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The Joneses

MPAA Rating: R for language, some sexual content, teen drinking and drug use.
not reviewed
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Comedy Drama
1 hr. 36 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
April 16, 2010 (wide—190+ theaters)
DVD: August 10, 2010
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Featuring: Amber Heard (Jenn), Demi Moore (Kate), David Duchovny (Steve), Gary Cole (Larry), Glenne Headly (Summer), Catherine Dyer (Sylivia), Ben Hollingsworth (Mick Jones), Lauren Hutton (KC), Chris Williams (Billy), Ashley LeConte Campbell (Mary Beth), Robert Pralgo (Alex “The Hammer” Bayner), Justin Price (Skateboarder / high school Jock), Mark Oliver (Man #1), Andrew DiPalma (Will), Kim Wall (Bethany), Christine Evangelista (Naomi), more »
Director: Derrick Borte
Producer: Echo Lake Productions, The Joneses, Premiere Picture, more »
Distributor: Roadside Attractions

“They’re not just living the American Dream. They’re selling it.”

Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “‘The Joneses,’ a social commentary on our consumerist society. Perfect couple Steve and Kate Jones, and their gorgeous teen-aged children Jenn and Mick, are the envy of their posh, suburban neighborhood filled with McMansions and all the trappings of the upper middle class. Kate is the ultimate trend setter—beautiful, sexy, dressed head-to-toe in designer labels. Steve is the admired successful businessman who has it all: a gorgeous wife, big house and an endless supply of high-tech toys. Jenn and Mick rule their new school as they embody all that is hip and trendy—cool clothes, fast cars and the latest gadgets.

The Joneses are much more than just the new neighbours. Within days, all four family members have insinuated their way into the community. Their most dedicated fans are their next-door neighbours Larry (Gary Cole) and Summer (Glenne Headly), a couple devoted to each other yet prone to keeping secrets as well. Despite the Joneses' success integrating into the community, soon the fissures in their family begin to spew. But it’s not until an outright catastrophe occurs next door that they are forced to make choices about their priorities.

As the neighbors try to keep up with the Joneses, none are prepared for the truth about this all-too perfect family.”

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Comments from young people
Positive—My moral rating is probably different than this Web site’s, but this movie, “The Joneses,” is one of the best movies I have ever watched. Why? Because it’s real. The people portrayed in this movie named “The Joneses” are a “family” who basically make their neighbor’s jealous, which makes them go buy something even better. This movie is a perfect example of the saying “not everything’s greener on the other side”. I would recommend this to anyone, and I have. If you haven’t watched this movie, watch it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Bethany, age 15 (USA)
Movie Critics
…The conceit of the unsubtle anti-consumerist satire “The Joneses” is fun until the plot turns maudlin… [C+]
—Lisa Schwarzbaumm Entertainment Weekly
…contains a good deal of dark cynicism. It also hopes to entertain, and those two goals don’t fit together easily. … [2/4]
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…For a satire that could have been a “scathing satire,” this is a pretty low-wattage affair. The actors are wonderful (Demi and Duchovny…), but there’s little edge, and the laughs are more chuckles… [3/4]
—Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
…For all its timely allusions to living beyond one’s means—to credit card debt, mortgage foreclosures, and financial ruin—writer/director Derrick Borte’s film fails to add anything new, or illuminating, to the Great Recession debate. … falls flat. [2/4]
—Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
…Crass materialism and ridiculous marketing ploys are skewered by writer/director Derrick Borte in this uneven cautionary tale that starts off incisively funny, then devolves into preachiness.
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…For maybe one-third to halfway through the film, Borte’s premise works beautifully. The jokes are generally amusing, and the idea of a stealth marketing team is truly intriguing and plausible. …But around the midway point, the film’s cultural critique falls by the wayside as the Joneses are hit with psychodrama after psychodrama. The tone shifts from comedy to moralistic cautionary tale, in which every event is utterly foreseeable. … [2½/5]
—Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle