This Is Martin Bonner Movie Reviews
User reviews on This Is Martin Bonner
I really enjoyed watching this film and I highly recommend seeing it in the theaters. The film is about friendship, human connection, and second chances and I loved all of these themes. It is a small film but it has a very big heart and I had a great time watching it. If you do not like small films about regular people you might think this film is dull, but I urge you to stick with it and you will discover how simple and magical it is. Overall, it is not necessary to see this movie on the big screen but I highly recommend seeing it at the comfort of your home.
Martin Bonner conveys one of the life's most important lessons: that the best way to make life better is by being forgiving and understanding. There are too many people sitting in our jails, the movie says in no uncertain terms, and for reasons that are beyond the pale. American jails house more prisoners than any other nation's in the world. And what happens to all of these people? Most of them are condemned to lives of ruin and inconsequence. But a few - like the lucky Travis - get to rehabilitate themselves by being shown the humanity that maybe they weren't shown in the first place. I absolutely adored Eenhoorn in thie film. He is just spectacular; ditto Richmond Arquette who plays Travis. I had never seen either actor before but they have both vaulted to the top of my faves list. Kudos to second time director CHad Hartigan for making such a splendid movie.
I'm not sure how realistic this movie is, but I do think that anyone who sees it will think and hope that it should be what real life is like. The prisoner named Travis in the story has committed some pretty terrible crimes and in the eyes of the public that's all he is - he's just his mistakes and nothing more and he will never be anything more. The man who sees him as a real person is Martin, a retired man who decides that his new purpose in life is to help others discover theirs after being locked up for decades. It's not something that a lot of people like to think about - what happens to people after they've paid their debt to society? How do we bring them back into the fold so that they can be productive in their own lives and also for society at large. It kind of reminded me of Dead Man Walking except for the end. Also, the acting is superb from the two leads.
A very unlikely "buddy" movie, "This Is Martin Bonner" is about two people who have absolutely nothing in common coming to realize that they want the same thing in life: to be validated. Martin is in his 50s and he leaves the steady corporate world to go into a life that he knows very little about: the rehabilitation of prisoners and their reassimilation into society. It's a tricky business and one that offers few rewards since so many offenders end up back in jail. There he meets Travis who has just finished serving 12 years in jail. The two of them soon become friends and strike up an unlikely relationship that befuddles everyone. In the end, this movie is about second chances and trying to understand everyone at the individual level rather than at the one that they think people at large live at. Each life is special, the film tells us, even the ones that have been thrown away as old and ruined.