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Abigail Breslin, Elisabeth Shue, Alessandro Nivola, Peter Stormare, Frances Fisher ... see more see more... , Joel Moore , Brittany Snow , Frank Whaley

Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) and his band are on the comeback trail when a former flame (Elisabeth Shue) drops a bomb in his lap: their 13-year-old daughter, Janie Jones (Abigail Breslin). Ethan re... read more read more...fuses to believe Janie is his kid, but when her mom suddenly leaves for rehab, the child has no place to go but into the tour bus and on the road with the band. With no inclination toward fatherhood, Ethan continues his hard-living ways, leaving Janie to fend for herself in the dive bars and sleazy motels along the way. As Ethan's self-destructive spiral threatens to destroy his band's future, Janie uses her own surprising musical talents to help guide him down the rocky road to redemption. -- (C) Tribeca Film

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53% liked it

1,119 ratings


52% liked it

29 critics

PG-13, 1 hr. 47 min.

Directed by: David M. Rosenthal

Release Date: October 28, 2011

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DVD Release Date: January 31, 2012

Stats: 58 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (58)

  • March 13, 2013
    The Little Miss Sunshine star is a very talented teen now. This movie was very enjoyable. Good music. Touching story. A really well done Independent these!
  • September 26, 2012
    A heart-wrenching and deeply absorbing movie. It`s the best film of its kind since Crazy Heart. A powerful and emotionally gripping film that just tugs on your heart. Abigail Breslin and Alessandro Nivola gives outstanding performances. Breslin is truly heart breaking and brillia... read morent. Nivola is magnificent. A tremendous surprise to watch. A wonderfully written and exceptionally crafted work.
  • April 11, 2012
    Cast: Abigail Breslin, Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue, Peter Stormare, Joel David Moore, Frances Fisher, Brittany Snow, Frank Whaley, Rodney Eastman, David Lee Smith

    Director: David M. Rosenthal

    Summary: Has-been rock star Ethan Brand is attempting a comeback when a former ... read moregroupie tells him he has a 13-year-old daughter, Janie, and leaves her in his care. Janie must then convince the hedonistic Ethan to reform and accept his responsibilities.

    My Thoughts: "I really enjoyed the movie and it's story. Abigail Breslin has changed into a very beautiful young adult. What hasn't changed is her great talent. She is great in this film, and her voice is great as well. She also shows some great talent on the guitar. It was a pleasant surprise. Alessandro Nivola aslo is fantastic in the film and has a great voice as well. The story may have been done before, but not with so much heart. I really felt the father and daughter relationship that started out complicated and awkward grew into a loving and protective relationship. It's a funny, touching, and honest film. The film also has some great music. A film I would recommend."
  • May 9, 2013
    The movie starts with Mary Ann(Elisabeth Shue) taking her 13-year old daughter Janie(Abigail Breslin) to meet her father Ethan(Alessandro Nivola), who is in Little Rock touring with his band, for the first time. Whatever Mary Ann was expecting, it could have not been that Ethan ... read moresays that he does not remember her, much less not claim Janie as his own, even with a copy of her birth certificate listing him as the father. So, Mary Ann forces the issue by leaving Janie behind at the concert venue, leading Janie to call 911. That leaves her with a choice of getting on the tour bus or taking a tour of the foster care system. With Ethan's assent, she chooses the former.

