No Looking Back (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

No Looking Back (1998)



Critic Consensus: Edward Burns' first foray into melodrama is too dour to arise passion, suffering from a lack of narrative direction and romantic chemistry.

Movie Info

Writer-director-actor Edward Burns (The Brothers McMullen, She's the One) looks at small-town ex-lovers in this low-key, blue-collar drama with atmospheric, muted-color cinematography by Emmy-winner Frank Prinzi (Northern Exposure). To the tune of Sheryl Crow's "Home", Charlie (Burns) returns to his quiet seaboard hometown to win back his ex-girlfriend Claudia (Lauren Holly), whom he abandoned three years earlier. He quickly learns that she's now engaged to Michael (Jon Bon Jovi), his best buddy since elementary school. Claudia has a dull job as a waitress at a slow-paced diner, while Michael repairs autos at a local garage. Michael loves her, but Charlie's return forces her to re-examine her life. Burns commented, "I wanted to do a drama about a working-class community, about the kind of people I grew up with, and take a look at what their lives are like as they hit their 30s and start to put their adolescent dreams aside. Their old hopes and dreams get rekindled, so they try and go for it one more time. And in the end they discover that you can't relive your past." Songs relate literally to the onscreen action, with tunes by Lynryd Skynryd, Glen Campbell, Pete Yorn, Georges Gasguy & Saveur Mallia, Macy Gray, Patti Scialfa, Bruce Springsteen, Local H, Sponge, and the Allman Brothers. Filmed on location during the off-season at Rockaway Beach, Queens, not far from New York's JFK Airport. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

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Lauren Holly
as Claudia
Edward Burns
as Charlie
Jon Bon Jovi
as Michael
Blythe Danner
as Claudia's Mother
Kathleen Doyle
as Mrs. Ryan
Stuart Rudin
as The Foot
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Critic Reviews for No Looking Back

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (7)

It's conclusive proof that life in an oceanside burg can be drab and uninvolving.

January 8, 2018 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

I simply wish the characters and their fretting were more interesting, or their unhappiness less avoidable.

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

A minor moody character study, Burns' third film is a misguided foray into the woman's picture, only partially evoking the dead-end-small-town life of a working-class waitress (Lauren Holly, Burns' girlfriend)

September 16, 2006 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Pretentious, phony melodrama about blue collar lovers

July 12, 2005 | Rating: 1/5

A bummer of an effort Ed

May 6, 2005 | Rating: 2/5

It is only natural that Burns would want to turn his attentions to something more serious. He should stick to comedy.

January 13, 2004 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for No Looking Back

There isn't enough in the Ed Burns film canon. The jack of all trades brings his all to his acting roles. Unfortunately he writes his own stinker to muddle through and hiring Bon Jovi as a co-actor doesn't help particularly.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Good movie.

Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer


typical ed burns slow turning story is well cast. enjoyable but not one for repeat viewings, love or hate this one

Brendan O'Connor
Brendan O'Connor

Super Reviewer

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