Cherry Crush (2007) Poster


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A rich staging overshadows narration and plot weaknesses
rw21260520 February 2007
Like many films starring teens or pitched to a teen audience, Cherry Crush falls short on intrigue and plays long on wrought dialog and narration. What Cherry Crush has that say, Cruel Intentions, doesn't have is a languid and saturated visual feel that distracts from the film's occasionally empty writing. The film has a similar feel to The Virgin Suicides, which also focuses its artistic energies on creating rich landscapes and detailed portraits of its characters (rather than character development). Director Nick DiBella's choice to prioritize style is a good one given his strength with the camera. It's no wonder that the protagonist in his co-writing debut is a photographer.

Because of its sophisticated cinematography and laudable go at film noir in color, Cherry Crush deserves to be offered to an art house audience. The story of a rich kid bewitched by a mysterious pauper isn't a terribly sympathetic, but putting the failures of the plot concept aside, DiBella captures his subject well.
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Good But Not Great
KALE80829 May 2007
Not bad at all, but not quite as good as I was expecting from the comments here. Jonathan Tucker does his best Toby Maguire in this story about a privileged young photographer who gets mixed up with a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.

As I watched this movie I tried to figure out what separates it from The Crush with Alicia Silverstone or Devil in the Flesh with Rose McGowan. While not directly analogous, those movies have the same type of noir lite feeling to them. But the difference is, aside from the fact that this movie really strives for believability and has decent writing, that those movies had lead actresses that really crackled on screen. I mean, you knew you were going to be seeing more of Alicia Silverstone after The Crush, or at least you should be.

Not so with Nikki Reed. She does a nice enough job and there's a restrained quality to her performance--to this whole movie really--that works well. (Too often this type of movie veers toward gushy melodrama and Cherry Crush manages to rein that in.) But again, Ms. Reed is not a show stopper. In fact, I found myself more interested in Julie Gonzalo on screen, even though she's got the boring, goody two shoes role.

What's worse is that there's no real chemistry between Reed and Tucker.

With that said, this movie has some nice touches. The high school seems especially real. The idea of being privileged is handled with respect, not given a superficial treatment. The second half of the movie becomes more involving than you expect and the ending is believable.

Overall, I liked it. But I wouldn't be surprised if I see it in the video store soon. It's better than some USA movie, but it's not quite ready for movie theaters either.
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Beautify Cinematography but no story behind it
rochviewer23 February 2007
This movie is beautiful to look at. Rochester has been transformed into a real live movie venue but that's where the professionalism ends. The story line and characters are under developed and poorly written. Despite the voice over you never learn what dastardly deed the lead character did to turn him into a bad boy and get expelled from private school. The photos he shoots of his love interest are slick, professional and commercially beautiful but don't reveal anything more than a glam shot from a slick magazine does. I kept wanting to see some gritty, 18 year old's idea of honesty, something cutting-edge, and I never got it. I never believe that his family is pressuring him into a life he doesn't want and the women around him look an awful lot like they're from Greece, NY not some fantasy Film Noir landscape.

The entire film noir aspect of the film is only defined by the great music track. The script and visuals are in constant conflict with the premise of the murder mystery. The writing never gives the viewer enough details to provide a great ahh-ha moment at the films end.

