien
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Release Date (Australia): 26 January 2017
Runtime: 137 minutes/2h 17m
Genre: Drama
Country: USA
Language: English

CONTENT GUIDE (warning: May contain spoilers)

Themes (M)

Themes in the film are mainly concerned with terminal illness, death, grief, divorce, a suicide attempt and references to children dying in a house fire.

Violence (M)

The film features men having fist-fights in a bar, accompanied by blood detail.

Coarse Language (MA15+)

There is a single use of the word “c**t”, as well as often aggressive use of the word “f**k”.

Drug Use (PG)

The film features mild verbal references to the use of cocaine and marijuana.

Sex (M)

The film features a scene in which teenagers engage in sexual activity. The film also features several references to sex.

mpaa rating

R (for language throughout and some sexual content)

Aussie boy's thoughts

Kenneth Lonergan’s excessively powerful and intensely-themed film forces you to experience a portion of the immense grief the depressed lead is going through. Well, with the weight of Manchester by the Sea’s subject matter and staggering performances, “powerul” is definitely an understatement, but what word suits this masterly-crafted drama?

This movie certainly takes its time to kick into the main story, concerning around a depressed man being assigned the legal guardian to his nephew after the kid’s father sadly passes on. Lee, the depressed main character, constantly appears, speaks and acts like a sorrowful man who lost his children in a devastating house fire, as a result of extraordinary acting by Casey Affleck. Michelle Williams is also very regretful and Lucas Hedges, as always, displays traits of a talented young actor.

The cast remain focused on their roles, and there’s even seperate moments in which they are absolutely shocking. For example, Hedges is unbelievably real in his severe break down scene and the conversation between Williams and Affleck towards the end is utterly depressing. The script, also written by the director of the film, is extremely well-written, and although it’s not such a pacy drama, it’s beautifully-created and remorseful.

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