Runaway teen faces violence, harsh reality in mature drama.
  • Review Date: May 9, 2012
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 95 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Hick presents a pretty desolate world, in which people are damaged and make poor choices. But there's arguably a takeaway that sometimes, people are more resilient than they appear. And often, hope is the main requirement for that resiliency.

Positive role models

Luli is hardened and despairing at a young age, but she somehow finds a way to keep working and trying. Glenda tries to do the right thing, but she just doesn't have it in her to make healthy choices; she's far too damaged.


Violent scenes aren't strung one after another, but when they occur, they're wince-inducing in their brutality. A teen girl is held captive; in one scene, she's shown bound and gagged a day after being raped by her captor (the assault isn't shown, but it's implied). In another sequence, a man beats another savagely in a bathroom, pounding a door on his head over and over until he has no fight left in him; it's bloody and messy and horrid, and it all happens in front of the same teen. Earlier, she sees a horrendous fight between her parents, complete with shoving and screaming. There's also a bloody gunfight that leaves people dead.


Men and women kiss and flirt. A mother walks around in her robe, underwear visible, in front of a stranger, while her teen daughter also stands around in her underwear. A young teen poses in front of a mirror, play-acting at sexiness. Later, she asks a much older man if he finds her attractive. In other scenes, men twice her age and older ogle her.


Everything from "loser" to "s--t" and "f--k." Adults swear around a teen, who's no stranger to salty vocab herself. She also uses a derogatory term to describe a man with a limp.


Smith & Wesson and Motel 6 are mentioned by name, and a Saltines box is shown.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A mother and father drink to excess at a bar, which leads to a fight in front of their underage daughter, who's celebrating her birthday at the bar. (No one seems to think this is odd.) The girl is later shown imbibing beer and trying cocaine for the first time after witnessing an older woman doing so. One character has a cocaine habit.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Hick is a disturbing film about a teen girl, Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz), who leaves her dysfunctional, neglectful home, only to fall in with characters who may be even more damaged and dangerous. Most of the adults in this movie are either hurtful or downright criminal; very few seem to be aware that Luli is only 13. Violence isn't constant but includes brutal beatings, deaths, gun use, and an implied rape. There's also some underage drinking and cocaine use; lascivious, pedophile-esque behavior; and strong language. All in all, it's pretty hard to stomach.

What's the story?

Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz) wants more out of life than being a pawn between her self-centered, neglectful mother (Juliette Lewis) and drunken father (Anson Mount). In the desolate nowhere of Palmyra, Neb., all she has are her beautiful drawings and the gun she received, oddly, on her thirteenth birthday at the bar her parents frequent. (Life is like that for Luli.) One day, she decides to take off, art and firearm in tow and Las Vegas as her destination. Then she makes the fateful decision to hitch a ride with a stranger, Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), whose rage simmers just below the surface. Luli leaves him and is picked up by the beautiful Glenda (Blake Lively), a grifter with a heart of gold and a cocaine habit who appears to have a connection with the mysterious Eddie. It's a violent triangle the three make, and it can only end one way.

Is it any good?


You can't help but feel awful for Luli, despite her hard exterior. She's had to craft that shell for years, living with her horrible parents. Clearly, she deserves better. But HICK, director Derick Martini's take on her hard-scrabble life, is curiously devoid of compassion and heart, even if it's sprinkled with moments when we see Luli, like a sunflower, reaching for the proverbial sun despite the darkness around her. That's because Martini has littered her world with so much desperation, brutality, and sadness that we don't quite get why she still has it in her to fight for survival. Hick is too bleak, too cold, too late to bring a shot of joy into Luli's life -- and to the viewer's experience of the movie, for that matter -- that you have to wonder whether the ending is actually feasible.

The performances, however, are very strong, especially Moretz's; she sometimes appears to truly be struggling to make sense of the horror of it all. Lively does fine with her role, but many shades of it were seen before in her role in The Town. And Redmayne's Eddie is simply a creep; he makes your skin crawl, making certain scenes all the more uncomfortable. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Luli. Is she a strong female character? How does her age impact how you feel about what she does and what she goes through? An actual teenager plays Luli, placing herself in uncomfortable scenes. Is that appropriate?

  • What keeps Luli hoping? How does she find it in herself to survive? 

  • Parents, talk to your kids about domestic violence. What recourse do kids have? What responsibilities do adults who witness it have? How is it typically portrayed in the media, and how does that impact the way society views it?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 11, 2012
DVD release date:August 14, 2012
Cast:Blake Lively, Chloe Grace Moretz, Eddie Redmayne
Director:Derick Martini
Studio:Phase 4 Films
Topics:Misfits and underdogs
Run time:95 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:disturbing content involving a teen, violence, drug use, language and drinking

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Teen, 13 years old Written bywjohnson71499 July 23, 2012


It was a great movie as far as acting and storyline but is not for young veiwers. Aside from language, sexual themes, drugs, drinking, etc. it was a great movie.
Teen, 16 years old Written byjm97 February 1, 2013

A touching, heart wrenching film

I absolutely adore this movie. It tells the story of Luli, portrayed by Chloe Grace Moretz, who puts actresses fifteen years older than her to shame, a 13 year old girl who is abandoned by her alcoholic parents and decides to go to Las Vegas. She encounters Eddie, a cripple who offers her a ride. After a disagreement with him she leaves the car. She then meets Glenda, a crack addict that takes her under her wing. It is definitely difficult to get through, but I loved it and I am very happy I decided to see it. I think it would be ok for fourteen and up, but you have to be mature to handle some potentially upsetting scenes, including implied rape and gun violence. This was a beautiful coming-of-age story, GO SEE IT!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byharrypotter13 June 13, 2012

Chloe Moretz is the star of the film, the movie...meh, okay.

I think it had the potential to be a really good movie. I remember my sister reading the book. It was actually a pretty good coming of age novel. I think the movie sort of lost the "coming-of-age" genre, and it changed more to drama and comedy. Chloe Moretz is around my age, and she is absolutely wonderful in my opinion, but overall, I think this movie is okay for a good, mature 13 year old. NO ONE UNDER! Sure, the violence isn't something to laugh about, but I think it's something a normal 13 year old, like myself, would be able to handle.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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