Loosely inspired by the lives of Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, Lumet’s provocative, emotionally powerful family drama stars Judd Hirsch and Christine Lahti as aging Sixties radicals who’ve spent two decades on the lam after an anti-Vietnam protest bombing. When their teenage son (River Phoenix, in an Oscar-nominated performance), a talented piano prodigy, draws the attention of his high-school music teacher—and of the teacher’s beautiful daughter (Martha Plimpton)—the family is forced to call its vagabond lifestyle into question. Where, indeed, do they go from here?
“****. Lumet is one of the best directors at work today, and his skill here is in the way he takes a melodramatic plot and makes it real by making it specific.”
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times