Jolene (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jolene (2008)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Author E.L. Doctorow's acclaimed short story Jolene: A Life gets the big screen treatment in Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont's director Dan Ireland's independent drama about life on the road. Jolene (Jessica Chastain) is a red-haired wanderer who isn't content to call one place home for any expended stretch of time. Setting off to explore the outside world at age fifteen, the free-spirited teen embarks on a decade-long cross-country of adventure which finds her crossing the paths of everyone from a firebrand Texan (Dermont Mulroney) who steals her heart and destroys her marriage to his wealthy fundamentalist nephew (Michael Vartan), to an ex-mobster (Chazz Palminteri) attempting to make good in Las Vegas. Denise Richards, Rupert Friend, and Theresa Russell co-star in a film adapted from the story by screenwriter Dennis Yares. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

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Dermot Mulroney
as Uncle Phil
Michael Vartan
as Brad Benton
Denise Richards
as Marin Lerger
Chazz Palminteri
as Sal Fontaine
Zeb Newman
as MIckey
Rupert Friend
as Coco Lerger
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Critic Reviews for Jolene

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (10)

More epic than it needs to be and less profound than it should be, "Jolene" remains a watchable excursion into human frailty and foibles.

November 4, 2010 | Rating: 3/5

Chastain proves near-heroic embodying Jolene's innate strength and incremental wisdom. Yet she also makes us understand how the heroine's wobbly resistance to manipulative characters is overwhelmed time and again.

November 4, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4

Jolene's main themes, including the manipulation of youth, the fragility of love, and the suppression of individuality, try to carry the wonky dialogue into complex territory.

October 31, 2010 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

So bad it's almost (but not quite) good, Dan Ireland's Jolene is an unusually elaborate and excruciatingly long vanity production...

October 29, 2010 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…

Ms. Chastain digs deep. Surrendering to her character's smoky voice-over and disastrous judgment, the actress finds pockets of soul in a role that's part Jessica Rabbit, part Marilyn Monroe.

October 29, 2010 | Rating: 3/5

The movie has been through as many hurdles getting here as dear, sweet Jolene, but sometimes the most engaging movies are the ones worth waiting for.

October 27, 2010 | Rating: 3/4
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Jolene


A mercurial sexpot travels the country making bad decisions with the wrong men and occasionally ruining someone else's life for little discernible reason. Jolene's voice over, which is the epitome of lazy storytelling, paints herself as a victim throughout the film's contrived events, but I found little pitiable about Jolene despite the almost charming naivete with which Jessica Chastain plays the part. In the end, I wonder what the point of Jolene's story is. Is the message about male cruelty or the ruining of an innocent? It's hard to make this case, especially after Jolene's lesbian jaunt. Overall, I found myself confused about why I should care about this character or what the filmmakers wanted to say about her.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer


Decent movie. A very sad journey for a young girl to have to take. Definitely not a heartwarmer...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A bad situation only gets worse and eventually I ran out of interest i this one dimensional character.

Thomas Johnston
Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

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