In Boston, a man named Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) makes a modest living as a maintenance man. One day he gets a call, telling him that his brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler) has passed away, somewhat expectedly, due to a heart condition.
Upon taking a look at Joe's will, Lee learns that he is to become Joe's son, Patrick's (Lucas Hedges) new guardian, and relocate to Manchester in order to take care of him. The problem with Lee coming back to his hometown of Manchester is that several years beforehand, something horrible happened, and he was involved.
The whole film has most to do with Lee struggling with his past, including his ex wife, Randi. It also involves what happens with Patrick, as he deals with the unfortunate passing of his father in his own, teenage way.
It ends up being one of those films that likes to do a lot of back and forth. There's the ongoing story, but it's full of flashbacks that show us the basic development of Lee's character. I personally found it a little bit confusing at first, but things did manage to click for me soon enough.
The story is pretty good overall, but if I'm honest, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a bit bored throughout the film. When everything is all said and done, it probably could have been a much shorter movie. But, to be fair, I think a lot of the filler was put there to help us understand things on a more emotional level.
It certainly does have it's moments though. Despite the fact that the story is pretty dark, it manages to keep a mild sense of humor all the way through it. In the end, I don't exactly see it cleaning up at the Oscars. If it does manage to snag anything, it'd have to be the Best Actor award for Casey Affleck. He did do a great job here, and his character was very believable. But otherwise, I feel this is a fairly weak entry into the whole nominations list. I guess we'll see what happens.