American Woman 4.0 stars

American Woman movie poster

When the Lord said, “Judge not, that ye be not judged,” He wasn’t referring to Deb Callahan (Sienna Miller). If ever a character courted chastisement, it’s she. When her daughter turns up missing, Deb embarks on a hellish, decades-long search to find her whereabouts. Like mother, like daughter: both were essentially single parents at 16. It’s a mother’s worst nightmare and a story that for all intents and purposes should have required a Lifetime logo branded in the lower-right corner of each shot. Writer Brad Ingelsby and director Jake Scott instead walk us through a process of redemption too powerful and blissfully saccharine-free to be deemed cable-ready. Keep your Carol Danvers and Jean Grey: Miller’s career-topping performance touts a stronger, more determined female than any we’ve seen this year. A film by this name, released at this point in time, could have gone either way: a Rebel Wilson-ish romcom or a spot-on slice of the American way, carved with a serrated edge. It’s tale of a survival that is not to be missed. 2018.

Scott Marks

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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