The Hero is a 2017 American comedy-drama film directed and edited by Brett Haley and written by Haley and Marc Basch. It stars Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Krysten Ritter, Nick Offerman and Katharine Ross and follows an aging movie star who deals with his terminal illness.
Lee Hayden is a veteran actor of Westerns whose career’s best years are behind him after his one really great film, “The Hero.” Now, scraping by with voice overs for commercials, Lee learns that he has a terminal prognosis of pancreatic cancer. Unable to bring himself to tell anyone about it, especially his estranged family, Lee can only brood alone as troubling, yet inspiring, dreams haunt him. Things change when he meets Charlotte Dylan, a stand-up comedian who becomes a lover who inadvertently jump-starts his public profile. Now facing a profound emotional conflict of having a potential career comeback even as his imminent death is staring him in the face, Lee must finally come to terms with both realities when he finally confesses his situation to the one person he can.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 78% based on 85 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “The Hero rests on Sam Elliott’s understated performance, which proves more than capable of carrying the film through the less inspired moments of its somewhat clichéd story.” On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the film has a score of 61 out of 100, based on 28 critics, indicating “generally favorable reviews”