Brian Cox stars as Jacques, the curmudgeonly owner of a gritty New York dive bar that serves as home to a motley assortment of professional drinkers. Jacques is determinedly drinking and smoking himself to death when he meets Lucas (Paul Dano), a homeless young man who has already given up on life. In the hopes of keeping his legacy alive, Jacques deems Lucas is a fitting heir and takes him under his wing, schooling him in the male—centric laws of his alcoholic clubhouse: no new customers, no fraternizing with customers and, absolutely no women. Lucas is a quick study, but their friendship is put to the test when the distraught and beautiful April (Isild Le Besco) shows up at the bar seeking shelter, and Lucas insists they help her out.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
No amount of splenetic ranting by Brian Cox, a wonderful actor, when given the right role, can salvage The Good Heart from terminal mawkishness.Stephen Holden, New York Times, 06.24.2010
Kari's smug little arthouse offering ends up covered in Nicholas Sparks goo.Melissa Anderson, Village Voice, 06.24.2010
The movie's two bright spots are Cox and Dano, who perform excellently despite the dull inevitabilities the script forces on them.Ian Buckwalter, NPR, 07.17.2010
As robust and clever an actor as Cox is, he can't make Jacques any less of a blowhard; Kari's wit simply doesn't come through in English, at least with this script.Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 07.07.2010