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Jack Goes Boating Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Floating sweetly along... Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Scott Bowles

    Jack Goes Boating won't knock you over, but it lulls you with its slow-warming heart.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Hoffman emerges as a confident film director with visual flair and, no surprise, a remarkable ability to maximize his fellow actors' work.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The actors make it new and poignant, and avoid going over the top in the story's limited psychic and physical space.

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  • See all Jack Goes Boating reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Touching story about relationships is for mature viewers.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this character-based drama (which marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who also stars) is poignant and touching but meant for adults thanks to its frequent sex talk, drinking and drug use, and language (especially "f--k"). Hoffman's character is somewhat inspirational, pulling himself out of a sad existence when he meets a girl and trying to improve himself so he deserves her. But at the same time, his best friend's marriage is falling apart. Teens may not be interested in this quiet story, but adults who are already Hoffman fans may appreciate it.

  • Families can talk about the relationship between Jack and Connie. Are they good communicators? Do they do a good job of discussing what they want and what they're afraid of? How does this affect the way that the movie depicts sex?
  • Does Clyde have a problem with drinking, smoking, or drugs? Is he addicted, or is he using the substances to ease the pain of his failing marriage? Is that an excuse?
  • Is Jack a good role model? Throughout the film, everyone seems to help him, but he's rarely able to offer any help back -- does that make him selfish? Would he help if he could?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: The four main characters all seem to be striving toward bettering themselves and overcoming their weaknesses. In some cases they help one another and encourage one another. The hero, Jack, needs the most help but comes the farthest during the course of the film. Unfortunately, Jack can do nothing to help his married friends with relationship trouble, and they don't appear to be addressing the situation in the healthiest of ways. Not all of the movie's problems are solved.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Jack begins the film as a near emotional cripple; he barely speaks and lives a bare-bones existence. After he's introduced to a girl, he tries to make himself a better person. He learns to swim -- so that he can take her boating several months later -- and to cook. He also learns to overcome his shyness and sadness to be himself. The drawback is that he needs so much work that he never appears to be available to offer any help to his friend; one comes up while the other goes down.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: A married couple shoutshateful things at each other during a heated argument. A woman is attacked on a subway, but the attack isn't shown -- viewers see a man approaching her and then her bloody face sometime later (the images are only mildly graphic; she goes to work before going to the hospital).

  • sex false3

    Sex: A man and a woman are seen in bed together, having a frank discussion about sex (their fears and hopes). In a later scene, they fall into bed together, finally ready for the deed. A married couple deals with issues of infidelity, and past sex acts are discussed. There are a couple of inappropriate workplace touching scenes, and a woman describes an incident in which a man "rubbed up against her." General sex talk throughout.

  • language false4

    Language: Several uses of "f--k" and "s--t." Also hear "bitch," and "God" (used as an exclamation).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Heavy, seemingly casual use of cigarettes, wine, beer, pot, and cocaine during the course of the movie. One character smokes cigarettes regularly and uses cocaine once. All of the characters drink wine with dinner several times. During a dinner party, one character brings out a hookah pipe. All of the characters get so stoned that the food cooking in the kitchen burns.