After the last few years, we've grown quite accustomed to Clive Owen as the headlining, slick star, whether that be chowing down carrots and shooting people up, living black and white and dangerous as Dwight, or dealing with a world that no longer has children. What's easy to forget in all of his fame, however, is that the man has more than an irresistible delivery and on-screen charm. He's an actor with subtlety, one whose very presence can change. In films like Closer, that meant a fresh layer of smarminess and sleaze. In The Boys Are Back, it means showing the familial heart underneath the macho exterior.
Based on Simon Carr's novel, Owen stars as Joe Warr – a sports reporter in Australia who is the classic father figure, the loving but slightly absent provider. But when his wife suddenly falls ill and passes away, Joe is forced to take on a new role as the sole parental figure. He still must provide security, but now that means a lot more than just money. He is the caretaker to his young son Artie (Nicholas McAnulty), and must not only provide for him, but also help the young boy deal with the loss of his mother, and give the boy the emotional comfort he needs to heal.