Remember the McConaissance that Matthew McConaughey had in the early 2010s with roles in The Lincoln Lawyer, Mud, True Detective and his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club? Well, Ben Affleck may be in the middle of his own resurgence (though the Affleckissance doesn’t have as nice a ring to it), with the trailer for The Tender Bar showing off another potential winning performance from the actor.
Affleck broke onto the scene along with Matt Damon for Good Will Hunting, starred in some big, but ultimately disappointing movies in the early 2000s, then found a career resurgence as the director of Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo. But in the last few years, Affleck has been receiving high praise for his acting, starting with 2020’s The Way Back and including his supporting role in Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel. Early buzz is as equally strong on Affleck’s supporting performance in The Tender Bar.
The Tender Bar is based on J.R. Moehringer’s best-selling memoir, which tells the story of how a young J.R. grew up in the glow of the bar where his Uncle Charlie (Affleck) works. With an absentee father, J.R. finds all different kinds of father figures in the bar, but his best is Charlie. With Charlie's help, along with his determined mother, J.R. pursues both his romantic and professional dreams.
George Clooney is directing the Amazon Original movie that in addition to Affleck stars Tye Sheridan, Lily Rabe and Christopher Lloyd. The Tender Bar is getting its initial U.S. theatrical release on Dec. 17 in New York and Los Angeles, before rolling out nationally on Dec. 22. As an Amazon Original movie, it will also debut globally on Amazon Prime Video on Jan. 7.
The trailer for The Tender Bar definitely highlights Affleck’s loving uncle, as he gives inspiration, support and counsel to J.R. Overall, the trailer gives off the feeling of a big-time family crowd-pleaser. Check it out below.
If you’re planning on waiting to see The Tender Bar until it is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video, you’ll need to make sure you are an Amazon Prime subscriber, which gives you access to Amazon Prime Video.
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Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Only Murders in the Building, Yellowstone, The Boys, Game of Thrones and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd.