Director(s): Joseph Ruben
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Lewis, Sheriff and Tony are three American guys who meet and hang out one summer at the beach huts of Malaysia. There they enjoy the luxuries of women, rum and hashish. As the summer ends, Tony and Sheriff go back to New York, but Lewis decides to go to Borneo to help save the orangutan. But before he got the chance to leave, he was arrested for possession of the leftover hash and sentenced to death because he was considered to be trafficking. Two years go by and Sheriff and Tony are living their lives peacefully in The Big Apple when Lewis lawyer tells them the news three years each if they both go, six years if one goes, Lewis death if neither go. Although they both do not want Lewis to die, they do not know him well enough to really want to sacrifice three years of their life to a Third-World prison. Return to Paradise watches Sheriff and Tony as they struggle to decide in the short period of time.
|Return to Paradise (iPod)||Resolution: 480x192 px||Total Size: 155 Mb||
|Return to Paradise (iPod)||Resolution: 480x192 px||Total Size: 160 Mb||
|Return to Paradise (DVD)||Resolution: 720x296 px||Total Size: 601 Mb|
|Return to Paradise (DVD)||Resolution: 720x296 px||Total Size: 589 Mb|
|Return to Paradise (DivX)||Resolution: 592x244 px||Total Size: 585 Mb|
We have taken some photos of "Return to Paradise". They represent actual movie quality.
(12 May 2013)
Few movies have affected me so profoundly! I found myself aching and wrenching along with each character, feeling involved in the inner struggle each character faced in fighting for Lewis or making THE decision. I, of course, found myself asking if "I had it in me." "Return..." is filled with profound symbolism on many levels, teaches hard to accept real-life lessons, and forces rarely asked moral questions upon the watcher. Make sure the tissues are handy for this one. I cried---sobbed would be more accurate--during and long after this movie. I am sure this movie will be with me for a long time to come. My small objection to this movie was the romantic aspect, especially the romantic outcome. I feel the way in which the romantic outcome was portrayed, especially the timing of it, undermined the powerful story and profound ending. EXCELLENT movie, despite the objection. An unexpected soul wrencher!
little_trouper (12 May 2013)
I watched this movie a little while ago for no other reason then the factthat it just happened to be on the TV. However, I watched it, and watcheditright to the end.It's about three friends who go to Malaysia where they get high on drugsalot. Two of the friends then return back home while the third friend,Lewis, remains in Malaysia where he is arrested for drug possession. Theother two must then make the decision of whether or not to go back andhelphim.The plot does not sound that interesting but the performances are enoughtokep you watching.Vince Vaughn is great as the friend who struggles with his decisions andAnne Heche is great as the sister of Lewis, who tries to pursuade Vaughntohelp her brother.The best perfomance comes from Joaquin Phoenix as Lewis. His character hasthe most changes throughout the movie and Joaquin plays the transitionsperfectly. I cried a few times during this movie and each time it wasbecause of Joaquin's character.I would recommed this movie to anyone.
aquinas96 (01 May 2013)
I saw this movie the other night on A&E and while Joaquin Phoenix'scharacter isn't one of the main ones, it is the most pivotal. I thinkPhoenix has definite bankable talent as an actor - no argument here.But he also seems to have a habit of overkill, especially in emotionalroles. And with this movie, it's a big problem, as the logic andcohesion of the overall plot hinges on the believability, authenticnessand sympatheticness of Phoenix's character. It's a fine line for anyactor to walk in such a pithy yet demanding role, and apparently,Phoenix wasn't quite up to the challenge.The problems with this movie don't all fall on Phoenix's performance,even though they inevitably to lead back to it. It certainly didn'thelp that the movie's plot was quite conflicted and its tone and moodthroughout was unfocused and inconsistent - at times the movie wantedto be a wrenching human drama set in the compelling context of culturalclashes and impersonal legalities; at other times a morality tale aboutpresent attitudes toward drugs; still yet, at other times, anexistential angstfest of the main trio of characters played byHeche,Vaughn and Phoenix. Also, if this wasn't bad enough, the plottwistrevealed by Heche's character in the third act strikes me ascoming ina little too late, and thus feels like a last minute rewritethansomething the movie was building up too. It's a big revelation, butits poor timing makes the movie feel more disjointed.But back to the