Gardens of the Night
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Gardens of the Night
Abducted by two men and forced into child prostitution when she was just eight years old, a homeless San Diego street teen is finally reunited with her family only to find that the traumas of the past may have scarred her for life. Leslie (Ryan Simpkins) was walking to school when her neighbors Alex (Tom Arnold) and Frank (Kevin Zegers) pulled up alongside her and asked for help finding their missing dog. After scouring the neighborhood with the young girl to no avail, the men offer Leslie a ride so she won't be late for school. Along the way, the men tell Leslie that they work for her… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Do these heartbreaking stories exist in the real world? Yes, yes, they do. Does dramatizing these stories with nothing to add except a certain cruel wallowing in the existence of unspeakable human depravity serve any real purpose? No, no, it does not."
‑ Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
"Good acting and sincere direction by Damian Harris act as beacons to light the haunting corridors of an underworld spook house."
‑ Rex Reed, New York Observer
"Gardens doesn't always hit its desired mark of profundity. It's a wobbly plunge into grotesque acts of inhuman violation, with the patchy acting often blocking the true horror on display."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"A haunting tale which very convincingly conveys the overwhelming sense of helplessness and dread which undoubtedly afflicts impressionable souls unfortunate enough to be sexually exploited while still in the bloom of youth."
‑ Kam Williams, NewsBlaze
"Gardens of the Night leaves me wondering if it is finally possible to make a non-exploitative portrait of sexual abuse."
‑ Andrew Schenker, Slant Magazine
"Writer-director Jared Harris (and actor and son of the late Richard Harris) claims to have spent 10 years researching this sordid milieu, yet, for all the detail, it ends up playing like an especially lurid '80s TV movie."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Ferociously queasy-making for its first half before flatlining into banality."
‑ Stephen Garrett, Time Out New York
""Gardens of the Night" is a powerful and provoking film about a disturbing and all too real subject. There's a bitterness here that will not go away."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Tom Arnold turns in a solid performance as a "nice guy" who abducts children."
‑ Harvey S. Karten, Compuserve
"Gardens of the Night is a harrowing story of kidnapping and forced child prostitution that conjures a world entirely populated by predators and prey."
‑ Stephen Holden, New York Times
"The film never quite recovers from writer-director Damian Harris's dithering way of shooting things."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Village Voice
"The tendency to exploit lurid material for dramatic purposes is something [director Harris] can't avoid."
‑ Nick Schager, Cinematical
"An impressive directorial debut."
‑ Richard Mowe, Boxoffice Magazine
More reviews for Gardens of the Night on Rotten Tomatoes