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Gardens of the Night

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Released 2008

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Movie Summary

Director:
Damian Harris
Released:
2008
Rating:
R

Gardens of the Night is a 2008 drama directed by Damian Harris. The film tells the story of Leslie (Gillian Jacobs) who is abducted by sex traffickers, Alex (Tom Arnold) and Frank (Kevin Zegers), and forced to endure unspeakable horrors. Leslie is joined in captivity by Donnie (Evan Ross), a young boy who is also being trafficked. To cope with the day-to-day abuse, they escape into the imaginary world of Mowgli and the Jungle book. After nine years, the two are finally released by their captures. Now alone, they continue to prostitute themselves to pay for their daily expenses. When Donnie professes his love for Leslie, she rejects him. She thinks of him more as a friend than a lover. The two split up and Leslie eventually meets up with a shelter counselor, Micheal (John Malkovich) who helps her return to her family. Returning home, Leslie finds it difficult to adjust to her old life. In the end, she must choose between the life she had with Donnie and the life she left behind.

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Metacritic Score

  • 70

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film gives vivid reality to those photos of disappeared children on milk cartons by letting us peek into the lives of two abducted children subjected to sexual abuse and then p...

  • 50

    The New York Times Stephen Holden

    Recovery time is recommended after seeing Gardens of the Night, a harrowing, obliquely told story of kidnapping and forced child prostitution that conjures a world entirely populat...

  • 50

    Variety

    Well-meaning but underachieving drama.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Crime