Ben Is Back 0.0 stars

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It’s a case of “different message, same actor” as Lucas Hedges trades in one important theme for another and goes from a boy erased to a beautiful boy addict. Mom (Julia Roberts) returns from church on Christmas Eve to find Ben (Hedges), her semi-rehabbed son, anxiously vaping on the front porch. Seeing the lad drug testing in a Christmas Dixie Cup while his fearful mom waits at the door brought forth a much needed smile to lighten the otherwise sorrow-packed load. Not that the test’s results do much to ease our minds: we keep waiting for Ben to fall off the rails, and when it happens, the picture goes with him. After a vengeful drug lord kidnaps the family pooch, Ben is left with no choice but to take mommy on a holiday tour of ghosts of drug deals past. Better to spend Christmas fighting with your own family than watching these two over-hyped Oscar-hopefuls lend their formidable talents to a Lifetime movie. Peter Hedges (Lucas' father) directs.

Scott Marks

Length: 1 hour, 43 minutes

Rated: R

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