Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

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Parents' Guide to


By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violent mystery centers on fierce female; drinking, smoking.

Movie NR 2020 90 minutes
Girl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (3 ):

What begins as an action thriller turns into a tense family mystery that will keep you guessing. We all grow up with stories about our ancestors, some of them favorable, some of them not. How do these stories shape us and, especially in small towns, shape the narrative around our own lives? And are these stories to be believed? Writer-director Chad Faust cracks the nut on a matter many people likely don't think too much about. In fact, his main character (whose name is never said) only knows that her father 'kicked her to the curb" at age 6 after a domestic violence altercation that left her mother with a broken back, and she never heard from him again. You know what you know, right?

As the main character spends one day back in her hometown, she learns that her mother's warnings were correct: It is a dangerous place, with dangerous people who don't wish her well. The air feels full of danger from the opening frame. With an ominous score, a flash of a hidden axe, and tons of attitude, the suspense is thick. Each word of dialogue carries meaning, and each moment builds. Thorne is a solid actress, and she and Faust deliver on two elements that play off the title. One: Like many young people in the post-high school stage, this girl thinks she knows everything -- and that she's tough enough to handle the dark, mature situation she's putting herself into. That overconfidence is balanced with a palatable uneasiness whenever she realizes she's in over her head. Two: Without words addressing it, Thorne makes us feel precisely how any young woman feels when traveling to a strange place alone. Weird looks, people standing too close, or being alone in a space with just one other person: There's always the question on her (and our) mind about whether sexual assault is about to follow. Girl's story has a couple of holes, but teens will likely be on board for this story of intrigue, surprise, and complicated family dynamics.

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