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Janie Jones is a 2010 American drama film by writer/director David M. Rosenthal. It stars Alessandro Nivola, Elisabeth Shue, Brittany Snow, and Abigail Breslin as the eponymous Janie Jones. The film makes extensive use of original music created by Gemma Hayes and Eef Barzelay and sung and played by Abigail Breslin and Alessandro Nivola. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 17, 2010.[2][3]

Janie Jones
Janie jones poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDavid M. Rosenthal
Produced byEric Bassett
Keith Kjarval
Written byDavid M. Rosenthal
StarringAbigail Breslin
Brittany Snow
Alessandro Nivola
Elisabeth Shue
Peter Stormare
Music byEef Barzelay
CinematographyAnastas N. Michos
Edited byAlan Heim
Unified Pictures/Industrial Entertainment
Distributed byTribeca Film (USA)
VVS Films (Canada)
Release date
  • September 17, 2010 (2010-09-17) (TIFF)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$6,840[1]



A 13-year-old girl is abandoned by her meth-addicted former-groupie mother, after she informs Ethan Brand, an alcoholic, on-the-road, fading rock star, that Janie is his daughter, and he is not happy about it.



The film's soundtrack was released on October 11, 2011[4] featuring songs written by Irish singer-songwriter Gemma Hayes and Israeli-born American Eef Barzelay. The songs on the album are performed by Abigail Breslin, Aleesandro Nivola, William Fitzsimmons and Gemma Hayes.[5]


Janie Jones garnered mixed reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 55% approval rating, based on 31 reviews, with an average score of 5.3 out of 10.[6] Metacritic gave the film a 52 out of 100 rating, based on 16 reviews.[7]

Noel Murray of The A.V. Club gave the film a B− grade. Despite the tonal dissonance in Rosenthal's direction of his own script, he called it "one of the more realistic depictions of what the rock ’n’ roll lifestyle is really like", adding that the songs written by both Barzelay and Hayes make the concert scenes "look and sound like actual alt-rock shows."[8] Eric Kohn of IndieWire commended Rosenthal for being able to sidestep formulaic contrivances with filmmaker's restraint and trusting his two main leads to give their characters subtly, saying that "[A]lthough not exemplary, Janie Jones at least manages to give its tired scenario a sense of legitimacy."[9]

Nivola and Breslin both received differing opinions of their performances. The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday called them "a terrific mismatched pair" that can "harmonize not only figuratively but literally."[10] Ian Buckwalter of NPR felt that the focus shift to its two main leads in the second half improves the film slightly, saying that "Breslin remains as charismatic and instantly likable as she was in her Oscar-nominated role in Little Miss Sunshine, and the often under-the-radar Nivola shows the makings of a star." He added that the film carries "a lightweight sweetness" due to the chemistry between them.[11]

In a review for the Los Angeles Times, Robert Abele said that Nivola "does a serviceable job conveying a certain kind of brittle, hotheaded flameout with remnants of musical soulfulness worth reviving" but felt that Breslin wasn't given much opposite him in a role that "should feel like more of a title character than a programmatic catalyst for his redemptive change."[12] Kyle Smith of the New York Post said that the two central characters "spend most of the movie performing forgettable songs, and the inevitable bonding and redemption scenes contain all the excitement of an evening spent deleting spam."[13]


  1. ^ "Janie Jones". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-02. Retrieved 2010-10-21.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Janie Jones (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Various Artists". ITunes (U.S.). Retrieved May 25, 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Janie Jones". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  7. ^ "Janie Jones Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 11, 2016.
  8. ^ Murray, Noel (November 27, 2011). "Review: Janie Jones". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  9. ^ Kohn, Eric (October 27, 2011). "REVIEW | "Janie Jones" Is a Familiar Father-Daughter Drama With Rock, But What's Wrong With That?". IndieWire. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  10. ^ Hornaday, Ann (November 4, 2011). "A rock-and-roll family reunion". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Archived from the original on January 12, 2012. Retrieved November 3, 2017.     
  11. ^ Buckwalter, Ian (October 27, 2011). "'Janie Jones': Family Harmony Takes Practice". NPR. Retrieved November 3, 2017.
  12. ^ Abele, Robert (November 4, 2011). "Movie review: 'Janie Jones'". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved November 5, 2017.      
  13. ^ Smith, Kyle (October 28, 2011). "Janie Jones". New York Post. News Corp. Retrieved November 5, 2017.     

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