Palmer movie review (2021)

Streaming on Apple TV+

Rating: 4/5

Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Cast: Justing Timberlake, Juno Temple, Alisha Wainwright, Ryder Allen, June Squibb

Palmer will tug at your heartstrings. It is a beautiful story about redemption, second chances, and acceptance of oneself. Incarcerated for 12 years, Eddie Palmer (played superbly by Justin Timberlake) returns home, hopeful about turning his life around. This is not easy as the community has not forgotten his misdeeds and they make sure that he doesn’t either. He finds it hard to land a job with a prison record. He stays with his no-nonsense grandmother Vivian (played by June Squibb) and occasional guest, Sam (Ryder Allen).

Sam lives next door with his drug addict mother Shelly (played by Juno Temple) Whenever his mother disappears for a few days, the six-year-old comes to live with Vivian and Palmer. Comfortable in his own skin, Sam pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a boy. He loves his Barbies and when Palmer tells him, “You know you’re a boy, right? Boys don’t play with dolls”, Sam’s matter-of-fact response is “Well I’m a boy and I do.”

When Vivian passes away, Palmer finds he has to look after Sam – get him to school, feed him and everything else a parent is supposed to do. An unlikely bond forms between them and Palmer finds what he has been looking for all his life – a purpose.