Watch Guys Reading Poems | Prime Video

Guys Reading Poems

 (10)1 h 39 min201718+
Trapped inside a surreal art installation created by his mother, a disturbed avant grade painter, an imaginative boy creatively uses the power of poetry to survive his captivity inside the puppet box.
Hunter Lee Hughes
Patricia VelasquezAlexander DreymonLydia Hearst
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Luke JudyChristos Vasilopoulos
Debbie VandermeulenHunter Lee HughesJason Fracaro
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4.1 out of 5 stars

10 global ratings

  1. 51% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 17% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 22% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 11% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 0% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

LichenReviewed in the United States on May 28, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
) The film itself is rather like a poem
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This is truly an art film, without being pretentiously artsy. It's a rather macabre story of child abuse by a woman with obvious mental illness, the father's failure to act upon it until it's nearly too late, and a child's survival. The film is fascinating to watch: it's shot entirely in black and white, which gives it a feel of being emotionally distant from the viewer. The performances, particularly Patricia Velasquez as the mother, and Alexander Dreymon as the father, are outstanding. There is very little speaking from characters - maybe a few sentences. Rather, messages are conveyed to the viewer through physicality of the performances and from a collection of classical poems which are read by characters or by a narrator, throughout the film. (As a writer and editor, and someone with a literature degree, I really appreciated this unique approach.) The film itself is rather like a poem, going by as a series of emotional and visual impressions, rather than as the more detailed and concrete story a film with color and dialogue would have told - and because of that the treatment of the abuse seems a bit shallow. However, the film is extremely unique, exactly for what it is. I'll be thinking about it for a long time.
4 people found this helpful
boisegirlReviewed in the United States on March 2, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Caution Spoiler
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Like most of the previous reviews I see the artistry of this film. Hunter Lee Hughes is surely on his way to being a significant director. The story is about an abused boy who develops multiple personalities to survive. Not only does he survive he becomes wise. He forgives his abuser. If the story had ended at that point, it would have been poignant. However rather than taking the beat of forgiveness as a beautiful, courageous end; he begins another story - thereby minimizes, even ruining for me, the film.
One person found this helpful
Rachel TablerReviewed in the United States on April 24, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
wonderfully and thoughtfully unique
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When the film started, I was not familiar with the poem. I was finding myself feeling like I wasn't going to be able to follow what was going to happen. I found myself trying to pay attention to the words and also trying to focus on the action. Because it is not mainstream to tell a story through multiple poems, I had to get my mindset to change. I had seen the trailer and read the literature on the movie. I was grateful going in having that background. However, I was also grateful that the trailer and the literature left me wondering and not fully aware of where the film would take me. As you can read from the other reviews, the film is about a tragedy of a little boy abused by a parent who is suffering from a form of mental illness. The mental health of each character, and how each of these characters deal with the illness of the mother is something I found to be perfectly portrayed. I truly believe that everyone can and has at some point suffered with a mental health issue or been close to someone who has had a mental health issue, and we all respond differently. In our society, we see the victim as the only one who should have our feelings of sadness and empathy. It is often hard to have compassion for the one inflicting what we know is wrong. I hope this film can be seen by many more, so that we can continue to shed light on mental health and it's destruction it can leave in its path when not tended to.
As far as the way the film is made... Outstanding! It is art. I don't have the vocabulary to describe what the crew did. All I can say is that it was so different and I welcomed that. The acting was phenomenal because they told a story with no dialogue. That takes skill. And finally, the poems. I love that there is a list on line of all the poems. I enjoyed the ones I knew and how they were used and I also enjoyed hearing new poems that I will read on my own to familiarize myself with them. And then I will watch the film again for a new experience.
John WaiblingerReviewed in the United States on October 26, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Stunningly beautiful
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A stunningly gorgeous film with such fine actors and wonderfully presented poetry that weaves in a magical way throughout the story. I was truly enraptured by the film...
2 people found this helpful
Barbara CervantesReviewed in the United States on March 6, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
The whole cast was great, and as mentioned in a review
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Hunter Lee Hughes wrote and directed a very powerful work of art. Patricia Velasquez proved to be a very versatile actress. The whole cast was great, and as mentioned in a review, she does dominate the screen. Excellent, dark movie about two major evils in our society: mental illness and abuse, and the will power to fight against them, until the end of our journeys.
Emily BluntReviewed in the United States on February 23, 2018
4.0 out of 5 stars
The Art of Film...Literally
Emily Blunt, BluntReview says: Guys Reading Poems (GRP) is visually stunning. Once you adjust to the gorgeous black and white, and the layered way the story is told, a feast for the senses unfolds. GRP guides the viewer through a labyrinth of crumbling sanity, where aloft in a sea of adult misery, a young boy (Luke Judy), discovers poetry as his life-raft and way through the cruelty cast upon him. GRP is woven with heavy drama, deep metaphors…and poems. Guys reading poems, kind of being poems. Beautiful words caress beautiful cinematography, as characters pull into focus an adjoined tale spread out like a field of wildflowers; each pretty enough separately, but together they are gorgeous; the group of vignette-like scenes creating sometimes seemingly independent art. GRP will not be for everyone – isn’t that in itself refreshing? This film is unabashedly artistic. Unapologetically art-house. The poems, clearly scripted, often feel Cinema Verite at a suave casual dinner party, where such vocalization is the norm. Director HLHughes grants you fly-view access into a journey. Bravo to the cast and director – especially young Luke Judy who is ‘our’ adorable hero. Just delicious.
3 people found this helpful
James PulizziReviewed in the United States on February 25, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
A rare treat
At once a dream, a mystery thriller, a tail of crushing abuse and human resilience, the beguiling film “Guys Reading Poems” defies easy classification. Rendered in sumptuous black and white, Hunter Lee Hughes’ film weaves together poetry from Blake and Wordsworth to contemporary poets with engrossing cinematography to tell the story of young boy who experiences first the breakup of his parents’ marriage and then the trauma of being locked in a box as part of his mother’s avant-garde art performance. While the boy is the victim of one artist, Hughes’ artistry gives us hope that art can be a path to survival and redemption that often seems absent in a cruel world.
One person found this helpful
Amazon CustomerReviewed in the United States on March 4, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Powerful Movie
This exceptional film had a tremendous impact on me. Not only is this film a cathartic experience to anyone who has suffered childhood abuse but the take-away is that forgiveness must be the last piece of healing. Powerful performances make this a film you cannot take your eyes off of. The poetry is thoroughly entertaining and thought provoking. The film keeps you thinking long past leaving the theater. Velasquez brings a humanity to her character that invokes equal parts rage and empathy from the viewer. Impressive film from Hughes. I look forward to his next project.
3 people found this helpful
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