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Tenderness
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Tenderness

Description
Eric Poole, who at 18, is released from jail having served his sentence for the murder of a young girl. Russell Crowe plays the hard-bitten detective who put him away and who is sure that Poole is a potential serial killer who will reoffend. He makes it his mission to keep Poole under surveillance as he sets off on a seemingly innocent road trip up-state. But all is not as it seems as Poole soon finds himself on the run with a young girl who has become obsessed with him and may or may not have been witness to the first murder.
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MovieTime, ABC Radio National
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May 01, 2009

Since moving to Hollywood, Australian director John Polson has become a very competent filmmaker. I hope he finds better scripts for his future projects.
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New York Times

December 11, 2009

A movie undone by its formulaic plot conventions, and its need to give its star more screen time than his characters merits.
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sbs.com.au
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December 31, 2010

Russell Crowe stumbles through lifeless thriller.
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FILMINK (Australia)
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May 01, 2009

It's hard to understand what keeps these characters moving, and without true indie grit or the runaway tension that would otherwise satisfy the multiplex, Tenderness drops somewhere in-between...and that is mostly a disappointing nowhere.
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DVDTalk.com
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April 25, 2010

The picture is crowded with captivating tones and contemplation, navigating a tricky tale of murder, perversion, and obsession with a fine edge of suspense and an interesting take on the human condition.
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New York Daily News
Resource

December 11, 2009

Crowe's lumbering presence is a relief from all the gothic heaviness, but director John Polson's elliptical storytelling style quickly becomes an irritant.
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New York Post
Resource

December 11, 2009

Crowe, who spends the movie trudging along ... and waxing lyrical about pain and pleasure, must be hoping no one sees this mawkish blunder. He will probably get his wish.
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The Age (Australia)
Resource

May 01, 2009

Polson maintains an unsettling tension throughout the narrative, building his slow-burn thriller to a climax that deliberately runs counter to the in-your-face genre principles of which he proved such a master with his first two thriller outings.
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At the Movies (Australia)
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May 01, 2009

It does have a few plot contrivances, but the tension is skilfully built and the cast is uniformly excellent.
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Ozus' World Movie Reviews
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June 22, 2011

An arty psychological thriller that never catches fire as either a serial killer flick or character study.
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Sydney Morning Herald
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May 01, 2009

Cormier himself called Tenderness a tough book written in "a minor key" and perhaps Polson was inspired by the description. But if so, he doesn't come close.
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Maven's Nest
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January 02, 2016

Based on less ambiguous YA novel , the teens drive film and portrayals of damaged youth are tense and sympathetic, though their behavior veers too sharply to pathological.
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