The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
"Before and After" is a long, slow slog through a story about a family crisis that is largely the fault of the family itself - especially the hot-tempered but loving father, who makes a series of crucial mistakes. It's one of those movies where you want to call out helpful advice to the screen, which would save the characters a lot of trouble.
As the movie opens, Carolyn and Ben Ryan (Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson) preside over an idyllic household. Mom is a doctor in their picturesque New England village, Dad is a sculptor, and Jacob and Judith are their happy kids. Then tragedy strikes. A teenage girl is found dead in a field. She was dating Jacob, who becomes a prime suspect.
The news is broken to the Ryans during a visit from the local police chief. Ben Ryan handles this visit about as badly as it can possibly be played, exploding with anger at the chief. He is offended that anyone could consider his son a murderer. Actually, as we will all know by the time the movie is over, if Ben had behaved more sensibly, everyone would have been saved a lot of suffering. But he doesn't.
Read no further if you plan to see the movie. It cannot be discussed at all without revealing a few plot points, although I will try to proceed cautiously.