Parents' Guide to

The Valley

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Teen suicide drama aims for parental prevention.

Movie R 2018 94 minutes
The Valley Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This teen suicide drama isn't so much "good" as it is effective. The Valley is intended to shake up parents into examining their older children's behavior for signs of anxiety and depression -- and to take stock of how they might be unintentionally contributing to the pressure. The film's impact is strong, and it's hard to imagine that most parents won't check on their kids as soon as the credits roll.

Teens will be intrigued by seeing childhood throwback Jake T. Austin (Wizards of Waverly Place) in the role of a college bad boy, and Pillai gives a standout performance as a grieving mother who's trying to move on. Unfortunately, the rest of the actors' performances have moments that lack authenticity. The constant flashbacks could leave some viewers confused, and the pace is uneven. Audiences are also never allowed to forget that the story runs parallel to John Steinbeck's The Pearl. Still, while director Saila Kariat's debut effort as a filmmaker is uneven, her intentions are certainly in the right place, her work shows promise, and the result is affecting.

Movie Details

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