Palmer (2021) - Rotten Tomatoes

Palmer2021

Palmer (2021)

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Critic Consensus: Although it traffics in familiar territory, Palmer is elevated by worthy themes and a strong ensemble led by an impressive Justin Timberlake.

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Movie Info

Former high school football star Eddie Palmer (Justin Timberlake) went from hometown hero to convicted felon, earning himself 12 years in a state penitentiary. He returns home to Louisiana, where he moves back in with Vivian (June Squibb), the grandmother who raised him. While trying to keep his head down and rebuild a quiet life for himself, Palmer is haunted by memories of his glory days and the suspicious eyes of his small town community. Things become more complicated when Vivian's hard-living neighbor Shelly (Juno Temple) disappears on a prolonged bender, leaving her precocious and unique 7-year-old son Sam (Ryder Allen), often the target of bullying, in Palmer's reluctant care. In time, Palmer is drawn into a more hopeful world as he forges a connection with Sam through their shared experience of being made to feel different by those around them. Life improves for Palmer, and a romance develops between him and Sam's teacher Maggie (Alisha Wainwright). An inspiring and unexpected journey unfolds for the three of them, but soon Palmer's past threatens to tear apart this new life.

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Critic Reviews for Palmer

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (27)

Much more affected than I expected...I'd like to see more films starring her. Very well-written.

February 8, 2021 | Full Review…

To its credit, the film never jumps to glib conclusions about who Sam is or might become. Nor can I doubt that its heart is in the right place, even if there's a degree of hokey sentimentality in the premise.

February 3, 2021 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

A tender, earnest tale of how love and nurturing can truly change lives.

February 1, 2021 | Rating: B | Full Review…

The sentimental tropes are coupled with such good intentions about the importance of tolerance that one could feel like a jerk for even daring to let the slightest bit of cynicism creep in.

January 31, 2021 | Full Review…

The film's treatment of a gender-nonconforming character is clear-eyed.

January 31, 2021 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Palmer isn't a bad movie. It's decent, in more ways than one, with its heart in the right place and a couple of moving moments.

January 30, 2021 | Full Review…

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