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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Trust (2011)


It’s official, my kids are never going to have any communication devices whatsoever.

After curious and vulnerable teenager Annie (Liana Liberato) falls into a trap set by an online sexual predator named Charlie, her family begins to disintegrate, uncertain how to cope with such a devastating tragedy. Utterly consumed by rage, her father (Clive Owen) sets out seeking vengeance.

This is the sophomore directorial effort from David Schwimmer, aka Ross Geller, and it’s pretty strange to see him go from a comedy like Run, Fatboy, Run to a film with little or no comedy at all. However, I don’t think you could have said the same about Run, Fatboy, Run.

Schwimmer doesn’t really bring anything new to this subject material other than the IM’s between Annie and Charlie popping up in the corners of the screen. It also shows how such devices like Smart phones, internet, and blackberries have made teenage crushes constant and almost all time consuming. My problem with his direction is that the cinematography seems like it was done by someone who just got out of film school, and looks like a TV-movie almost.

Now the problem with this film that I had was the script where it became very frustrating at points because so many times it won me over and other times where it just had me roll my eyes. The goods about this script is that the scenario is believable thanks to To Catch a Predator and how Charlie reels Annie in completley making her seem incredibly vulnerable and totally clueless to everything seems realistic since a lot of kids don’t know what to do with their first “love” and just go along with what the other person says.

However, my problem lied within the fact that the actual “rape” itself could have been avoided as soon as Annie figured out that this dude was a little creepy in the beginning. Take it for granted, there are girls out there who don’t actually think that every guy they talk to on the internet is a total creep but it seemed so obvious here when the dude started changing his age from 17 to 23 to 28 and then till she found out he was 35. When they actually meet up too, and she sees him for what he is, she could have easily just ran the fuck out of there, called daddy, and Mr. sex offender would have had a nice little meeting from a certain Mr. Chris Hanson.

This may all sound a bit biased since I’m not a very well-known on the subject of girls going through puberty and everything but there were so many red flags here that just seemed completely obvious and I thought she had a bigger head on her shoulder, other than just showing me complete stupidity when she was talking to this Charlie dude in the first place.

Although this is a big problem, the film kept winning me back when there were just completley dramatic and moving scenes that really kept me glued to the screen. Sometimes family dramas can be totally cliche, corny, and predictable but Trust has scenes where the family just lets it all out on one another, whether it be a hissy fit, a cry-fest, or a screaming match, grief is shown very well here from all of the family members, including the parents. Parents coping with grief isn’t something that’s shown very often, except for in maybe films like In the Bedroom, but the way the film plays out a lot of the scenes actually worked for me and made this more than just another touchy subject film gone wrong.

Schwimmer does know how to direct actors though, and very well I may add. Annie is played by new-comer Liana Liberato, who’s very good and I’m pretty sure we will be hearing her name a lot more due to this performance. She’s very good here because she channels all the emotions that a teen going through a crisis like this would and she does is believably rather than just soaking up the cheesiness. Although her character made a lot of dumb choices throughout the film, Liberato made me believe her more as this teen and never let’s anybody from the rest of the cast steal her spotlight.

Clive Owen and Catherine Keener are amazing as Annie’s parents and make so many of the scenes these two have together, alone, or with Annie, just perfect. Owen has always had that sense of rage and misery within all of his characters, but he does it so well here and Keener just does what she always does in every film but it never loses it’s flavor. Another good performance is from Viola Davis as Gail, Annie’s therapist and although I would have liked to see more scenes with her, Davis still owns.

Consensus: Director David Schwimmer makes Trust a very well-acted and at times emotionally honest film about coping with grief, comforting one another, and getting past a terrible happening within a family, but the problems here lie within the script as too many moments feel too obvious to believe and just seems like with a lot more better touches, could have had so much more tension.

6/10=Rental!!

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8 responses to “Trust (2011)

  1. simoncolumb September 25, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I have heard similar things about Kinnear and Owen – that the strength of the film lies in their roles as parents. But, ultimately, the story has nothing new to offer.

  2. Candice Frederick September 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    i really loved this movie. This is one of my favorite performances from Clive Owen. He was just IT for me in this movie. To your point about the teen being so gullible, remember she did have very low self esteem. and i think she really wanted to trust this guy. it happens more times than we think.

    • CMrok93 September 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      I guess you’re right Candice but I just couldn’t help how dumb she acted in a lot of these situations but I guess it does happen so I sound a little dumb. Thanks for your insight!

  3. Joe Wilhelm September 27, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Clive Owen is one of my favs. I’m going to look into this film.
    Nice review.

  4. Colin October 1, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    So far, my favourite film of 2011. I loved Owen’s inability to prioritise, and Keener’s disgust of him. Most of all, I thought Liberato’s character acted exactly as a kid would.

  5. Zeke Tyler October 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I actually thought this film was great; probably because I went in expecting it to be terrible… I mean David Schwimmer directing, who can blame me.

    Great performance by the young girl.

  6. alec96 May 20, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I just saw this movie yesterday, and I have to say I thought it was really great. I would put it on my best of the year list. At like 10. I wasn’t wild about seeing this because with this subject matter I thought it would be really sappy. The acting was truly great from everyone. Also, I didn’t have as many problems with script as you did. A couple of people have already mentioned this in your comments as well. The problem with the girl doing such stupid things. Well, she did do stupid things, there is not question about it. But she had low self esteem, wasn’t that popular, and she felt like she couldn’t open up to anyone. This guy also new how to gain her trust. So he brainwashed her. Great review still.

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