The Motel Life


Action / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 47%
IMDb Rating 6 10 3112


Uploaded By: OTTO
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June 04, 2014 at 05:41 PM



Dakota Fanning as Annie James
Emile Hirsch as Frank
Stephen Dorff as Jerry Lee
Shae D'lyn as Claire
720p 1080p
695.33 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 25 min
P/S 1 / 2
1.23 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 25 min
P/S 2 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Jade Estrada 10 / 10

Visually-captivating, heartbreaking, imaginative, dream-like

This film was such a heartbreaking journey. Following these two brothers who seem to just drift through life together, the strength of brotherhood and the necessity of imagination and distraction in getting by in life through tragedies and struggles are themes both strongly examined throughout the film. And the animations are incredible - really bringing to life this drunken journey in an icy and isolating environment. I'll definitely be keeping my eye on the Polsky brothers to see what they create next. Definitely buying it on their site and helping them to get the word of it out there by signing up to become a TML affiliate on their site -!

Reviewed by steven-leibson 10 / 10

A "Midnight Cowboy" for the 21st Century

Movies like this only come around every half century or so. The last time, the name of the movie was "Midnight Cowboy." This time, it's "The Motel Life," which is based on a cult debut novel by Willy Vlautin published in 2006. It's the story of two close-knit brothers, bonded together by the untimely death of their mother when they're in their early teens. Since then, these brothers have been inseparable, living rough on society's fringes due to no fault of their own. When the movie opens, the brothers are living in their hometown of Reno, Nevada in the cheap-motel miasma on the "other" side of town. Although one's a gifted artist and the other is an accomplished storyteller, they live at the bottom of the economic pile with nothing but odd jobs for support.

The two brothers, Frank and Jerry Lee Flannigan, are played by Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff respectively with about as much emotional depth and raw credibility as you're likely to ever see portrayed on screen. The supporting cast includes Kris Kristofferson—in a truly moving performance—and Dakota Fanning who also gives a terrific accounting of her character. The inspired animation of Mike Smith adds substantially to the movie as well, cleanly delineating the "real" world from Frank's fantasies.

Like "Midnight Cowboy," this film deals with many dark, adult themes. "Midnight Cowboy" was made in 1969. It was highly controversial back then but it's now listed as #36 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 Greatest Movies of all time. If you're squeamish or prudish about what you see on screen, this might not be your film, but if you can stand to look at a portion of society that you likely don't see often or ever, you will be rewarded by the tremendous performances in this film.

You're going to have to work a bit harder than usual to find this movie when it opens on November 8. It will open in only 20 markets. But it will be worth the quest. We saw it early as part of the ongoing efforts of Tim Sika and the San Jose Camera Cinema Club. After the showing, the audience talked with Stephen Dorff via Skype for 45 minutes. Dorff shared a lot of background that greatly enhanced the experience. Thanks Tim.

Reviewed by secondtake 5 / 10

A strained but serious effort at interpersonal drama with a realistic edge

The Motel Life (2012)

Brimming with conventional thriller possibilities, including a serious tinge about brothers remaining loyal to the end, "The Motel Life" ends up a near miss in scene after scene. We learn quickly that there is a pact made between the two because of a mother who dies and leaves them little to live on. And we see how one brother has killed someone in his car by mistake (it seems) and so ends up dragging both brothers into the flight from justice.

This all sounds solid, yes. But there are just those endless little things that set it wrong. The acting varies from excellent (Frank, one of the two brothers) to strained (Jerry, who overacts) to awkward (a couple of their friends playing stereotypical parts). The plot has elements of intensity, for sure—too many, you might say—but it also rings too many familiar bells. There is death, gambling, amputation, prostitution, drinking, gay-bashing, attempted suicide, theft (of a dog!), and an extended hospital scene that ends with great and necessary drama.

To say the flaws here are the result of the low budget is to miss what might have been a golden opportunity: making a truly original story out of these young men caught between honor and ordinary crime. That is, there is a raw edge here that could have been exploited with less aggressive writing that tips every angle into sensational excess. Only the steady, thoughtful leading actor, Frank, played by Emile Hirsch, holds it all together and makes it, in the end, at least worth watching. To his credit, a small but key part by Kris Kristofferson is also compelling and gives the movie some weight.

Co-directors Polsky and Polsky are new to movie-making, and it shows. But it's also apparent that something deeper is at work that might grow and be rewarding, especially with a better screenplay. Let's hope this is just a first tentative step forward.

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