    Even though the plot of "Janie Jones" sounds like it has been done plenty of times before, the movie finds its own nuanced downbeat way, hitting just the right notes, mostly due to the excellence of its two lead performances.(However, the less said of Elisabeth Shue the better.) Alessandro Nivola is especially good playing a tortured soul who with the departure of his enablers from his life is forced for once to reconsider his life while learning how to act around a 13-year old daughter.(Learning from watching her irresponsible mother, Janie can take care of herself while still being young enough to not have to think about psychoanalysis yet.) While the movie is subtle about its condemnation of drug and alcohol abuse, it also helps that Ethan is not instantly likable, as the movie does not take the easy way out.
  • May 12, 2012
    Decent drama with a good cast and a nice soundtrack
  • ThomasJayWilliams
    February 15, 2012
    Covering similar ground as 2010's FAR superior Somewhere (starring Steven Dorff and Elle Fanning in these "same" roles), Janie Jones is another father-daughter bonding pic although this one is set in the world of tour buses and indie rock where Somewhere was glitz/glam of Hollywo... read moreod and hotels. Alessandro Nivola (Junebug, Jurassic Park 3, Face/Off) stars as musician Ethan Brand who's band is on the road of a "Comeback Tour". When the band comes to Little Rock, a former flame (Elisabeth Shue -- Leaving Las Vegas) informs him that she'll be seeking rehab and will need him to watch their daughter (Abigail Breslin - Zombieland, Little Miss Sunshine) while she does so. Obviously ... a bomb like that wouldn't NOT ruffle a few feathers within the group. Part of Janie Jones' problem is this very part of the film -- we don't know enough about Ethan and his past and bandmates to make total sense of what becomes of this; but we do see him begin to enteract with his daughter Janie and see their relationship grow. I don't buy all of it ... and I did but the bonding in Somewhere. If more of THIER story had been presented, perhaps we'd allow for the relationship to become believable; but I don't feel as if Janie Jones allows for this. The filmmakers knew how they wanted the film to end; but they didn't know how to BELIEVABLy get to that point. Perhaps some wouldn't care; but I felt let down by that. It was as if a fast-forward button had been pushed a couple of times and I missed out on portions of story that was necessary to convince me of what I was seeing. This isn't a bad film (although the songs in it are bad -- which is rather strange) ... it is just one that feels short-changed. There could have been something more here but there isn't.

Critic Reviews

Tom Russo
November 10, 2011
Tom Russo, Boston Globe

"Janie Jones'' would feel more assured if Rosenthal had shown more inclination to commit. Full Review

Ann Hornaday
November 4, 2011
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

Nivola and Breslin make a terrific mismatched pair in a film that often resembles a mash-up of "Crazy Heart" and Sofia Coppola's "Somewhere"... Full Review

Robert Abele
November 3, 2011
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times

A mixture of discordant notes and way-too-familiar chords. Full Review

Andrew O'Hehir
October 29, 2011
Andrew O'Hehir,

The movie works because it's essentially an old-fashioned two-hander for a couple of subtle and terrific actors. Full Review

Ian Buckwalter
October 28, 2011
Ian Buckwalter, NPR

After a messy, cliched first half, Janie Jones is barely salvaged by the lightweight sweetness that emerges once it becomes a two-hander for Breslin and Nivola. Full Review

Kyle Smith
October 28, 2011
Kyle Smith, New York Post

The indie road movie "Janie Jones" is billed as "inspired by the true story" of its writer-director, David M. Rosenthal. Impossible. No one's life is this boring. Full Review

Joe Neumaier
October 28, 2011
Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News

Rosenthal fills this dewy road-trip movie with too many cliches. Full Review

Stephen Holden
October 27, 2011
Stephen Holden, New York Times

There are moments when "Janie Jones" threatens to turn into "Crazy Heart," which is not necessarily a bad thing. Full Review

Moira MacDonald
October 27, 2011
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

Nominated for an Academy Award for 2006's "Little Miss Sunshine" when she was just 10 years old, Breslin here gives a performance of great naturalism and charm, effortlessly carrying a challenging lea... Full Review

Noel Murray
October 27, 2011
Noel Murray, AV Club

Contrivances aside ... Janie Jones is one of the more realistic depictions of what the rock 'n' roll lifestyle is really like. Full Review

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    • Ethan: Janie is an incredible young woman. Thank you for bringing her into my life.
    • Janie Jones: Hey Mr. How about letting go of my dad?

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