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Speak (2004)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  20 January 2004 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 19,073 users  
Reviews: 90 user | 13 critic

After a blurred trauma over the summer, Melinda enters high school a selective mute. Struggling with school, friends, and family, she tells the dark tale of her experiences, and why she has chosen not to speak.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joyce Sordino
Dick Hagerman ...
School Bus Driver
Remy Brommer ...
Yearbook Photographer (as A. Remy Brommer)
Grace Ameter ...
Tyanna Rolley ...
Leslie Lyles ...
Kimberly Kish ...
Ms. Keen
Megan Pillar ...
Jack Sordino


The young adolescent Melinda Sordino arrives at high school feeling confused, depressed and alone. Her school peers call her "squealer", because she alerted the police during a summer party after she was sexually assaulted by Andy Evans. She refuses to tell anyone the events that took place. Her depression and distance from people is made worse by the increasingly large gap between her and her parents. She finds great support with her art teacher Mr. Freeman and her school friend David Petrakis. Her feelings threaten to engulf her but Melinda learns to grow from her experiences instead of repressing the past emotions that have scarred her for the rest of her life. Written by Andrew Rodriguez, Tinton Falls New Jersey

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Truth Will Change Everything.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving a teen rape | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beszélj!  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Laurie Halse Anderson:  the novel's author appears as the cafeteria worker spooning out mashed potatoes on the first day of school. See more »


In one scene Melinda and her parents are unwrapping a large box while sitting on the floor. In the next scene, the box is fully wrapped again. See more »


Melinda Sordino: I hate winter. I've lived in the midwest my whole life and I hate winter. It starts too early and it ends too late. Why doesn't everyone just move to Florida?
See more »


Referenced in Awkward.: Pilot (2011) See more »


Stand Clear
Written by Sara Shaoul
Performed by The Recorder Club
Produced by Matt Rocker
Used with permission
See more »

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User Reviews

Heartbreaking Coming-to-age Story
15 September 2006 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

The teenager Melinda Sordino (Kristen Stewart) joins the high-school with a great feeling of rejection and becomes practically mute. Her school mates and friends call her "squealer", because she called the police during a summer party; she does not have communication with her mother, Joyce Sordino (Elizabeth Perkins), who is workaholic and is permanently busy; and she has problem with a very radical teacher. She finds a great support with her arts teacher Mr. Freeman (Steve Zahn) and her school friend David Petrakis (Michael Angarano), and recalls her traumatic experience in the summer school, when she was raped, learning how to deal with the situation and reborn mature.

"Speak" is a very simple and linear story, and even in the trailer the predictable trauma of Melinda is disclosed; therefore there are no surprises, plot point or mystery to have a twist in the story. What makes "Speak" a little gem and so special are the realistic story, the excellent direction and the stunning performances, mainly of Kristen Stewart in the role of the traumatized Melinda, learning how to deal with her rape and later rejection by the mates by herself. Steve Zahn is also great in a mature role (I believe this is the first time I see him in this type of character) of a supportive school teacher. The nominations and award of the sensitive director Jessica Sharzer are very fair, but I believe Kristen Stewart deserved also a nomination for her brilliant and awesome performance. I would like to recommend this movie for parents of teenagers. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O Silêncio de Melinda" ("The Silence of Melinda")

28 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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