The latest (and greatest) from Destin Daniel Cretton (Short Term 12, I Am Not a Hipster) is a moving melodrama graced by an insider sense of humor that can only come from an author who endured every square inch of pain that it took in order to survive her childhood. Who hasn’t been embarrassed by their parent’s behavior at one time or another? Nothing comes close to what this impressionable quartet of children have to endure in this adaptation of Jeannette Walls’s autobiographical best-seller. Even though the film is told from Brie Larson’s character’s point of view, the Academy Award-winning actress is on screen for less than a third of the picture. Not unlike Robert De Niro’s Jimmy Conway in Goodfellas, her performance is such that her presence is felt in every scene. Dark, dysfunctional, and filled with blinding hope, this is one glass house that’s difficult to throw stones at. Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield, and Ella Anderson round out the superb ensemble. (2017) — Scott Marks
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