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Sherrybaby (2006)



Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 67
Fresh: 50 | Rotten: 17

Maggie Gyllenhaal delivers riveting performance as a recovering drug addict in a depressing and not entirely believable movie.


Average Rating: 6.3/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 7

Maggie Gyllenhaal delivers riveting performance as a recovering drug addict in a depressing and not entirely believable movie.



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 37,334

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Movie Info

An emotionally stunted ex-convict whose recent release from prison finds her attempting to form a relationship with her young daughter finds that redemption doesn't come easy in this emotional family drama, the feature debut of award-winning documentary filmmaker Laurie Collyer. When Sherry Swanson (Maggie Gyllenhaal) was sentenced to three years in prison on a drug-related robbery conviction at the age of 22, she had just given birth to a daughter named Alexis (Ryan Simpkins). Placed in the



Jan 23, 2007

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Latest News on Sherrybaby

July 17, 2008:
Maggie Gyllenhaal Talks The Dark Knight
It's a far cry from indie fare like Secretary or Sherrybaby, but for Maggie Gyllenhaal, taking on...
December 14, 2007:
Atonement, Control Lead London Film Critics Noms
The London Critics Circle has announced the nominees for its year-end awards, with Anton Corbijn's...


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All Critics (75) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (17) | DVD (5)

The film itself is a collection of emotional highs and mostly lows for Gyllenhaal, who elevates it all far above the slim story.

January 26, 2007
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the movie for you if you liked the pessimistic street view of Half Nelson.

January 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As an actress, Ms. Gyllenhaal seems to steer clear of any parts that seek to exploit an audience's weakness for conventionally happy endings. Her films are therefore always worth seeing.

October 4, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The wonder of Sherrybaby is that we can admire Sherry's exuberance and evident love of life -- and the extraordinary actress who portrays her -- without really being sure where she's going.

September 20, 2006 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like its hyped-up heroine, Sherrybaby, based on a true story, explodes with manic energy that keeps you riveted through parts that might otherwise be difficult to watch.

September 15, 2006 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gyllenhaal shines in gritty, haunting drug drama.

December 18, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Maggie Gyllenhaal's performance is wonderful, diving into this character that has barely anything worth sympathizing with...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

"Sherrybaby" is an insightful and penetrating drama that never condescends or sentimentalizes its subject. Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a tour de force performance that is not to be missed.

April 19, 2009 Full Review Source:

...generally manages to overcome its almost egregiously familiar sensibilities to become an entertaining (yet hopelessly uneven) piece of work.

March 6, 2009 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

You'd swear Maggie Gyllenhaal grew up on the streets after seeing her in this gritty indie about a recovering heroin addict trying to go straight.

August 26, 2008 Full Review Source:

Maggie Gyllenhaal is an actress you simply cannot take your eyes off of.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

click for full review

July 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

Just as she did in the dark, sadomasochistic comedy "Secretary," Gyllenhaal raises her share of eyebrows here, though for a whole host of different reasons.

May 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

A raw, startlingly honest central performance from Gyllenhaal.

April 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the part with raw conviction and she is ably supported by a well-chosen cast.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A bittersweet tale of human failings and redemption which ought to establish Gyllenhaal as one of the best actresses around.

February 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Upstage Magazine
Upstage Magazine

Watching Maggie Gyllenhaal's bare body and battered soul in Laurie Collyer's quietly extraordinary Sherrybaby, you almost get a sense that the actress knows the load that was her star-making turn in Secretary ...

January 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Like Vera Farmiga in DOWN TO THE BONE, Gyllenhaal creates a full-bodied portrait of a woman struggling with addictions. And like Felicity Huffman in TRANSAMERICA, Gyllenhaal elevates a flawed motion picture to a higher level.

January 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Gyllenhaal couldn't be better in service of a film that seems to focus on the wrong character; the more interesting point of view would be Bobby's, a gallant, unglamorous guy who's trying to hold his family together in the midst of Hurricane Sherry.

January 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

The writing and directing by Laurie Collyer express an admirable naturalness and eschews rose-tinted solutions.

December 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Gyllenhaal cria uma personagem complexa e real cujos acertos nos fazem torcer por seu sucesso e erros nos levam a lamentar por seu sofrimento. Além disso, Danny Trejo finalmente tem a chance de mostrar sua versatilidade, saindo-se excepcionalmente bem.

December 24, 2006
Cinema em Cena

If it weren't for the nudity, I would have thought I was watching a Lifetime for Women TV movie.

November 29, 2006 Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs
Three Movie Buffs

Audience Reviews for Sherrybaby

Recently released from prison, a woman tries to reclaim her place as a mother while still hankering for the drugs that put her behind bars.
Maggie Gyllenhaal is exceptional, breathing humanity into a selfish and oftentimes clueless woman with a strong, subtle performance. Her scenes with her daughter are heart-breaking and charming, and her scenes with the various men in her life allow her to play both the victim and the rebel. She simply makes the film worth watching.
However, I thought the plot involving Sherry's relationship with her father came too late in the film and didn't add anything to the audience's struggle to understanding her character. Also, Brad William Henke plays Bobby like a simple schlub, and maybe this is the way the character is written, but it's not a strong choice. Does he judge Sherry? Hate her? Pity her? Who knows? Maybe all of the above. And Giancarlo Esposito's Officer Hernandez is such a prick that we wonder why Sherry would ever trust him.
Overall, Maggie Gyllenhaal is remarkable in Sherrybaby, but the film leaves much to be desired.
April 29, 2012
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

No one makes it alone.

Good movie! Maggie Gyllenhaal really carried this film on a very uncomfortable film to watch. The story was very good but difficult to watch in a way because of the main idea of a recovering mother trying to reach her daughter and reunite with her. Great acting!

Sherry Swanson returns home to New Jersey after serving a three year prison sentence. Eager to reestablish a relationship with her young daughter, Sherry soon discovers that coming back to the world she left behind is far more difficult than she had planned.
March 31, 2012
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

This is about a woman named Sherry who has just been released from prison. She's a recovering addict, emotionally troubled, and it is hinted at that she's the victim of abuse at the hands of her father. The film follows Sherry as she tries to rebuild her life and start over, specifically in the area of patching up things with her family, most of her her young, estranged daughter.

This film feels like it was tailor-made for Gyllenhaal, and that's definitely a good thing. She gives a finely observed and realistic performance that is moving and does a great job of hitting all the right notes without being too vacant or too over the top. She dominates things, but she doesn't carry the whole thing, though.

She's got a terrific cast behind her, and they turn in some really good performances as well, especially Danny Trejo. It's nice seeing him play against type, and it adds more authenticity to the proceedings since he's playing a role that mirrors part of his own life and experiences. Another mention I'd like to make is Brad William Henke as Sherry's brother. That guy deserves more work andrecognition.

The film is very much an indie, and it shows. It's got a nice sense of grit and realism, but not in a trashy or exploitative way. It's honest, emotional, and sometimes rather painful, but it's well done and pretty real. My only real gripe is that they could have dealt with the father issues a little more, and handled it in a slightly more satisfactory way. Aside from that, this is a really good drama about redemption and hope.
September 11, 2011
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Unexpectedly, a great watch! A role for Maggie Gyllenhaal that demands her acting abilities to be taken seriously.

The story doesn't appear in a conventional storytelling way, ie. a beginning, middle and end, it works far better as an extract of a family life in working progress.

I like the way the film shows both sides of the story, it doesn't prejudice the story in either way and allows you to raise your own feelings.
August 5, 2011

Super Reviewer

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