Big question: Actor Howard Spence (Sam Shepard) blows off filming his latest Western to reunite with his mom (Eva Marie Saint), find a lost love (Jessica Lange) and look for the son (Gabriel Mann) he never knew. Is this just "Broken Flowers" in cowboy boots?
Catch it: Shepard's rough face and crooked teeth perfectly represent Howard as a lonely, worn-out Hollywood legend. That the movie doesn't deepen so much as trail off is a frustrating but fitting embodiment of a protagonist who's never taken responsibility for anything.
Skip it if: You're in anger management. Earl (Mann) doesn't set much of an example by heaving all his belongings out the window when he's upset.
Bottom line: "Don't Come Knocking" grinds to a halt whenever Sarah Polley is onscreen as another one of Howard's possible offspring. It's a slow, solemn story of a man who learns that if you spend your life not wanting to be found, someday someone might not want you to find them either.
Bonus: When asked why he let so much time go by, Howard replies, "I didn't know it was passing." See, Ferris Bueller was right; you gotta step back once in awhile and look around!
'Don't Come Knocking'
Directed by Wim Wenders; written by Sam Shepard, from a story by Shepard and Wenders; photographed by Franz Lustig; edited by Peter Przygodda and Oli Weiss; art direction by Nathan Amondson; music by T Bone Burnett; produced by Peter Schwartzkopff. A Sony Pictures Classics release; opens Friday, April 7. Running time: 1:50. MPAA rating: R (language and brief nudity).
Howard Spence -- Sam Shepard
Doreen -- Jessica Lange
Sutter -- Tim Roth
Earl -- Gabriel Mann
Sky -- Sarah Polley
Amber -- Fairuza Balk
Howard's mother -- Eva Marie Saint
Film director -- George Kennedy