Towelhead - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Towelhead Reviews

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½ July 22, 2017
Very, very odd film. The acting, while some of it, and at crucial times, extremely awkward and hammy, was overall competent especially by newcomer Summer Bishil who's VERY impressive as Jasira. But the demoralizing atrocities this 13 year old girl endured throughout the movie was beyond disturbing and over the top, bordering on exploitive. Some of the stuff Bishil had to do was just real uncomfortable to watch and I'm pretty openminded with any subject matter no matter how serious as long as it's handled in fairly respectful and good taste within the context of either a drama, comedy, or satire. This movie sets out to be all of these things and fails at every one. So it is ultimately is just an offensive and dull (not to mention boring) pretentious mess. Highly dissapointing directing debut by Alan Ball who scored much better as a screenwriter for American Beauty as well as HBO TV series Six Feet Under and later True Blood. The guy was clearly out of his depth here. At best a curious exercise of racismn, hippocracy, sexual exploration, and pedophilia in suburbia during the Iraq war. The movie is as confusingly tone deaf as it sounds. Oh and the egregiously rushed ending could not have been more pared down and contrived if were..well, honestly I don't know. This movie was something else. Brutal, whatever it is. Not recommended for anyone with even half a conscience. 1 and a half stars
July 17, 2017
Much of this movie I hated and some of it Liked, but it was always interesting.
½ March 18, 2017
I think this is a very hard movie to watch if you did not read the book. It is such a disturbing story--teenage girl is sent to live with her strict father in Texas.
June 3, 2016
Only Alan Ball can make such a realistic and poignant portrayal of the suburbs dealing with such issues as budding female sexuality and racism. More please!!!
May 10, 2015
It is a shame because this could have been an insightful film with a great deal to say. Instead, despite sterling performances from the actors, it is a perverse exorcise that almost feels like it is celebrating the offensive and cruel.
May 6, 2014
An interesting look at being in a world you feel you don't belong in. The performances are good and there are some great moments but the film feels scattered. The film seems almost confused about what it tries to accomplish.
½ December 27, 2013
While Alan Ball has managed to gather an amazing cast of talent, this adaptation fails to capture the bitter truth and power of the provocative novel. Instead, this film is simply offensive and cruel.
December 23, 2013
Well-made, but wow - painful and saddening to watch. Lurid!
November 30, 2013
let's you know that life's something full of curiosity
November 10, 2013
this movie is great.When i first seen it was a new experience
November 1, 2013
Lolita goes middle eastern.
November 1, 2013
Uncomfortable to watch, which is probably why Alan Ball made it.
½ October 6, 2013
I didn't see a point to the movie.
September 21, 2013
Rarely have I had the opportunity to be so offended and insulted as a viewer in 5 minutes or less than I was on watching this film. Before the credits even have a chance to roll, I'm watching a grown man help a pubescent girl shave her vulva. This man's wife finds out, and it is made clear that her reaction is an 'over-reaction' (because father figures should TOTALLY be allowed near the vaginas of blossoming women) and this too-white (blonde, blue-eyed) mother figure is immediately painted an evil witch for wanting to get an impressionable girl away from a perverted spouse by (GASP!) sending the girl to live with her biological (read: Lebanese) father. This 'father' embodies every Middle Eastern stereotype at first glance, then cements it by slapping his daughter for having the audacity to wear a (non-revealing) V-neck shirt.

I am not the least bit ashamed to say I stopped the film right there (running time 5:07) and popped it right back in its Netflix sleeve. I understand that some films are tongue-in-cheek, but there is a fine line. A line which this film doesn't even acknowledge, much less bothers to tow.

Considering Hollywood loves to pronounce itself the Mecca of social, humanitarian, religious and cultural tolerance, I'm surprised every single copy of this film hasn't been burned in effigy. Then again, considering Hollywood is full of its own bullshit, maybe I'm not that surprised after all.
½ September 10, 2013
A powerful story filled with broken people. It can be funny, disturbing & uplifting all at the same time.
½ September 7, 2013
To give it some credit, the lead actress did perfectly capture the vulnerability of the character she portrays, but the story just isn't all that appealing. Coming of age tales are a dime a dozen these days, and Towelhead isn't able to stand out in the hugely crowded genre. Alan Ball does an okay job writing the script, but his direction is way off. Most of the actors are so wooden, especially the actor playing the father, it seems as if he just got out of acting school, because his performance feels so stale and lifeless. Considering the cast includes Maria Bello, Toni Collete and Aaron Eckhart, indie veterans, this movie should have been infinitely better than it was.
July 12, 2013
An extremely controversial and provocative film which features a 13 year old Lebanese American girl who struggles to adjust in the suburbs due to racism. Julie begins to explore her sexuality and her raging hormones. She gets involved in a relationship with her African American school mate, in which her father highly condemns. The film then engages in one shock after the other, as Julie becomes involved sexually with her much older American neighbour who is a father and a husband. Wouldn't so much call this a dark comedy as many people portray it to be, but an extremely gritty coming of age drama which is impossible to look away from. It's also extremely disturbing, especially with scenes of pedofilia, however, once you get past the disturbing nature of the film, you tend to see how intelligently made it is.
½ June 15, 2013
Works as more of a parable than an actual story, but is an effective parable nonetheless and if anything serves as a standalone CV for Peter Macdissi who is ridiculously great in this film.
½ February 18, 2013
This film does make you feel very uncomfortable, and asking why does the female lead act this way, shouldn't she know better? Made me wonder a lot about parenting skills... especially just listening to your children.
January 25, 2013
it is so disturbing i could not finish it! i cant watch a 13 years old girl get sexually aboused by prcatcially everyone and call it an eye opener!
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