The Motel Life

The Motel Life

Alan Polsky (2012)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This low-key, noir-like thriller stars Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch as two orphaned brothers who spend their lives in dive bars, truck stops and motels as they drift from town to town across Nevada. But when Jerry Lee (Dorff) is involved in a hit-and-run accident, he and sibling Frank (Hirsch) are soon on the run, their relationship tested through increasingly desperate circumstances. First-time directors (and real-life brothers) Gabe and Alan Polsky offer up a sombre parable about loyalty and redemption, set in a poetic but flawed version of Americana - which might be expected in a film whose source novel is by eloquent outlaw country musician Willy Vlautin. The two leads work well in tandem, utterly convincing as social misfits bonded by blood, and there's strong support from Dakota Fanning as Frank's ex-girlfriend and Kris Kristofferson as a surrogate father figure.


Brothers Frank and Jerry travel across America living in motels and doing odd jobs. When Jerry is involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident, Frank insists they go into hiding with his ex-girlfriend. However, Jerry is consumed with guilt, threatening to tear them apart. Drama based on Willy Vlautin's novel, starring Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson and Dakota Fanning.

Cast & Crew

Frank Emile Hirsch
Jerry Lee Stephen Dorff
Earl Hurley Kris Kristofferson
Annie James Dakota Fanning
Tommy Joshua Leonard
Al Casey Noah Harpster
Jerry Lee at 16 Garrett Backstrom
Frank at 14 Andrew Lee
Mom Nancy Youngblut
Polly Flynn Jenica Bergere
Uncle Gary Dayton Callie
Director Alan Polsky
Director Gabe Polsky
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: HouseGuidance: Violence, swearing, sex scenes, drug abuse, nudity.Available on: DVDReleased on: 4 Apr 2014