A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Teach kids and teens to be smart about strangers. When in doubt about a situation, try to check it out.
Positive Role Models
Ashley Rodriquez, a forensic case manager at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, is involved in the investigation cases of a missing woman and son, as well as Joe Fitzpatrick, an FBI special agent; Billy Carter, assistant chief at the Choctaw, Oklahoma, Police Department; and Edward Kumiega and Mark Yancey, assistant U.S. Attorneys for Western District Oklahoma. Matt Birkbeck is an investigative journalist and author of the books about the woman titled A Beautiful Child and Finding Sharon. Merle and Ernest Bean were the foster parents for the woman's son. Lynn Clemons, Jenny Fisher, and Sherry Fortson-Bailey are the woman's classmates and friends.
Primarily White cast featuring a journalist and law enforcement officials. Possible Latina woman employed as a manager with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Archival images of many women from the era of the 1960s and 1970s are seen in previously traditional roles such as mothers and wives. Some women work as strippers at entertainment clubs, and the missing girl aspires to attend college and have a career in the male-dominated aeronautical industry.
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Violence & Scariness
References and images include child pornography, convicted pedophile, loss of a child, rape and other forms of sexual violence. Daughter used as a sex worker to make a living for her dad. Guns, homicides, verbal death threats, bruises and injuries to bodies, domestic abuse allegations, hit-and-run car accident, and kidnapping of child and elementary school principal.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
References and images include claims of marriage between a father and daughter, adult club ad featuring nude dancers, women dressed in lingerie performing as dancers, women topless in a video, offers of sex to men, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, paternity test, condoms, and breast implant.
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Swear words include "hell," "f--k you," "f--ker," "motherf----r," "s--t," and "son of a bitch." Slur words include "f-g," "twisted pervert," and "weirdo."
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Products & Purchases
Images and references include DNA testing kit, desktop computers and laptops, cassette/radio player, apparel with logos and messages, soda given to toddler.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
References and images include bottles of alcohol, excessive drinking, and kids smoking cigarettes.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Girl in the Picture is a documentary about child abuse, abduction, and sexual violence. References and images include kidnapping of a kid, child pornography, a convicted pedophile, claims of a marriage between a father and daughter, rape, guns, verbal death threats, domestic abuse allegations, offers of sex to men, out-of-wedlock pregnancy, excessive drinking of alcohol, and kids smoking cigarettes. Swear words include "hell," "f--k you," "f--ker," "motherf----r," "s--t," and "son of a bitch." Slur words include "f-g," "twisted pervert," and "weirdo." The documentary's positive themes include teaching kids and teens to be smart about strangers and checking out things that don't feel right. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This film marks another concisely crafted form of cinema by director Skye Borgman (Abducted in Plain Sight) about the shocking subject of child abuse. In Girl in the Picture, a kid who aspires to become an aerospace engineer is raised by her single-parent household dad in America. "She was just super smart," recalls one of the girl's friends. "We all had big hair and crazy clothes. It was just your normal 1980s high school kind of vibe."
Soon suspicions, though, are raised by friends about the teen's real identity and relationship with her father. Then, suddenly, the pair disappear from their home. The daughter is later asked by her parent to provide income for their existence by committing sexual acts. "I can't imagine," says Joe Fitzpatrick, an FBI special agent, "anybody being under those conditions for that long period of time." Girl in the Picture's on-screen duration can be a disturbing one. But, the documentary is decidedly an invaluable tool that might prove helpful to teens about the hidden dangers one may face while growing up and ways to possibly prevent such events from ever taking place.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.