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Imaginary Heroes (2004)

The Travis family façade is destroyed by an event incomprehensible to them -- an event which will open locked doors and finally reveal the secrets that have haunted them for decades.



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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Marge Dwyer
Luke Robertson ...
Jack Johnson
Mitchell Goldstein
Terry Beaver ...
Dr. Montey
Sara Tanaka ...
Undercover Hippie
Store Clerk


The Travis family façade is destroyed by an event incomprehensible to them -- an event which will open locked doors and finally reveal the secrets that have haunted them for decades. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


People are never who they seem to be


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for substance abuse, sexual content, language and some violence | See all certifications »



| |


Release Date:

10 November 2005 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Heróis Imaginários  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$43,807 (USA) (20 February 2005)


$228,524 (USA) (15 May 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


As of 2016, this is the last film appearance of Sara Tanaka who played Shelly Chan. See more »


When Sandy hands the $50 bill to the undercover cop, we see its back from her point of view. When the view shifts to the other direction, we still see the back, but we should see the face. See more »


[first lines]
Tim Travis: Matt Travis was a great swimmer. But it wasn't just that he was a great swimmer, it was simply that he was greater at swimming than anyone I ever knew was good at whatever they were good at.
See more »


Spoofs Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) See more »


Written by Yellowman (as Winston Foster)
Performed by Yellowman
Courtesy of Shanachie Entertainment Corp.
See more »

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User Reviews

This mess makes you long to revisit Redford's "Ordinary People"
5 December 2005 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

This wretched psychodrama uses every shabby device in the book to wheedle attention and sympathy from us for its characters, who, with one exception, are not worthy of any notice at all, let alone two precious hours of filmgoers' time.

As in Robert Redford's "Ordinary People" (a superb film that, in comparison, clearly shows up the vacuity of "Heroes"), a late teenage boy has died, leaving his family in the throes of bereavement. In this case, the death was a suicide, an event that nearly always poisons the emotional well of the survivors in a particularly corrosive way. We follow these people over the next 8 or 9 months.

The father (Jeff Daniels) becomes a withdrawn, virtually mute, usually drunken stiff who secretly takes leave from his job for months, sits instead on a park bench all day, and insists on setting a full plate of food at the deceased son's place for every meal. He treats everyone else in the family with unerring nastiness. He sees his doctor regularly but the issue of therapeutic intervention in his obviously dysfunctional state never comes up.

The mother (Sigourney Weaver) yells at the neighbor woman, among others, gets busted when she stupidly tries to buy "marijuana" (her term) at a head shop (what adult in reality would ever try such a dumb stunt?), and, near the end, swoons into coma with a lung condition that everyone in the theater assumes is cancer (she's a heavy smoker). Ms. Weaver has a few flip lines but generally behaves too unintelligently to merit much empathy.

It's not that there aren't people out there who behave in these silly ways when severely stressful circumstances arise. But why make a film of such drivel? What can anyone learn from this pair's conduct?

The deceased's older sister (Michelle Williams) is away at college and all too happy to distance herself from the family zoo. The younger brother (played by Emile Hirsch) is the only credible member of the family. His suffering is genuine, its causes multifold, and his conduct is coherent within the circumstances. But Hirsch's character is too soft spoken, too morose and beaten down, to carry the movie. The other bit players, subtexts and cutesy, unreal dialogue don't help.

The suicide theme is echoed in an almost nonchalant manner in the case of two other minor characters. So what is the writer-director, Dan Harris, trying to say about this subject? That it isn't a serious matter? Why Jeff Daniels agreed to play the sap of a father as written in this screenplay is something only his therapist might possibly be able to answer. Avoid this dog. Instead rent Redford's classic. My rating: 4/10 (C-). (Seen on 2/17/05). If you'd like to read more of my reviews, send me a message for directions to my websites.

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