Girlhood (2003)

Coming-of-age stories of two troubled yet self-aware young girls from Baltimore. Shanae, ten years old when she was gang-raped by five boys, responded by drinking and using drugs, and then graduated to murder, with the stabbing death of a… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: November 14, 2003
DVD Release Date: May 18, 2004
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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: An intimate, compassionate look at two teenagers in juvenile hall.

J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

Like many similar documentaries, this 2002 feature doesn't present easy answers, but by letting the two girls register as individuals, it forces the viewer to care about them when few around them can be bothered.

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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times

It isn't just difficult to do justice to Shanae and Megan in an average of 44 minutes apiece; as it turns out, it's impossible.

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Merle Bertrand
Film Threat

Chilling, depressing, yet guardedly optimistic.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

The trajectories of Shanae's and Megan's lives speak volumes for themselves.

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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post

While it is one part a coming-of-age story and one part a story of girls and mothers, Girlhood is just as much about the attainment of wisdom.

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Josh Ralske
All Movie Guide

Girlhood thoughtfully questions not just the system itself, but our unfair assumptions about the young people caught within it.

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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter

An eye-opening sociological examination that is alternately moving and tedious. Ultimately, however, one can't help but be caught up in the travails of its two memorable subjects.

Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger

It shows a fascination with the criminal justice system, and amazing access to the people caught in its wheels.

Jon Lap
Apollo Guide

To the film's great credit, [director] Garbus evens out her often heavy-hand and we're given the emotional core of two young female criminals in ways often eluded in the movies.

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