Parents' Guide to


By Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gyllenhaal shines in gritty, haunting drug drama.

Movie R 2006 96 minutes
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There's a reason Gyllenhaal was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. What starts as the depiction of a tough woman who's heavy on the sexiness grows into a complex portrait of a woman trying to learn how to live and how to recover -- not just from drugs but from lots of other things, too. You can see on Gyllenhaal's face that her Sherry is a woman with a lot of things on her mind, who's overwhelmed and in despair. That's no small thing to communicate with a look, and Gyllenhaal does it with an authenticity that's staggering.

If anyone needed a reason to stay away from drugs and alcohol, SHERRYBABY is a great example of what substance abuse, combined with self-loathing, sexism, and sexual abuse, can do to a woman's life. If there's a regret in this film, it's that Gyllenhaal's breasts are her costars. She's naked so often in this film that her natural sex appeal -- though it makes sense for the film -- runs the risk of making her sad and desperate life seem glamorous to teens unable to sense the difference.

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