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16 days to watch
119 Ratings

The Mend

Directed by John Magary
United States, 2014
Comedy, Drama
  • English
  • English


Routinely estranged brothers Mat and Alan are equally unhappy, but the former embraces chaos and rudeness while the latter conceals his discontent. With both their lives on a downhill slide, Mat and Alan are temporarily reunited as roommates, uneasily sharing a Harlem apartment.

Our take

This live-wire American indie, the debut film of John Magary, deserves all the attention it can get. Attacking cramped New York flats with the energy of Arnaud Desplechin’s excited melodramas, Magary orchestrates a rich and complex character piece with the energy and inspiration of ten films in one.

The Mend Directed by John Magary Watch now
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Awards & Festivals

Independent Spirit Awards

2016 | Nominee: Best First Screenplay

Village Voice Film Poll

2015 | 2nd place: Best First Feature

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2015 | 3 nominations including: Best Lead Actor

The Mend is impressive. Its abrupt, chaotic movement has been compared usefully to that of Arnaud Desplechin, and it consistently foregrounds the vulnerable human body in a way that few contemporary, American non-genre films do.
April 08, 2016
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It was immediately clear that the film is awesome, a brilliant script and direction with endless capacity for indirection and reorientation. . . . Overall, an amazing feat of creating a purely aesthetic distance on everything by relocating our identification into a mist of characterization.
August 31, 2015
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One of the very best American independent films you’ll see this year, John Magary’s The Mend, takes what could have easily been a mundane tale of brotherly dysfunction and turns it into something abstract and electrifying.
August 24, 2015
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What are people saying?

  • Ghostman's rating of the film The Mend

    A solid indie drama about two bougie brothers & how fucked up they are. At times it's too loose & stage-like with an awkward start, but The Mend becomes an honest & artifice-free look at adult malaise & ennui. The acting is excellent and the direction focused & character-based. A fine debut by John Magary. I was privileged enough to watch a screening of this with the director & screenwriters present. Pretty kewl.

  • Renton47's rating of the film The Mend

    A stunning character study, I was utterly entranced by this bold and raw piece of filmmaking, a debut no less. Such a primal depiction of male apathy and family psychology, where the movements behind the camera are entirely evocative of the headspace of its leads, so much so that the style bounces from whimsical comedy to horror in short stabs. Hilarious, tragic, see: Naked, Listen Up Phillip, Buzzard, all favs

  • Warren Spratley's rating of the film The Mend

    A lovely work, one with a comprehensive, tolerant view of psychology & human interaction. How does Magary manage to do what he does with magical realism, with gestural shading? As with Minnelli, Magary gets to the bottom of the mystery of living, how poetic we are when going around what sits unspoken between people. No film in the last 10 years has done what this one does with framing, auditory motifs, with life. <3

  • saitosouta's rating of the film The Mend

    WOOOOO, Have you watched such a greatly strange American indie film? I haven't. And I haven't smoked marijuana, but this movie's mysteriously high-tension makes me think "Oh, noew i' m sMo kinG maLIHuana or somuTH IN". I'm glad that emerges McConaissance, Gyllenaissance, keatonaissance and yeah finally LUKANAISSANCE !!!!!!!!. (and I'm happy that I see "Appropriate Behavior"'s Rebecca Henderson briefly)

  • Erik F.'s rating of the film The Mend

    Tense and energetic portrait of fraternal rivalry and wounded masculinity, but you certainly don't have to be male to relate to the raw human nastiness, pain, resilience, and hope on display here.

  • David R Williams's rating of the film The Mend

    Meh. The first half hour held my interest but after that, Interest was quickly lost. I don’t necessarily have to like the characters, and nobody in this film is particularly likable, but I do have to kind of give a shit, and here I couldn’t. Meaningless characters wandering through their meaningless lives in increasingly uninteresting ways. Pass.

  • Diderot's rating of the film The Mend

    This is a really impressive debut film. Every performance is perfect, and the tone and construction are both unique. There's also something very sexy about this phantasmagoria of masculine unrest.

  • Colorache's rating of the film The Mend

    me gusto el uso de la camara, las tomas estan muy bien tomadas,note planos que no soy muy utilizados y que la camara siempre esta en moviemiento,nunca se queda estatica, la historia es buena pero un poco predecible pues son dos hermanos muy diferentes, me gusto el uso de la musica en la parte final

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