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Home Room (2002)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  12 April 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 2,868 users   Metascore: 43/100
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A high school shooting has repercussions on the town and students.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alicia Browning
Deanna Cartwright
Det. Martin Van Zandt
Det. Macready
Police Captain
Dr. Hollander
Arthur Taxier ...
Mr. Browning
Principal Robbins
Assistant Kelly
Mr. Cartwright
Mrs. Cartwright
Ben Gould ...


The aftermath of a high school shooting leaves Deanna Cartwright seriously wounded and nine others dead, including the perpetrator. Det. Martin Van Zandt is assigned the unenviable task of investigating the crime and finding someone to hold responsible. His attention settles on Alicia Browning, a darkly troubled outsider who, as the only person present throughout the entire incident, is both the key witness and a possible suspect. Further complicating her isolated existence, Alicia's high school principal compels her to pay a reluctant visit on the still-hospitalized Deanna. Privileged and popular, Deanna differs dramatically from the alienated Alicia. Yet, beneath an upbeat appearance, she is struggling desperately with the emotional and physical scars left by the attack. Over the next few days, united by nothing more than their common suffering, the two young women form an unlikely friendship to cope with the tragic events that threaten to overwhelm them. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A senseless tragedy. An unlikely friendship. A search for answers.


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violent images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

12 April 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Barátnők a bajban  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


In his book "Schlock Value," film critic Richard Roeper discusses this film as a prime example of what he calls a "lost film" - a movie (often excellent) which does not get strong enough backing from the studio and is either swept aside or goes straight to video. See more »


When Alicia is being interrogated she asks for a cigarette and Detective Mcready pulls out a pack of Marlboro reds, which are "full flavor" and have brown filters, and hands her one. A minute later when Alicia snuffs the cigarette out in an ashtray is has a white filter, like "light" cigarette has. See more »


Alicia Browning: All they'll have left to tell you is the unholy truth: that kids just die. And babies die too. It just happens. So you live with it
See more »


Referenced in The Dirties (2013) See more »


Sweet Surrender
by Sarah McLachlan
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User Reviews

The aftermath
18 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Home Room" came as a total surprise. Not having a clue as to what it was all about, it paid off big time because it doesn't hold any punches and what we see is how lives are changed by the act of a disgruntled young man who decided to victimize his class mates, who are the innocent victims of his rash actions.

Paul Ryan, the director, who is working and editing his own material, is a talented man who is rewarded by some amazing acting all around by his cast.

Alicia Browning is an older girl who is trying to graduate high school. She has been away a couple of years and doesn't seem to be in the same wave length of the other students. For one, she is a rebel with a punk look, lots of makeup and a mouth that will cut anyone who dares to come near her orbit. Alicia was among the students in the home room where nine students have died, supposedly killed by her boyfriend. Alicia, we realize, is a wounded girl who has gone through a terrible ordeal in her life, but we are not given any clues to that effect.

What follows is the aftermath of the tragedy, as it concentrates on a young woman who has survived it. Deanna Cartwright is a wealthy teen ager who shouldn't have been at the school, at all. When a ricochet bullet hit her, she is hospitalized with more than a wound. She is trying to get over this dark period in her mind but the nightmares don't let her forget.

Alicia is made to go to the hospital by the school principal. Since she doesn't cooperate with the police, the head of the school wants her to see Deanna in her terrible state and perhaps she will soften up and will tell the authorities what she knows. Alicia dislikes Deanna, but in a matter of days, both girls will make peace. We don't realize until the last sequence what really happened that horrible day in school.

Busy Phillips makes an excellent Alicia and Erika Christiansen is equally good as Deanna. Victor Garber, James Pinkins, Taylor Holland, and the rest of the cast play as an ensemble.

The film has an intensity because it's not explicit in showing how the shootings occurred, which helps the tone that Mr. Ryan wanted to give this movie.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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