DVD Review: Trust

Trust DVD boxSTUDIO: Millennium | DIRECTOR: David Schwimmer | CAST: Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Liana Liberato, Viola Davis, Noah Emmerich, Chris Henry Coffey
7/26/11 | PRICE: Blu-ray $29.99, DVD $28.98
SPECS: R | 106 min. | Drama | 2.35:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 | English and Spanish subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Featuring a subject that one usually finds in made-for-Lifetime films, Trust is a surprisingly engrossing, well-crafted and finely acted drama that defies its initial movie-of-the-week categorization.

Trust movie scene

Clive Owen readies for action in Trust.

Directed by David Schwimmer (yep, Friends‘ Ross in his second theatrical feature following the 2007 comedy Run, Fatboy, Run), Trust tells the story of how a solid suburban family is affected after a 14-year-old girl (Liana Liberato) gets into an online relationship with a “friend.” She believes the friend to be a slightly older young man, but he turns out to be a a middle-aged man (Chris Henry Coffey) stalking the Internet for teenage girls to seduce. It’s only after the girl falls prey to her buddy that her parents (Duplicity’s Clive Owen and Cyrus’ Catherine Keener) realize that their lively and seemingly together teenage daughter has been stalked and victimized in a most dangerous and disturbing fashion.

Though there’s lots of potential for salaciousness and thriller elements, Trust takes the more mature and complex route of examining the traits and motivations of the drama’s characters (Internet stalker included), as well as the legal aspects and investigation of the  crime, an offense that didn’t even exist 20 years ago.

The cast is excellent across the board, with Owen offering an outstanding performance as the advertising exec dad who works on ad campaigns involving slinky teenagers but can’t initially process the idea that middle-age men do more than just leer at images of young women. As the movie progresses and his frustration and anger with his daughter and the legal authorities grows, Owen gets a chance to reveal a painful and emotional side of his persona that we’ve never seen from him on screen before. It’s a major step forward for him as an actor and one that I was happy to see him take in a film where’s he surrounded by such equally powerful players as  Keener, Viola Davis (Eat Pray Love) and Noah Emmerich (Fair Game).

Trust also has pedigree on the writing front. The independent film was penned by Robert Festinger and Andy Bellin. It’s the first screenplay for Bellin, but Festinger was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the acclaimed 2001 drama In the Bedroom.

Unfortunately, the DVD has no special features.


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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.