The amused audience seemed more interested in catching their own faces and spotting Java Joe's product placement than on the quality of the story. The film looks great but just doesn't deliver.
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Flat, arty flick
ctomvelu-120 July 2008
Although CHERRY CRUSH involves murder and cops, it is not a crime thriller or murder mystery. Instead, it is a character study of an affluent teenager who aspires to a career in photography until he falls for one of his subjects, a fellow student from the wrong side of the tracks looking for the big score. In order to make the big score, she needs to bump off her current lover, a married adult who should know better. She involves the photographer in her scheme and before you know it, we're looking at a teen-oriented reworking of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, or for you younger readers, BODY HEAT. No suspense, unfortunately. And the gal with murder and larceny in mind is played by a nonactor named Nikki Reed. In fact, the girl next door in this movie, played by Julie Gonzalo, was far more intriguing. The young photographer is played by Jonathan Tucker, who gives a passable performance. A couple of the adult actors were instantly recognizable: Frank Whaley is the philandering adult with lots of money, and Michael O'Keefe is a corrupt detective with money and murder on his mind. The art crowd might enjoy this; it clearly was not intended for cineplexes.
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Great Cinematography
Pete21 February 2007
I liked the story and would recommend it to almost anyone. It's not a romantic comedy, but there is some dark comedy and some suspenseful romance. The movie is a suspense overall and has some unique plot twists. It was great to see this movie in the theater. It definitely enhanced the scenery and suspense. The characters were edgy. The movie left me with an eerie feeling. It was impossible to know whether the two main characters, Jordan and Shay, would pull out of their destructive situation or dig themselves in deeper. The characters are in high school, but put themselves in circumstances that would lead you to believe they are older. This isn't that far fetched given the background of the two. Jordan is a rich kid, who's been kicked out of his previous high school photographing his coeds naked and he has a controlling, demanding father that just wants to groom him for success and power. Shay lives with her sister who is rarely home and is apparently a junkie. The two are intelligent and scheming; with Shay being more of the later, but it is Shays stunning looks and aloof demeanor that attract Jordan.
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Here's a different movie.
agodfrey-52 March 2007
Here's a different movie. Two murders in an understated plot without the obligatory gore and more. Hmmm....a bit of Hitchcock, but without Grant or Stewart, it relies heavily on cinematography and editing. Good idea. Cherry Crush was terrific and surprising in a number of areas. Beautifully filmed from the photo stills at the beginning to the closing shot. Of course, it didn't hurt to shoot scenes of attractive people in attractive settings. Might have been a 'ten' except..... (I can't believe we're going here).... the lead actor's neck became longer and larger as the movie progresses. OK, shallow shallow me, but you go see the movie and tell me just how distracting the neck is. If you can ignore the neck, you'll find this movie head and shoulders above the usual fare.
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Genuinely boring.
raimund-berger30 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Here's the deal: the movie starts with a high school student and hobby photographer (Jonathan Tucker) coming from a wealthy home getting busted for putting up nude girl pictures on the web. Thanks to his father's contacts, the only consequences are him having to change school and getting involved in some charity work. At the new school though he meets some girl (Nikki Reed) who is supposed to be mysterious. The mystery in the first instance is that she's involved with an adult (Frank Whaley), allegedly because he promised her a scholarship. She wants Tucker to make photos from meetings with Whaley though, which somehow suggests there might be a blackmailing scheme involved either, and as it turns out we there unfortunately already reached the bottom of her mysteriousness. It's at one of these occasions that something not exactly legal is taking place. We're forty minutes into the film now until something happens.

From this point on, Tucker and Reed avoid meetings to not arouse suspicions, and we are invited to again see him struggle complying with his charity duties. Then, after about another thirty minutes again something happens. More precisely, a detective (Michael O'Keefe) with knowledge about recent events approaches Tucker to blackmail him, and it's now that Tucker finally understands that it was all about money. He has some difficulties contacting Reed again, but finally succeeds and a kind of final showdown follows, after which the money - 1 million dollars - stays with either the detective, Turner or Reed.

Boring read? Sorry guys, but I can only be as involving as the story is, and in this case it's not more involving than any Veronica Mars episode stretched to ninety minutes. The cast and performances are disappointing either. Tucker's character exhibits close to none personality and is utterly meaningless, and Reed's performance way too shallow to project the mysteriousness expected from her. Both failures are likely due to poor direction either. What personally annoyed me the most though is Tucker also giving the narrator, the story being told from his perspective, so that an almost constant and totally uninspired voice-over ruined those few moments in which I might have settled for simply enjoying some imagery. I finally just ignored it, which gave me some relief.

