Jess + Moss (2012)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Jess, age 18 (Sarah Hagan) and Moss, age 12 (Austin Vickers) are second cousins in the dark-fire tobacco fields of rural Western Kentucky. Without immediate families that they can relate to, and lacking friends their own age, they only have each other. Over the course of a summer they venture on a journey exploring deep secrets and hopes of a future while being confronted with fears of isolation, abandonment and an unknown tomorrow. -- (C) Official Site
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Critic Reviews for Jess + Moss

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

Mr. Jeter, who has made his feature-length debut with this film, tries to capture the loose feel of childhood's open-ended summers. But the vocabulary of his imagery feels worn out, and the ambience feels handed down.

Full Review… | February 16, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Achingly sad and surpassingly lovely.

Full Review… | February 14, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

Jess + Moss is a simply beautiful film with amazing sound work and nearly flawless direction.

Full Review… | November 11, 2013
We Got This Covered

A strange and intoxicating indie constructed as a series of vignettes that capture two children grappling with the overlap of trauma and nostalgia.

Full Review… | February 21, 2012
Slant Magazine

Perhaps it is slightly too obtuse to really deliver a full emotional punch, but I nevertheless found this to be a mesmerising and beautiful film.

Full Review… | August 12, 2011
Cinema Autopsy

Audience Reviews for Jess + Moss


A quiet, slow film composed mainly of small glimpses at the way these two young people deal with their abandonment issues. Watching the film was almost like visiting an art gallery or museum, with gorgeous images stacked one on top of each other that did little to advance the story, such as it was, but kept this viewer completely enthralled. One felt there was an emotional developmental delay in Jess (Sarah Hagan), possibly caused, we eventually discover, by the tenuous hold she has on her mother, who disappeared from her life in some indeterminate past. Meanwhile Amos, or Moss (Austin Vickers), is dealing with the loss of his parents to an accident. A few other people float about the edges of the film, but it is these two young actors who carry the bulk of the film and were certainly up to the task. The images are what stays with one as the credits roll. It truly is a beautiful film that would normally be out of my comfort zone with such a minimal story, but somehow this one succeeds where many have failed to engage.

Mark Abell
Mark Abell

Super Reviewer


An uber-indie nostalgia-laden deeply allegorical Southern Gothic fairytale with a lyrical melancholy attaching to a mosaic of both memory and sexual awakening .

Lee Mayo
Lee Mayo

The story of two kids in rural KY during a lazy summer. "Story" is kind of stretching it. It's really two kids Talking a doing kid shit in various abandoned houses / barns / cars. "Kids" is also stretching it. He's certainly pre-teen. And while she could never over-mature him; it's clear that she's fully teen + . Why their together and alone becomes clearer as we move through. But beyond the story, which is admittedly slow, is some of the most visually satisfying direction/cinematography I've ever seen in an independent film. Someone really saturated the color in post-production and it is worth the watch.

Nik Browning
Nik Browning

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