It ain't no Alien. It's not even Thelma & Louise. Sir Scott was trying to branch out, do a light "comedy" that appealed to the weekday evening crowd. A confectiony, heart-tugging two hours with a twist that you could walk out of and not feel like your life had been changed.
I suppose the mission was accomplished in that case.
Discounting people who are of the "I don't like Nicolas Cage" mindset (a personal beef of mine: Do you know Mr. Cage personally? What exactly is it about his fine performances that specifically annoys you? Is it his chameleon-like ability as a professional actor to embody punk, loser, freak, con-man, alcoholic, sweetheart or criminal? Perhaps it's the fact that he's a member of the multi-talented Coppola clan. Maybe you don't like him because he's so good at getting into his characters that you don't like the character. Which means he's doing his job just fine. Maybe you just don't like the way he looks. Get over it. I don't have some obsession with Nicolas Cage. I don't even really fancy him as a sex-symbol anymore, but I have a problem with people who don't like certain actors when those actors are clearly good at their craft — he didn't win an oscar for picking his nose, or kissing anyone's ass), Nicolas Cage gives another fine performance as Roy Waller.
There seems to be some buzz about an Oscar nod, but aside from a fine performance (which, as stated above), he's just an actor doing his job.
Sam Rockwell, as usual, is underused as a very obviously but pivotal supporting character.
Alison Lohman did an entirely satisfactory job playing a role that any of the new crop of innocent ingenues (Anna Paquin, Zooey Deschanel, Leelee Sobieski) could have played as a kid who can turn on the waterworks on a dime or play petulant, provocative teenager.