Final verdict: best be avoided wherever possible. Four stars for the camera though and the Audi Tucker's driving around.
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guysmley22 February 2007
I liked Cherry Crush very much. Wonderful writing, with a cast filled with known and up and coming stars. Nikki Reed(Shay) from the O.C. and Jonathan Tucker(Jordan) from The Black Donnely's give memorable performances within dialogue that makes you think as well as entertains. Michael O'Keefe(Detective Griffin) was the perfect choice. He calmly delivers piercing lines and commentary making you feel uncomfortable like a good detective should. Cherry Crush grabs your attention right from the opening credits and never lets go. I also love where the movie title comes from. Nice touch! Cherry Crush is a job well done for a film company new to the scene.
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Neo-noir high school tale
lastliberal1 June 2008
Nikki Reed (American Gun, Thirteen, "The O.C."), Jonathan Tucker (In the Valley of Elah, Love Comes to the Executioner, "The Black Donnellys"), and Julie Gonzalo ("Veronica Mars") come together in this indy film that has some interesting twists and fascinating characters.

There is nothing you haven't seen before in a film reminiscent of classic noirs of the 40s. People aren't who they seem to be, lying and distrust abound, and the final twist is predictable, but getting there was fun as we follow Jordan (Tucker), a rich kid, and Shay (Reed), as they do their dance, with D (Gonzalo) as the ignored friend who is called upon only when needed, and who comes through as a true friend in the end.

Not DiBella's first film, but certainly the first to get any notice. Looking for more in the future.
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Tight , tense, Hitchcockian thriller, and gore- free! Appropriate for most .
Krnm23 February 2007
People were talking about Cherry Crush at our party Saturday night. Later, four of us (from 31 to 55) went to see it together - and we were stunned! Cherry Crush is a tight, tense thriller in the true Hitchock tradition! At a grab-you pace it is both unpredictable and logical in plot and in characterization. The casting fits the actors like a glove, and the acting is superior - from the sympathetic, real characters - like the "Tobey Mcguireish" Jonathan Tucker - - - to the unsympathetic, real characters - like Michael O'Keefe's! - - - Who along with Nikki Reed, playing the unpredictable female lead, keep you spinning. The directing and camera work is superb, beautiful, artistic - and check-out the title sequence! The editing is sharp and crisp, the settings are beautiful. The minimal use of foul language is actually appropriate, necessary and believable. There is no gore. Go see Cherry Crush in the theaters on the "large screen" first - to be totally enveloped in it before it's too late!
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Cleverly gripping to the very end! Wow, that movie is good....
scott_r_wagner7 March 2007
Not generally the type of movie our family would go see, but went to see it because of local interest and were pleasantly surprised by how the storyline gripped and carried us right to the very end; interestingly even more so during our 2nd viewing! Clever, respectful and tasteful use of violence, minor profanity with artful sexuality that was not insulting to our intelligence. The storyline is very strong right from the beginning which helps to draw one into the film carrying us through the slips and slides of clever turns until two hours are gone and the film is over. And you are ready for the sequel. Then you start thinking of all of your friends who you want to share the film is that kind of movie. We definitely recommend seeing this will be entertained and will leave the theater with a, "Wow, that was good!"
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Interesting plot, exciting twists and turns, great ending, 10 out of 10
danielle-smith28 February 2007
This movie is an absolute must-see! I found the film to be nothing less than fantastic with MANY surprising and suspenseful twists and turns that kept me on the edge of my seat. The suspense and thriller-like plot kept me interested and anxiously awaiting the next twist. The ending was a well crafted grand-finale of the evolving plot and I loved that it was completely unpredictable.

Jonathan Tucker and Nikki Reed both gave strong performances in their roles, and I expect to see both of them in many more big films to come. The cast is superb! The settings are gorgeous. The plot left nothing to desire. The self-narration was a brilliant touch.

