6.9/10
4,159
27 user 29 critic

Gardens of the Night (2008)

R | | Drama | 21 November 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer
After being abducted as children, and suffering years of abuse, a teenage boy and girl find themselves living on the street.

Director:

Damian Harris

Writer:

Damian Harris
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Jacobs ... Leslie Anne Whitehead
John Malkovich ... Michael
Ryan Simpkins ... Young Leslie Anne Whitehead
Tom Arnold ... Alex
Kevin Zegers ... Frank
Jermaine Scooter Smith Jermaine Scooter Smith ... Young Donnie (as Jermaine 'Scooter' Smith)
Harold Perrineau ... Orlando
Jeremy Sisto ... Jimmy
Raynold Gideon ... Judge Feeney
Cornelia Guest ... Mrs. Feeney
Natalie May Natalie May ... Judge's Daughter
Ben Lin ... Pa
Alice Lo ... Ma
Evan Ross ... Donnie
Landall Goolsby ... Blackberry John
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Storyline

An 8-year-old girl is taken from her home and convinced that her family does not want her anymore. After enduring years of horror, she and her fellow victim are dumped by their capturers. Now, 17 years old and no one to turn to except each other, they do their best to survive life on the streets, until one day she finally accepts the help of a shelter counselor to find her way home. However, what she truly finds is the love of her life and that you can never go back. "Gardens of the Night", is a haunting, gritty and topical story which delves deep into the world of child abduction and where it often leads... for the "lucky ones." The writer/director, Damian Harris bases his story on the kids, counselors, cops and pimps he met during two years of research. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing content involving sexual exploitation of a child, language, sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Arnold plays a child molester. In real life, Arnold is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. See more »

Quotes

Young Leslie: [first lines - reading] The marsh ended in a broad plain where the light twinkled. It was a long time since Mowgli had concerned himself with the doings of men. "I will look", he said, "and I will see how far the Man-Pack has changed." The door of the hut opened, and a woman stood peering into the darkness. "Who calls?", said the woman, a quiver in her voice. "Have you forgotten?", said Mowgli. His throat was dry as he spoke.
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Soundtracks

Great Plains
Courtesy of Opus I Production Music Library
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User Reviews

Growing up abducted, brainwashed, sold & scared
20 November 2014 | by knoxiiiSee all my reviews

This movie was an excellent portrayal of what I suspect is a realistic account of a girl & boy growing up way too fast. What happens to the children on milk cartons? This movie endeavors to show what too often can & does. I can hardly think of a more serious topic, but I want to reassure viewers that the movie is filmed in a way that reveals the horrible situations with integrity & nothing graphic is shown. Your only repulsion should come from an expanded understanding of what can happen to children and the twisted ways their minds are manipulated to deal with the perverse dilemmas they are forced to reconcile in their young minds.

The movie deals with so many issues in under two hours, which is impressive. Abduction, underage sex trafficking, methods of sex traffickers, runaways, homeless youth, the world-view & hardened emotions that manifest in dealing in this world, & the stories of extremely difficult survival for kids with no home. Again, it is amazing the director accomplished all of this subject matter without exploiting the actors themselves. While the ideas are revolting, your heart responds with a greater love & understanding of the victims of this ugly subculture of humanity.

Jillian Jacobs is astounding in a hardened but not too hard role as a teen who has been pushed beyond the limits of morality & maintains a softness & concern for others, rejecting the behaviors of abuse & subjugation she has been exposed to. Sadly, this is not common in the family life cycle. Normally, we learn from what we see and experience & then duplicate that in our own lives, because how would we know otherwise?

As this movie involved the journey of a boy & a girl through hell on earth, it should come as no surprise to hear it was a gripping thriller that demanded to be watched to completion. I enjoyed it because it informed my imagination & broadened my understanding of the causes & effects of many of our culture's most despicable acts & brought to life in as tasteful way as I could imagine, how these events are processed by children. Any movie that expands our collective consciousness achieves one of the cinema's primary objectives & deserves our heartfelt appreciation.

I rate this a 7/10 stars because of all of the above & the way Jillian Jacobs toes the line in her portrayal of a thoroughly sympathetic character throughout. This was not an easy role. If you enjoy thrillers & dramas & wouldn't mind becoming more informed about these issues, this is a must-see movie.

Knox D. Alford, III


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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gardens of the Night See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,072, 9 November 2008

Gross USA:

$11,436

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$11,436
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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