Parents' Guide to

The Tracey Fragments

By Will Wade, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Teen runaway's harrowing journey isn't for kids.

Movie R 2008 77 minutes
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The Tracey Fragments can be tough to watch for two reasons. First, it uses a split-screen format, showing multiple perspectives of every scene. It's an interesting gimmick, but can also be distracting, forcing the viewer to focus on two or more images when the mesmerizing Page demands complete attention as a disturbed teen who is coming apart.

Second, Tracey is a girl with no refuge -- not at school, where she is bullied and belittled, nor at home where her violent father and emotionally absent mother create an environment of rules and discipline, but little love. Tracey is unraveling, slowly at first, but after a series of horrific encounters it becomes clear that her hold on reality is tenuous, and slipping. It's fantastic performance, but painful at times to see, and Page is not matched by either the supporting cast, or the profanity-laden script, which substitutes expletives for nuance. And though Tracey's breakdown is compelling, there is little else to see; scenes with her psychiatrist, for example, which could have been fascinating, devolve into screaming and swearing. When we finally learn what has pushed her over the edge, it feels like just one more terrible event in the sad life of a young girl who doesn't deserve so much woe.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: May 9, 2008
  • On DVD or streaming: July 8, 2008
  • Cast: Ari Cohen , Elliot Page , Maxwell McCabe-Lokos
  • Director: Bruce McDonald
  • Inclusion Information: Non-Binary actors, Queer actors, Transgender actors
  • Studio: THINKFilm
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 77 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: strong language throughout, some sexual content and violence
  • Last updated: February 25, 2022

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