• R, 1 hr. 50 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Damian Harris
    In Theaters:
    Nov 7, 2008 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 24, 2009
  • City Lights

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Gardens of the Night Reviews

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Stephen Garrett
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

November 17, 2011
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com

"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.

Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com | Original Score: B+

November 10, 2008
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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Gardens of the Night is a harrowing story of kidnapping and forced child prostitution that conjures a world entirely populated by predators and prey.

| Original Score: 3.5/5

November 7, 2008
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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Good acting and sincere direction by Damian Harris act as beacons to light the haunting corridors of an underworld spook house.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

November 5, 2008
Kam Williams
NewsBlaze

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.

Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Original Score: 4/4

November 5, 2008
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve

Tom Arnold turns in a solid performance as a "nice guy" who abducts children.

Full Review Source: Compuserve | Original Score: B

November 4, 2008
Richard Mowe
Boxoffice Magazine

An impressive directorial debut.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

November 4, 2008
Brian Orndorf
DVDTalk.com

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.

Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com | Original Score: C

April 30, 2009
Mark Olsen
Los Angeles Times
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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.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

December 5, 2008
Nick Schager
Cinematical

The tendency to exploit lurid material for dramatic purposes is something [director Harris] can't avoid.

Full Review Source: Cinematical

November 7, 2008
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

November 7, 2008
Stephen Garrett
Time Out New York
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Ferociously queasy-making for its first half before flatlining into banality.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 3/6

November 5, 2008
Ed Gonzalez
Village Voice
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The film never quite recovers from writer-director Damian Harris's dithering way of shooting things.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 5, 2008
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine

Gardens of the Night leaves me wondering if it is finally possible to make a non-exploitative portrait of sexual abuse.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

November 3, 2008
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