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Stars: Jennifer Aniston, Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, Adriana Barraza, Felicity Huffman, Mamie Gummer, Chris Messina, Lucy Punch, William H Macy

Director: Daniel Barnz

A deglamorised Aniston hits the mark here in a change-of-pace role as Claire, a woman suffering chronic physical and mental pain following the car crash that killed her six-year-old son and led her to reject her husband's attempts to comfort her, as she retreated into a world of drugs and pain.

She's been attending a pain control group, one member of which (Kendrick) has recently committed suicide and appears as a ghost taunting Claire throughout the film.

Claire's only 'friend' is her Mexican carer Silvana (Barraza) who tries to turn a blind eye to her charge's profligate use of pills. drugs and any convenient handymen for casual sex. But the steel pins in her legs, facial scars and back and shoulder problems are just an annex to Claire's mental anguish, something she attempts to assuage by visiting Kendrick's husband (Worthington) and small son.

Aniston really lets it all hang out here in a convincing portrayal of body- and mind-wracking pain - but the film is slow in parts and rather wearing.

Worthington and Barraza, though, are also good in their low-key portrayals, the latter notable in the film's best sequence when she and her employer travel to Mexico for a supply of illicit drugs.

Blooper-gatherers should watch out for the scene in which Kendrick hands Aniston a six-candle cake towards the end. One of the candles is out, but reappears magically re-lit in the next shot.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Colour (unspecified).
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 1, Swearing 3.

Review date: 16 Feb 2015