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Highland Park Review


At A Glance...

Genre: , ,
Age Rating:
Actor: , , ,
Length: 1hr 34 min
Release Date: 2013
Final Score
3/ 5

User Rating
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We liked?

Interesting characters
Easy to watch
Family friendly

Not so much?

Lacks story depth
Feels a bit preachy at parts

Final Fiendish Findings?

What would you do if you won the lottery?

Posted April 22, 2013 by

Full Fiendish Findings?

What would you do if you won the lottery? That’s the question that fills the group of teachers who have been diligently pooling together every week for years to play the same lucky numbers on the lotto, find that their numbers finally come up. All of the group begin making plans for their winnings while they wait the return of Ed, the ticket purchaser, who had disappeared on one of his regular and super secret fishing trips.

Each person has their own plans that range from urban repair to the Highland Parks community that has been hit particularly hard by economic downturn, to another that wants to fix his broken family and get his wife and child back, to another who has plans on taking care of the needs of his father with alzheimer’s and his sister who has her own financial issues.

The very predictable plot twist is that Ed ends up deviating from the their established set of “lucky numbers” that they had literally used hundreds of times before without the rest of the group being aware. It’s so easy to see coming, that I really don’t think I’m giving anything away by revealing it in this review. This puts the rest of the members of the pool in a position where they need to change their plans on what they can do with their millions to what they can do without it.

Despite its predictable story, Highland Park is ripe with colorful and likable characters. Even if you can see the inevitable twist quite easily, you almost hope you are wrong for the sakes of the people involved who desperately could use some good luck in their lives. The charismatic characters aren’t surprising when you consider the strong cast that is present in this independent film, featuring the likes of Danny Glover (who plays Ed), Billie Burke, and Parker Posey.

The movie is filled with symbols of luck and superstition that sets the stage in this tale of misfortune. While it feels like it gets almost overly forceful with that symbolism and almost preachy with it’s message of mismanagement of economic infrastructure that put the strain on our economy, it doesn’t misguidedly offer winning the lotto as a solution people should be looking for. For the most part, this is a family friendly movie with the pretty easy to understand fable like moral to it. It’s not about the money that you have, but the effort that you have to put into it.

Overall, Highland Park overcomes it’s lack of story depth with its interesting characters and traditional feel good movie vibe. While I doubt it will wow any viewers, it’s certainly worth a watch, especially if you are looking for a movie that’s safe to watch with older kids. If you are in the mood for an easy to watch movie with a positive story, this may fit the bill.

So what would you do if you had 10 million dollars? What could you do even if you don’t?


I've been a game enthusiast since my 2600 enjoying RPG, platformer and adventure games. Also a film buff who enjoys quirky, indie films and a huge Hitchcock fan.