After 12 years in prison, former high school football star Eddie Palmer returns home to put his life back together and forms an unlikely bond with Sam, an outcast boy from a troubled home. But Eddie’s past threatens to ruin his new life and family.
Palmer is an excellent new movie starring Justin Timberlake in his strongest role since his The Social Network and Bad Teacher days. While he hasn’t been in terrible films since then, Palmer does involve having to carry the film rather strongly. It’s not an Oscar-Worthy performance nor a game changer but it does prove he is willing to take on these roles again.
Though at its core Palmer has a powerful message about acceptance and self acceptance. It is all to familiar and formulaic to the point it comes off a tad preachy at times. I just watched a movie with a similar flaw, I feel that Palmer isn’t as bad as Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in that sense. It does a better job telling a narrative story.
The acting is exceptional all around Justin Timberlake including the beautiful Juno Temple who has been on my radar since her scene stealing turn in Black Mass. The always wonderful June Squibb turns in a charismatic performance as Palmer’s grandmother who raised him more than his mother did.
Ryder Allen is terrific as the story’s focus Sam. The kid has a real future in acting and I hope he sticks with it. He has a performance that will warm your heart and stick with you long after the movie is over. In the end while it’s not groundbreaking in anyway it does a charismatic feel and fans of films like The Peanut Butter Falcon will truly enjoy Palmer.
Overall grade: 3.5/5 stars
Written By: AJ Friar