Watch Affliction

"Like father like son...?"
  • R
  • 1999
  • 1 hr 54 min
  • 6.9  (18,726)
  • 79

Affliction is a gripping drama from director Paul Schrader, based on the novel of the same name by Russell Banks. It stars Nick Nolte as Wade Whitehouse, a small-town sheriff and struggling father who becomes obsessed with solving a case that hits close to home. The film takes place in a fictional town in New Hampshire during the winter, creating a desolate and bleak atmosphere that sets the tone for the story. Wade is a damaged man, haunted by his abusive childhood and struggling to make a connection with his daughter Jill (Brigid Tierney). His ex-wife Lillian (Mary Beth Hurt) has moved on with her life, leaving Wade feeling even more isolated.

When a wealthy businessman is found dead in a hunting accident, Wade becomes convinced that it was murder and embarks on an investigation that puts him at odds with his boss and the townspeople. His reckless behavior and refusal to follow orders raise suspicions among his colleagues and cause tension with his estranged brother Rolfe (Willem Dafoe).

As Wade's mental state deteriorates, he begins to experience vivid hallucinations and paranoia, leading him down a path of self-destruction. His obsession with the case becomes an escape from his own demons, but it ultimately leads to a violent confrontation that puts both him and his loved ones in danger.

Nolte gives an outstanding performance as Wade, portraying him as a complex and flawed character whose past traumas have left him emotionally stunted. His grizzled appearance and gravelly voice add to the believability of his portrayal, as does his chemistry with the rest of the cast. Sissy Spacek is equally compelling as his love interest Margie, a waitress who shows Wade kindness and understanding. James Coburn delivers a chilling performance as Wade's abusive father Glen, whose influence looms large over his son's life.

The supporting cast also shines, with Dafoe bringing depth to Rolfe's conflicted relationship with his brother and Hurt adding layers to Lillian's ambivalence towards Wade. The film also benefits from Schrader's direction, which balances the slow-burning tension with moments of quiet intimacy. The use of voiceover from Wade's perspective adds to the sense of isolation and gives insight into his psyche.

Affliction is a haunting exploration of trauma, violence, and family dysfunction, and it stays with the viewer long after the credits roll. It's a powerful film that showcases top-notch performances and solid direction, and it's a must-see for fans of character-driven dramas.

Affliction is a 1999 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 54 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 79.

Where to Watch Affliction
Affliction is available to watch free on Plex, The Roku Channel Free and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Affliction for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 54 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.9  (18,726)
  • Metascore