Men Don't Leave (1990) - Rotten Tomatoes

Men Don't Leave (1990)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Men Don't Leave Photos

Movie Info

Weighed down by her late husband's debts, widow Beth Macauley (Jessica Lange) is compelled to sell her home and move to a less costly locale. She relocates in Baltimore with her resentful sons Chris (Chris O'Donnell) and Matt (Charlie Korsmo) and takes a job at a ramshackle gourmet food store managed by Lisa Coleman (Kathy Bates). Men Don't Leave offers in Beth an extremely vulnerable, easily discouraged person who can't seem to get a grip on her reduced circumstances. Even so, she and her sons eventually pull themselves together, despite many side trips with Wrong Lovers and False Friends. Some of the film's best moments involve Joan Cusack, playing a mixed-up nurse with whom Chris falls in love. Representing the comeback of director Paul Brickman after a seven-year gap, Men Don't Leave is a slightly more upbeat American version of the French film La Vie Continue. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Watch it now


Jim Haynie
as Buckley
Belita Moreno
as Mrs. Buckley
Shannon Moffett
as Dale Buckley
Lora Zane
as Nina Simon
Tom Towles
as Evan Taylor
Jesse James
as Blues Artist
Mary Seibel
as Real Estate Agent
Robert D. North
as Moving Man
Stesha Merle
as Girl Student
Ann McDonough
as Female Customer
Theresa Wozniak
as Female Polka Dancer
Zaid Farid
as Store Clerk
as School Teacher
Peter Miller
as Chris' Friend
Gerry Becker
as Uncle Hugh
Dick Sasso
as Lottery Winner
Chuck McLennan
as Lottery Announcer
Eddie Korosa
as Polka Band Leader
Alan J. Wendl
as Typewriter
as Adult Film Star
as Adult Film Star
Brad Michael Gilbert
as Adult Film Star
View All

Critic Reviews for Men Don't Leave

All Critics (16) | Top Critics (4)

Unexpectedly vivid; great work by Lange and Cusack.

October 16, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
Top Critic

Men Don't Leave is the story of how a warm and believable suburban wife and mother becomes a widow who is trapped in a series of Hollywood improbabilities.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Performances to die for

March 11, 2006 | Rating: 3/5

Watching the suffering, growth, and personal renewal of these likeable characters we gain a fresh perspective on our primal feelings about the family circle.

August 18, 2004 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

O'Donnell impresses but, surprisingly enough, Lange drags things down to a place where only a formula finish can end things without the audience throwing fruit.

May 19, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

One of the most unjustly underappreciated films of the 1990s; wonderfully acted

November 14, 2002 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Men Don't Leave

If you like family drama, watch 'Men Don't Leave'. A family is thrown into turmoil when the husband dies unexpectedly. In an effort to deal with their circumstances, Beth and her sons find different supports, but eventually find out that family is needed to pull themselves together.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Men Don't Leave Quotes

News & Features