problems with Phoenix... By and large, I found thecasting didn't quite gel: Vince Vaughn was at most times very good, butAnne Heche was barely effectual, Jada Pinkett Smith entirelyirritating, and want's-his-name as Tony barely on screen enough to gobeyond one dimensional functionality. But it is Phoenix's performancethat stuck out like a sore thumb. In the beginning he was more agrating, anemic wuss with a dumb smile more than the kind of natureloving, otherworldly-minded idealist that the character Lewis McBridewas intended to be. I couldn't feel a lot aside from mild annoyancebordering on indifference for him at first. So when Heche turns up inNew York begging for two other characters to make great sacrifices forhis life, I found myself a tad incredulous that anyone, particularlysuch morally undecided characters like Sheriff or Tony, could be soinspired by the guy. A little fond of him, maybe, and saddened that hewas awaiting execution, surely - that would be the least you couldexpect from any decent human being. Yet the movie stresses howself-serving and cynical Sheriff is and how unreliable Tony is, so theviewer's left clutching for reasons why either would comply withHeche's astonishing request, especially since, by midway into themovie, Lewis alone just doesn't seem enough.There's three things that worked for me in this movie, however. Thefirst was Vaughn's convincing portrayal of Sheriff as a cynical,half-self-aware New Yorker who would have never entertained the idea ofbeing self-sacrificing unless it was in someway a real escape from thethings that had made him cynical in the first place. The second was thematter of the stolen bike, that made Sheriff's sense of accountabilityand conflicted conscience more real and more believable. The third wasthe video of Lewis - the acting by Phoenix here is his best in themovie by far.These three element set up the two best scenes of the movies, both thatmade the movie worth it for me and both that succeed thanks to Vaughnand despite Phoenix. The first takes place in the court, where Sheriffreturns by his own volition and addresses the judge with earnestcontrition and a new found sense of accountability, while Lewis writhesand whimpers like a slug in salt on the defendant stand. The lines forSheriff here are the best writing in the entire movie, as it's at oncesuccinct, genuine, and revealing all at the right time. The secondscene is when Lewis is dragged off for execution: here, despitePhoenix's hyperdramatic portrayal of Lewis as someone who's just beensavagely tortured and then abruptly told he'll about to be killed,instead of someone who's had a reasonable period of time for reflectionand consul so to come to terms with his fate, Vaughn shines as aSheriff who's at last overcome his cynicism so to reach out to hisdoomed friend and be there for him in his last minutes despite knowingthe futility of the situation. All in all, these two scenes are worthit if you're interested in seeing how much promise Vaughn has forplaying complex and demanding lead roles with even-handedness andauthenticness. But unfortunately, Vaughn's high points castunflattering light upon the rest of movie and cast, and in particularPhoenix, who should've taken a few cues from Vaughn for his ownperformance.
(01 May 2013)
This Film Didnt Get the Recognition nor the Accolades that it deserved! Came and went in the theaters, many people have discovered this Little Gem On Video! More than Just a Typical Prison Film, this is a Film about Friendship and Love! I am sure that everyone who has seen this film ask themselves the same question, "What Would I Have Done In a Situation Like This?". For The People Who have seen the Film, My Honest Answer was "NO WAY WOULD I HAVE GONE BACK!" The acting is exceptional and this should have been Anne Heche's Breakout Performace! Do yourself a favor and See This Film, you wont be dissapointed!
Rich (21 April 2013)
If you're into teenage jock movies or action-packed explosion movies thenlook away. This is an intelligent drama that will have your mind workingwithout time for a break. Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of Lewis goes fromsuperb to breathtaking as the movie progresses. A number of twists andturnsalong the span of the movie makes it hard if not impossible to predict whowill decide to do what next. Without wanting to give too much away, thetragic ending is directed without fault, leaving this a gut-wrenchingmasterpiece which will probably never get the credit it trulydeserves.
(21 April 2013)
This review is from: Return to Paradise (DVD) I saw this film years ago and recently purchased the DVD and it still holds up as a great thriller. Most of these actors weren't big stars at the time but are as good as you can get in a taught story. It's suspenseful, heart-wrenching with a good script. I highly recommend it.
