Critics Consensus

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



Reviews Counted: 33

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User Ratings: 804


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

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 friend, at age 11. Megan, whose heroin-addicted mother abandoned her to turn tricks, ran away from ten different foster homes before being arrested for attacking another foster child with a box cutter. Both girls ended up in the Waxter Juvenile Facility, home to Maryland's most violent juvenile offenders. It is here that their journeys really begin.

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Critic Reviews for Girlhood

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (11)

  • 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.

    Jul 18, 2007 | Full Review…
  • The trajectories of Shanae's and Megan's lives speak volumes for themselves.

    Feb 6, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 14, 2003
  • 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.

    Nov 13, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 31, 2003 | Full Review…
  • It shows a fascination with the criminal justice system, and amazing access to the people caught in its wheels.

    Oct 30, 2003

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