starring Evan Rachel Wood, Holly Hunter, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto
screenplay by Catherine Hardwicke & Nikki Reed
directed by Catherine Hardwicke
by Travis Mackenzie Hoover I'm a bit surprised to have liked Thirteen as much as I did. For one thing, it has no particular point of view--things simply happen in and of themselves and aren't much related to the outside world. For another, the film is somewhat obvious in the way it depicts its various outrages, almost cuing us to register their brutal nature instead of simply letting us draw our own conclusions. But Thirteen's heavy-handed chaos mirrors that of its teenage protagonist, who is in the grip of emotions she doesn't understand and whose responses are as arbitrary as they are destructive. The agony depicted is real, and while the film is no aesthetic miracle, it manages to blast through its limitations with its primary emotion.