Rudderless (2014) Film Review

More often than not when I write reviews for films, I immediately open the blog after watching said film. This is one of those times. A true film that makes the viewer think from beginning to end. Placing yourself in the scene and experiencing each sequence with a different emotion, is quite the feat to capture in any film, especially one with a taboo topic.

A grieving father who lost everything stumbles upon his deceased sons old CD’s he recorded his music on. Discovering his son’s hidden talent, he forms a band to provide a release to his suffering.

Making his director’s debut, (William H. Macy) delivers a superb performance as he captures the overall essence of human loss and the power music can have on the soul. In this drama, (Billy Crudup) Sam is a broken man after learning his son was killed in a college campus shooting. Sam avoids his inner demons by drinking far too much booze crippling his family, job, and relationships that were once his passion in life.

After going on a drunken bender, Sam one day meets up with his ex-wife Emily (Felicity Huffman) who gives Sam some of his son Josh’s old things. Sam finds his son’s old CD’s and notebooks filled with his recorded music and forms a band with the help of a young aspiring guitarist Quentin (Anton Yelchin) in hopes that playing his music will provide a release to pain.

This film is sober, peeks inside the perspective of a grieving father that hasn’t been delivered through this approach very often, and challenges the viewer to use their moral compass. Accompanied by beautiful acoustic music, its fantastic characters, and engaging story, this film is one to certainly not miss.

It leaves the viewer at the end feeling satisfied and personally I think it couldn’t have been closed out any better.

Rotten Tomatoes Ranking: 62% 🍅 84% 🍿

IMDb Ranking: 7.5/10

My Ranking: 9/10🔥

I can’t recommend this film enough, I loved it. I think it compares mostly on par with Sing Street (2016) in terms of the caliber of music and approach to serious life altering topics.  Rudderless (2014) deals with serious aspects such as–grief and sadness that leaves an emotional impact I haven’t experienced before watching musically-focused films. Both films soundtracks are elite. Favorites–Girls Sing Street (2016) and Asshole Rudderless (2014)


  • Have you heard of/seen Rudderless (2014)? I read somewhere that a person said the title was forgettable, do you agree with this?
  • What are some of your favorite music-focused films? 
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3 thoughts on “Rudderless (2014) Film Review

    1. Yeah I had the same feeling when I saw him. So sad, so much future potential. It’s a great watch and I only learned it existed a couple days ago. Sometimes channel surfing 🏄 ends up working out great, instead of the usual mind numbing it entails

      Liked by 1 person

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