Trust (1991)


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Movie Info

The unlikely relationship between a pregnant high school student and a brooding electronics repairman lies at the center of this droll comedy from writer-director Hal Hartley. Intelligent but unconventional, Maria (Adrienne Shelly) has more to worry about than her pregnancy, as her expectant state drives away her boyfriend and triggers a fatal heart attack in her father. Meanwhile, Matthew (Martin Donovan) has his own problems: an abusive father, a heightened sense of morality that prevents him from taking semi-lucrative television repair jobs, and a suicidal streak that causes him to carry around a potentially deadly grenade. The meeting of these troubled minds at first promises to be beneficial for both, but sours as they are forced to interact with each other's dysfunctional families. As in all of Hartley's pictures, the narrative is filtered through an amusingly detached sensibility that some may consider an acquired taste.

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Adrienne Shelly
as Maria Coughlin
Martin Donovan
as Matthew Slaughter
Merritt Nelson
as Jean Coughlin
John A. MacKay
as Jim Slaughter
Edie Falco
as Peg Coughlin
Marko Hunt
as John Coughlin
Gary Sauer
as Anthony
Tom Thon
as Deli Man
Bill Sage
as John Bill
Chris Cooke
as Diner Guy
Nena Segal
as Aunt Fay
Karen Sillas
as Nurse Paine
Pamela Stewart
as Mrs. Blech
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News & Interviews for Trust

Critic Reviews for Trust

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (7)

A bizarre little love story.

Jul 19, 2018 | Full Review…

[An] astringently funny second feature.

May 18, 2007 | Full Review…

Reflecting idiosyncratic sensibility, Hal Hartley's families don't look like Hollywood or TV families: When a father calls his daughter a slut, and she slaps him, he drops dead.

Jan 9, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

A bold film that defies logic and the rules of screenwriting

Apr 23, 2005 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

It's Woody Allen with gentile instead of Jewish neurotic characters.

Jan 13, 2004 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Best comedy of the nineties

Nov 6, 2002 | Rating: 5/5

Audience Reviews for Trust


Watched this many, many times over the years. My first Hal Hartley film, and one of my favourites. Adrienne Shelley and Martin Donovan are both perfect in their roles. I just love the style and the understated way the movie is written. Fantastic.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Likely my favourite of the Hal Hartley's. It is an unlikely pairing of two lost souls and Donovan and Shelly prove up to the task.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


I liked it.

Leigh Ryan
Leigh Ryan

Super Reviewer


I saw this movie a while back on IFC and I really liked it. This movie is quirky and the dialogue is great.

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Super Reviewer

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