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The Glass Castle (2017)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 August 2017 (USA)
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A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.


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Cast overview, first billed only:


A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Home goes wherever we go.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 August 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El castillo de cristal  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,678,548 (USA) (13 August 2017)


$9,705,840 (USA) (20 August 2017)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


Mark Ruffalo and Claire Danes were previously attached as Rex and Rose Walls. See more »


Jeannette: I feel so... fortunate.
See more »


Cowgirls Groove Too
Written by Bill Gordon and Omar Tavarez
Performed by Bill Gordon Trio
Courtesy of Fervor Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Cracks appear
6 October 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This review of The Glass Castle is spoiler free

*** (3/5)

BEFORE BRIE LARSON gained a well-praised Oscar win for her emotionally powerful performance in 2015s Room, she appeared in writer-director Destin Daniel Cretton's second feature 2013's film festival favourite Short Term 12 where she played as Grace a twentysomething supervising staff member of a residential treatment facility. A film which gave her almost unanimous praise from critics and awards alike. After her Oscar she was awarded with blockbuster success in this year's Kong: Skull Island and a chance to play the title role in MCU's Captain Marvel. However before that she returns to Cretton for his latest The Glass Castle.

Based upon Jeanette Walls' best-selling memoirs of the same name we have Larson starring as the grown-up Jeanette, a twentysomething writer working for a magazine in New York meanwhile happily living with her Fiancé (Max Greenfield), however, this soon transpires that she is using this look as a shield to hide away from her dysfunctional childhood. There are a few well-placed flashbacks showing her childhood living with her father, Rex (Woody Harrelson) an illiterate alcoholic who teaches his children the ways of life instead of taking them to school, he tells them stories to stir their imagination as hope for a distraction to their poverty. Her mother Rose (Naomi Watts) is an eccentric artist who much like Rex paints what she sees and instead of looking after her children she tries to paint a masterpiece. This leaves Jeanette, the second eldest child to cook and to clean this leaves her physically scarred. The family are constantly on the move from place-to-place desperately trying to avoid the government and tax payments.

The flashbacks are the films shining light forming most of the story as Cretton directs each form of Jeanette from young child (Chandler Head) through her pre-teen years (Ella Anderson) to Larson's adolescent and adult Jeanette swiftly and smoothly moving his camera along each memory. Whether it's her father promising to do something for her or tearfully listening to one of his stories he captures each of them in glistening form.

Unfortunately some of the flashbacks fail to grasp the imagination of Jeanette Walls' memoirs as a lot of the fail to securely transfer to the grown woman Larson plays in the present which makes her character sadly flawed utterly grading with her performance. Also it's both seemingly too tidy and too messy, and at the same time neither quite wild nor quite sensible enough making it a sadly more forgettable venture in Larson's powerful filmography. That said The Glass Castle is a subtle and utterly sweet drama which just about often enough breathes into raucous life.

VERDICT On the one hand The Glass Castle is a tidy poignant drama with refined performances and on the other it's a flawed tale which often fails to grasp Walls' memories on the screen.

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