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Sherrybaby (2006)

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Sherry tries to integrate again into society and become a good mother.


Laurie Collyer


Laurie Collyer
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Sherry Swanson
Michelle Hurst ... Dorothy Washington
Sandra Rodríguez Sandra Rodríguez ... Desi
Anna Simpson ... Sabrina
Giancarlo Esposito ... Parole Officer Hernandez
Caroline Clay ... Parole Officer Murphy
Rio Hackford ... Andy Kelly
Brad William Henke ... Bobby Swanson
Bridget Barkan ... Lynette Swanson
Ryan Simpkins ... Alexis Parks
Stephen Peabody ... Mr. Monroe
Danny Trejo ... Dean Walker
Sam Bottoms ... Bob Swanson Sr.
Kate Burton ... Marcia Swanson
Michael Dillon Michael Dillon ... Child at Birthday Party


Sherry Swanson returns home to New Jersey after serving a three year prison sentence. Eager to reestablish a relationship with her young daughter, Sherry soon discovers that coming back to the world she left behind is far more difficult than she had planned. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No one makes it alone.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, nudity, language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site | Official site | See more »





Release Date:

9 February 2007 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Shall Not Want See more »

Filming Locations:

Mountainside, New Jersey, USA See more »


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$34,774, 10 September 2006, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$199,176, 26 October 2006

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$622,806, 28 October 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ryan Simpkins lost four teeth on the set. See more »


During Sherry's second conversation with her brother Bobby on the pay phone at the halfway house, she is holding the phone's receiver in her right hand and her cigarette in her left hand. However, just before she terminates the conversation we cut to a closeup and she is now holding her cigarette in her right hand and her left hand has crossed her body and is holding the receiver to her right ear. See more »


[Dean is waking Sherry up after having cleaned her up the night before and put her on the couch to sleep it off]
Sherry Swanson: I want my baby back, Dean. I WANT Alexis!
Dean Walker: You know, if you stop talking so much about what you want... stop being so selfish... maybe what you want will come to you on its own.
Sherry Swanson: I'm just mad, cause I suck.
See more »


References Zorro (1957) See more »


Little Birdie Song
Performed by Maggie Gyllenhaal
See more »

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User Reviews

Gyllenhaal is seductive in her post-heroin sleaze...a slice of life with the minimum of plot
14 September 2010 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Sherrybaby (2006)

An almost literal slice of life, and highly believable. Maggie Gyllenhaal is everything here, and she acts her heart out. Which is to say, she makes her part so convincing in the nuances and lack of glamor (utterly), she becomes the character, Sherry, a former junkie just released from jail. It's a story of her trying to find the dignity and frankly intelligence to cope and to reintegrate.

Around her is a fairly ordinary world, and she uses sex and a little pent up anger to wend her way between her parole officers, her sister-in-law, her halfway house roomies, and a new friend or two. Key to all this is Sherry's little girl, who she clearly loves. But she doesn't have a clue how to be a mother.

This must be a painfully common story, and the one drawback is the events float in their slice-of-life as if that's sufficient. It is convincing, but by halfway through it starts to become clear that there is, in fact, no "story" at all. It's just going to be the meandering of this young woman, barely dressed in every scene, never seeing herself for how other people see her, in one big heartbreak. It has an ending, a kind of denouement, but it's very slight.

So, this is easy to recommend: try the first ten minutes. If you like getting absorbed, and don't mind that getting absorbed is the only point, then go for it. Gyllenhaal is a wonder, and the cast around her is right on. Director Laurie Collyer is someone to watch. When she gets more cinematically narrative and transforming material, she might pull off a more lasting masterpiece. This is her first full-fledged film (after a well-regarded HBO movie), and it's very smartly made.

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