Leonard Norwitz (13 April 2013)
"Return to Paradise" is written by Bruce Robinson and Wesley Strick (adaptedfrom `Force Majeure,' a 1989 French film with Alan Bates and Kristin ScottThomas among others, and about which I know nothing else.) Three guys intheir early twenties blow off a few weeks in Malaysia with smokable drugs,girls, booze, and surf. Their holiday comes to an end, and two of them,"Sheriff" (an ironic moniker derived from his surname, Volgecheref) and Tonygo back to New York to reenter their lives. The third, Lewis, plans toleave for Borneo the following day to help keep orangutans safe from humans.Lewis is a prince. Not so, "Sheriff", who won't join Lewis in this new adventure because, so he isfond of saying, doesn't have it in him to do something so noble. We just know this attitude willcome back to haunt him, and so it does.The remainder of the movie relentlessly puts a question to "Sheriff" andTony. They are made to confront every manner of moral obligation on the onehand, and rationalization on the other, to save their buddy and their skins.The filmmakers do not digress with the sadistic milieu of a Midnight Express."Return to Paradise", which has the makings of a great play, finds enough workfor itself examining an internal struggle that should make even the mostcalloused jock in the audience sweat.Director Joseph Ruben suspensefully follows the thread of this morality talewhile adding layers of meaning and interest. For example, the look of thefilm reflects the internal struggle shared by `Sheriff' and Tony, contrasting travel poster perfectMalaysia with brief scenes of Lewis's imprisonment, while Pinang's inhospitable street scenes havetheir counterpart with those of NYC -- bleak, though congested."Sheriff" seems to be treading water on this planet, and Heche's characterseems so determined to persuade him to find his humanity before he loseshimself altogether, we can't help wondering if there is going to be something other than passionatedialectic between these two. Let me assure you that "Return to Paradise" will take turns guidingand surprising its audience.Anne Heche's nuanced performance as Beth, Lewis' persistent advocate,follows every doubt, rationalization, and pledge of her adversaries like amirror, reflecting back to them in the sharpest focus imaginable their moraldilemma. We feel Beth's presence at all times, even when she is not onscreen, so penetrating is Heche's searching mind and heart. For those whohave been complaining about the lack of good roles for women in cinema thesedays, this one does its part to redress that injustice; and Anne Heche, oneof the most interesting actors in film today, serves it very well indeed.Vince Vaughan's performance lets us in at once on the complexities of his character. `Sheriff'avoids intimacy and obligations, but is willing to put himself in physical danger when his buddiesare threatened by street thugs. There is a short scene with him and his father which in just a fewlines gives us a fairly good idea of how `Sheriff' comes by his inability to make commitments. Ifelt Vaughn's performance to be more convincing in his off-putting moments than in his attempts atcloseness, but perhaps this is as it should be, since intimacy is such a radical concept for hischaracter.David Conrad as Tony and Vera Farmiga as his fiancÃ©e are both excellent.Tony's subtle vacillations do not escape Beth's watchful eye; and Farmiga'sone serious scene, is very telling about women who have to wait for theirmen while they do what they must in the name of honor. (Remember how GraceKelly dealt with Gary Cooper's decision in "High Noon"!) Joaquin Phoenix(brother of River, and inexplicably overlooked for an Oscar nomination in "To Die For") is alsovery good as Lewis, whose descent into religiosity is aspoignant as it is frightening. There is also a subplot, spearheaded by JadaPinkett as a reporter, which righteously hangs in effigy a self-righteous media."Return to Paradise" is one of this summer's better movies; but keep in mind,it is only a little less grim than "Dead Man Walking"; only its ironic titlemight suggest otherwise.
softee2003 (13 April 2013)
This was 'my' first Vince Vaughn experience and made me a fan of his. Ithoroughly enjoyed the chemistry and non-chemistry between he and AnnHeche; Joachim Phoenix was extremely well cast and did a great job.This was a well-written story which has been a favorite of mine sinceit's release. The roles are thoroughly believable and well-acted; notoverdone. Although I thought the character changeover at the end was abit improbable, it did not at all change affect my affection for thisfilm. A stellar performance from all involved.This movie is #4 on my A list behind Shawshank, Steele Magnolias, Roadto Perdition and ranks high among my 'emos' (emotional flicks) I liketo cry to on occasion. I would recommend this to male and female loversof drama.
(06 April 2013)
This film was amazing! Naturally the one's you never hear about are the one's that deserve the most attention. The beginning was a tad bit slow, especially when it came to Vaughn making up his mind to go or not. Ultimatly his performance made up for that. Even though Phoenix is rarely seen throughout the film, his roll is so touching and heart wrenching it puts a lump in my throat just thinking about it. I think there should have been Oscar nod's all around! It really begs the question, would you do the same for another? Share this wonderful film with friends and family it truly is one of the best films of all time.
