“BEAUTIFUL AND REFRESHING. The directors and the cast, through a miracle of tone, mood, and emotion, have made a film that feels true, that is sweet and sharp. Every frame feels right, every choice feels thought-out, considered. All adds up to a heartbreaking whole. Stephen Dorff’s performance is a damn near masterpiece of pathos.” – RogerEbert.com
“ONE OF THE YEAR’S GREAT SURPRISES. A CONTEMPLATIVE, MEANINGFUL STORY ABOUT BROTHERLY DEVOTION AND REDEMPTION. The film is carried by that remarkably lived-in bond between Hirsch and Dorff. Hirsch hasn’t thrown himself in a role this completely since Into the Wild, and his understated approach gels wonderfully with the demonstrative Dorff. It’s Dorff who will really tug at your heartstrings as Jerry Lee, a broken down shell of a man ill-equipped to handle life’s many challenges.” Travis Hopson, examiner.com
“A PERFECTLY FORMED INDIE WITH A HEART OF GOLD. Emile Hirsch does a terrific job. Stephen Dorff will break your heart.” Stephanie Kiang, The Playlist
“STRIKING. TINGED WITH HUMOR AND HEARTBREAK. EMILE HIRSCH AND STEPHEN DORFF ARE OUTSTANDING, ENGAGED AND ENTHRALLING. Hirsch opens his heart to the role. Dorff, matching the depth of feeling he showed in Sofia Coppola’s SOMEWHERE, excels. KRIS KRISTOFFERSON IS SHARPLY AFFECTING. DAKOTA FANNING IS LOVELY.” Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Based on the popular novel by Willy Vlautin, THE MOTEL LIFE is a searing and profound examination of brotherhood set in the timeless Sierra Nevadan frontier. Frank (Emile Hirsch) and Jerry Lee Flannigan (Stephen Dorff) work odd jobs, drink hard, and drift from motel to motel. Their only escape is through Frank’s fantastic stories and Jerry Lee’s rich illustrations. Everything changes when Jerry Lee is involved in a hit-and-run accident, which forces the brothers across the state to the home of Frank’s old flame, Annie (Dakota Fanning). While the two seem safe from the law, Jerry Lee’s insatiability and all-consuming guilt render their future increasingly uncertain. Like an outlaw country song, this directorial debut from real-life brothers Gabe & Alan Polsky finds beauty and hope in a world of casinos, gun shops, dive bars, and in the simple people who inhabit them. The film features animation by Mike Smith.