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Review: ‘Forever’ is an unconvincing, troubled cult drama

Sharing nothing in common with the short-lived 2015 TV series of the same name save for the presence of Ioan Gruffudd on both, “Forever” is an unpleasant, dramatically inert drama surrounding a Jonestown-type commune.

Investigative reporter Alice (Deborah Ann Woll of “True Blood”), coping with a personal tragedy and seeking distraction through her work, follows a lead to the Clinic, a rural cult populated by “terribly tormented people.”

She initially infiltrates the group by faking amnesia and eventually forms an emotional bond with the troubled souls, finding a new boyfriend in the process (Luke Grimes) while discovering the truth behind all those uncomfortable wooden-slat beds being built at the behest of their leader (John Diehl).

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A first feature by Tatia Pilieva, who shares writing credit with the late Gill Dennis (“Walk the Line”), the film slowly, painfully declines from merely oddball to awful, with vapid dialogue and muddy character motivations, particularly where Woll’s unsympathetic Alice is concerned.

Proving to be no more convincing as an investigative journalist as she is an amnesia victim, Woll’s character comes across as incurably self-centered, especially considering the fates reserved for her distressed housemates, Gruffudd’s character among them.

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“Forever.”

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MPAA rating: R for language, violence, sexual content.

Running time: 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Playing: Laemmle’s Music Hall 3, Beverly Hills.


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