kallepalli-sashank (05 April 2013)
This review ,as the summary suggests,might seem like just anotherreview from a Hollywood buff who just fell in love with a movie,everyminute of which he is cherishing.. but I hope this review convinces youto see this movie as soon as your done reading it because,trust me,youwill rate it as one of your finest.Joseph Ruben has delivered an Oscar-worthy film which is brilliantlymade making you empathize with the characters portrayed in the film.The story revolves around 3 men lewis(jaoquim phoenix),tony(Davidconrad) and sheriff(vince vaughn) holidaying in Panang,Malaysia whereit's all fun with drinks,drugs and women after which lewis stays backto fight for animal rights when tony and sheriff call it a day and headback to their lives in new york.Two years later beth eastern(anneheche) shows up at their doors telling them that lewis has beenimprisoned for possession of hash and is awaiting death by the noosebut can be saved from being hanged if both of them share theresponsibility of the crime with him and spend 3 yrs each together or 6years if only one of them chooses to go back..The rest of the story revolves around how beth tries to convince thetwo to "return to paradise" to serve their time fighting their ownpersonal barriers,tony:convincing his lovely fiancÃ© played by virafarmiga to let him go and sheriff:the reluctance to loose 3 years ofhis life in a third-world prison,while trying to fend off astory-hungry reporter played by jada pinkett.The movie is not as simple as the plot suggests and has a lot of twistsmaking it a gripping story.All the main cast members portrayed theirroles with elegance,vaughn and heche in particular,and brought acertain empathy to the screen which is the key ingredient in such afilm.This movie is certainly one of the best films I have seen anddefinitely one of the greatest.I would,without doubt,go with a 10/10.Bravo!
(04 April 2013)
Probably my favorite drama of the last couple of years. By the time this movie ends, you are incredibly involved in these characters. I had the benefit of seeing it in the theatre and I'm glad I did. It was truly a powerful experience.
kluskey (03 April 2013)
I won't go into the plot of this movie but found it extraordinary in thatitinvestigated ideas and the best and worst of human nature.Spoiler -I found this movie affirming in many ways - the ability that we, as humanbeings have, to change and grow better. We must believe that we have thisability or what's the point? Also, being a devoted sister to youngerbrothers, the brother-sister bond was truly touching - even more so thanthebonds of friendship and romantic love portrayed in the film. Investigationof sibling love is much rarer than friendship or romanticlove.Other movies that touch this subject are You Can Depend on Me, and ofcourseRain Man.
Ben Lee (27 March 2013)
Return To Paradise is one of the best films you've never heard of. It wasburied in the summer of 1998 to mostly positive reviews and was laterunsuccessfully reinvented 9 months later here in the UK on the back ofPsycho which also starred Vaughn and Heche. Its been unfairly treated by thenow defunct Polygram as it is a quite incredible little drama with somesuperb performances and some moments of great power. The premise is relatively simple. Three friends on holiday in Malaysia. Twoleave. The police arrive and find hash where they were staying. The third isput in jail. Two years later a lawyer finds the two remaining men in NewYork and tells them that their friend was found guilty of trafficking. Theymust go back to share the punishment or he will die in 7days.Its a frightening dilemma and you can't help but ask yourself the samequestion. Would you go back? If one goes back they go to prison for 6 years.If both go they will have 3 years each. All of the arguments are putforward, making the answer not seem as clear as originally imagined.The timeframe is made even tenser with titles reminding us of how many daysare remaining. Vince Vaughn plays our hero who doesn't always act in themorally correct way we expect him to do. He doesn't immediately decide to goback, making us question if we would either. Vaughn gives the finestperformance of his career as the not completely likeable 'Sheriff'. AnneHeche plays the increasingly desperate lawyer who will do anything to saveher client from execution. And her desperation is made completely believableby Heche's multi-faceted performance.And then Joaquin Phoenix plays the imprisoned Lewis who has little screentime but whenever he's on he totally captivates. His video message to histwo friends is heartbreaking. There are numerous twists which serve tofurther the emotional capital which is placed in the conclusion.And by the time the suspenseful court scene arrives, you will find yourselfnervously hoping for a happy ending. Needless to say the film ends with asuccession of unspeakably powerful scenes. Its hard to remember a film whichI found as moving as this. It serves as a very poignant anti-drugs message.Its impact will stay with you for days, making it really quiteunforgettable. Hunt this down. You will be richly rewarded.
Sean Gallagher (26 March 2013)
This movie does make you think, even though it seems like a pretty simplequestion, and director Ruben, and writers Bruce Robinson and Wesley Strick dothrow in enough complications to keep it interesting though there are someplot flaws (like Beth's secret) which damage the film. Although the rest ofthe cast is good, the real standout is Heche. I don't know if she'll everovercome the image she has thanks to the publicity about her sexuality, butshe is a talented actress, and this proves it, as she's thoroughlyconvincing as the lawyer who will do anything to save herclient.
