Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 68% · 62 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 79% · 5K ratings
IMDb Rating 7.2/10 10 10048 10K


Top cast

Zooey Deschanel as Tracey
Elden Henson as Michael
Maggie Baird as Rebecca
938.07 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 41 min
Seeds 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by pebsdad 7 / 10

Documentary style, cinema verité, terrific acting

Troubled youth with anger and rage issues are filmed documentary-style in a youth lockup ward. The plot is simple...counseling sessions, fighting, making friends, playing basketball. The dynamics of the plot are not simple, though. The acting is uniformly superb and, if there hadn't been easily recognizable actors in the film (Joseph Gordon-Levitt from "3rd Rock from the Sun" and Don Cheadle), you might think it was a real documentary.

The film, however, was filmed in cinema-verité by a cameraperson with a bad case of the jitters. The result is a constantly unfocused and moving camera like you've never experienced before. I saw this screening at the Seattle Int. Film Festival and aprox. 25% of the audience walked out in the first 30 minutes. If you can handle this type of film-making, then this thoughtful film is worth checking out, especially for the very realistic performances.

Reviewed by raventroll 8 / 10

Interesting film with the raw edges of reality exposed

This movie is shot like a documentary, which adds to the raw edges of this film. If you are looking a feel good movie with all the answers, this film is not for you. If you are looking for a tiny glimpse of what it is like to have a mental illness and how difficult it is for professionals to help those, then sit back and watch. I was drawn into the characters, both the staff and the patience. The film ensured we never forgot that Psychologists and therapists are human as are the people with the illnesses. Although this film centered on teenagers with problems, the situations can apply to any age range. This is a must see film for any one interested in mental illness issues or those involved with dealing with mental illness. It is a shame this film did not get the positive press it deserves.

Reviewed by vanrosss 9 / 10

An open examination of teenagers with destructive mental illness.

An open examination of teenagers with destructive mental illness, societies need to create and control them, and their own quest for control in their lives. The pace is consistent, and the direction is strong and steady as the audience is made to feel like they are directly observing the story unfold. Teenagers who are real patients for the same kind of mental illness helped out in the coaching of the actors which made the improvised work that much more stark. Digital film making heightens the sense of reality since it is used in a documentary style within a good set.

The casting was excellent as each member of the ensemble portrayed their character with depth and individual motivation, and they all interacted believably.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Lyle Jensen sets himself apart from all his previous roles. His portrayal of a disconnected youth full of vague rage and a low threshold for violence gave him many subtle challenges to which he arose. His subconscious search for meaning is the pavement upon which our journey is taken. Don Cheadle is one of the best yet most under appreciated actors there are. His conflicted Dr. Monroe keeps the balance as he tries to manipulate these kids to self control as he precariously avoids the demons of his own past. Michael Bacall plays Lyle's institutional friend Chad. He is great as the basically nice guy with the realistically subtle bipolar disorder who has his own conflicted agenda. Zooey Deschanel's Tracy is a depressed teen with crushingly low self esteem. Her beauty and kindness are in contrast to the others as we struggle to understand her cause for being committed. Sara Rivas maintains balance well as she plays the wannabe hardass Sara who is recovering from severe drug addiction. Sara is destructive to herself, but she does act somewhat as the nurturer for the other patients, especially the meek Tracy. Cody Lightning is compelling as the quiet and messed up Kenny who is also the youngest patient in the wing because he is so messed up. Elden Henson is successful in making the audience completely hate his character Mike. He has problems similar to Lyle plus he behaves ghetto to compensate for his self identity. The Lyle versus Mike conflict is the driving point of the story because they can't escape that what they hate about each other is that within the other they see themselves.

This film describes mental illness for youths in a raw upfront manner that Hollywood could never handle, yet it is to be seen.

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