(21 March 2013)
Though the movie is slow paced, it is a terrific story. You are never sure what is going to happen next or whether the characters will make the right decisions. In the end you will walk away having felt the importance of friendship, love and honor. Terrific performances by Heche and Vaughn.
Jimmy Jimmereeno (21 March 2013)
This did come out before that Claire Danes movie, right? One point fororiginality. Actually this is based on another movie or so we're told atthebeginning. Two things I found to be unfortunate: 1. Phoenix has veryminimalscreen time but is excellent when he's on 2. Vaugn doesn't ever get to cutloose and be crazy(Swingers, Clay Pigeons) and isn't that why we like him?This is more of a psychological and moral dilemma for two guys consideringto return to Malaysia and save a friend's life. Heche is good. Nothing badbut not exceptionally good. Worth a rental if these actors are appealing toyou.
jpt3 (18 March 2013)
this film stayed with me a long time after viewing it. it was impossiblenot to try to imagine what i would have decided, given the samepredicament.the film makers made it as complicated as real life, there was nopanderingthe audience here. just when i thought it was quite clear what the rightdecision would be, the film changed direction, presented a totallydifferentperspective and never sold out to the simple solution. i'm very glad tohave seen this film.
davidholmesfr (17 March 2013)
This film is about moral dilemma Â whether or not to give up three, or maybesix, years of life by accepting imprisonment in a Malaysian jail, orcontinue living in freedom knowing that a friend has died as a result. Thispoint needs to be made up front Â it is not a film about the rights orwrongs of Asian judicial or penal systems, nor is it a film about themorality of drug taking.So we follow the two characters, Sheriff (Vaughn) and Tony (Conrad) who haveto make this decision as they go through the decision-making process,prodded in no uncertain manner by their friend's attorney Beth (Heche). Thistortuous process is played out against the comparatively comfortablebackground of their home city, New York. And not only the comforts of home,but also of employment and marriage prospects.The process is played out a little unevenly although given the nature of thedecision perhaps this is not surprising. But where it is flawed is thesudden blossoming of romance between Sheriff and Beth. Prior to this therehad been no indication of this turn of events, indeed, quite the opposite asthe two had regularly fallen out and appeared to have a mutual dislike foreach other. Thus there is a feeling of a contrived piece of plotting which,to make matters worse, goes on to form the basis of the end of themovie.Whether or not this is an accurate portrayal of the Malaysian judicial andpenal systems seems an irrelevance. On a rather pedantic point where was theUS embassy (and State Department) to provide support? It simply is not thecase that in circumstances such as these that the lead characters would havebeen left on their own. That's not to say that the outcome would have beenany different but it may well have affected some of the decisionsindividuals took towards the end. It might also have been an opportunity toadd a little more reality and edge to the story, especially if the officialstook an approach that put US foreign relations above the interests of itsown citizens!This is a movie that makes us think Â and no movie that does that can bewritten off. And the acting, especially from Heche and Phoenix, is fine. Butthe plot flaws mean it's a good, rather than a great, film.
anonymous (15 March 2013)
The movie prompted much dialogue about the moral dilemma the charactersfaced. Even if you watch the movie alone, you would have to do some personalcharacter introspection. Who could watch this film and not ask thequestion, "what would I do"?
(15 March 2013)
This review is from: Return to Paradise (DVD) This movie is similar to A Long Way From Home.It's incredible what some people are willing to do in looking for happiness--(the thing that we've got when we were a child,we've lost it or forgotten)then we have to make a hugh round trip to get it back.Some who failed lead themselves into drugs.Some earn money by selling it.Death kills them all.The Big Fish is not caught.What a pity.(If you really do love animals,don't buy a furcoat.Then there shall be no more extermination of minks,foxes,etc)If you want to change the world,you have to change yourself.Execution is never a wise solution.It renders the world more unhappy.In Switzerland,people have voice and voted for life,not death.it's easy when it's not your child.It's a country of Free churches--Free nation.We protected even our animals,we don't shoot stray dogs.We don't hang around people.We jail the defendants for few years even if he committed murder.We'd send him back to his hometown after serving jail.In some countries, prisoners are tortured.Maybe they even beat their wives and children so to them,you are nothing.It's not necessary to act sadish.In Switzerland,we can't even beat our pets.This IS the real paradise and civilization.Buy this movie and enjoy bamboo beatings!!
Review total: 20, showing from 1 to 20