I strongly recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys thought- provoking, exciting, quality films!
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A really fine film
tpmedia16 February 2007
This film works -- at every level. It is thoughtful, thought-provoking, interesting, exciting, edgy, sexy, well written, well acted, and brilliantly shot. The music is powerful. The story-line is pure noir. The twists and turns take you and your mind to some places you had not expected.

The opening is pure cinematic brilliance. So well composed and so crafty and edgy in its execution. The cinematography is simply marvelous. Simple scenes become like fine canvas. The montages become mosaics. The still photography both inside of the story and as overlay, is simply brilliant! And it all works.

Well worth the trip whether to the theater or to eventually to Netflix or your video store. This is a film that will have you wanting to come back for a second look.

The performances are strong and sturdy. There is not a weak spot in this film. Tightly edited. Carefully crated. In the best traditions of movie making, story telling and film noir.
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Drama, suspense,love,hate,sit at the edge of your seat folks!
anon162520 February 2007
Cherry Crush has it! It will bring out a wide range of emotions from the Seductive Shay Bettencourt, to the mysterious, once prepped out Jordan Wells. This film had it's world premier at a theater in Rochester New York, the city where it was shot and produced by Post Central Entertainment. The response has been overwhelming to say the least! Sell outs have brought the film to an additional week at the debut theater then off it goes...Theatrical release? I wouldn't be surprised! Jonathan Tucker and Nikki Reed are great in this film. The all star cast bring this film to a level far beyond what you would expect from a Production Company's debut film. The film is a must see...and one can only guess that this is the first of many films from an obviously talented East Coast Film Company who's recently made the West Coast look to the right.
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This film could be an unexpected sleeper from the Northeast.
gnk312620 February 2007
We saw the movie at the premier weekend showing in Rochester, N.Y. Theatre was sold out the night we went. Audience was captivated and slow exiting after credits.

Film was very entertaining with a couple surprising twists that we were still talking about the next day. Very thought provoking.

Michael OKeefe and Julie Gonzalo had memorable performances. Jonathan Tucker gave a strong performance in his role. Nicki Reed transitions skillfully into the sexy and seductive Shay Bettencourt.

Heard it was being held over and we are considering taking it in again. Very nice job from Post Central on their first at bat!
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An unremarkable neo-noir for teens.
BA_Harrison28 February 2011
Teen-orientated neo-noir Cherry Crush comes complete with most of the expected genre ingredients (ie., clichés): a twisty-turny narrative involving murder and blackmail, an unsuspecting chump targeted by a manipulative femme fatale, a corrupt attorney with huge stash of cash for the taking, and a crooked police detective out to line his own pockets. But despite having all these essentials in place, the film is only a partial success thanks to director Nicholas DiBella's rather mundane execution, the irritatingly erudite voice-over by Jordan, and the fact that not one of the characters is in the least bit sympathetic.

Clearly no-one is meant to feel anything for the film's less savoury types, who all fully deserve what they get, but I'm guessing we're at least expected to sympathise with Jordan for the terrible plight he finds himself in; however, unless you too are a highly educated, extremely wealthy Ivy League type with the world at your feet and a long line of sexy girls willing to strip off at your command, it is highly unlikely that you will identify in any way with this spoilt rich kid, a greedy know-it-all who is content to throw his life away for a spot of slap 'n'tickle with an obvious slut, even though his existing girlfriend is just as scorching (DA's daughter Desiree Thomas, played by Denise Richards lookalike Julie Gonzalo).

With his untold wealth, influential family connections, and obvious irresistibility to women, I was kinda hoping this prize idiot would end up in jail being spooned by Big Bubba, just desserts for being such an unappreciative bone-head! Sadly, he doesn't—he winds up seemingly content to trade his world of privilege for a million dollars and a life on the run from the law. The bone-head!

5.5 out of 10, rounded up to 6 for IMDb.
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Great Flick!
hferrell2221 February 2007
Very impressive! I thoroughly enjoyed Cherry Crush. It held my attention throughout and really picked up the pace at the end- just as a thriller should do.

I thought Jordon gave a fantastic, steely performance. I couldn't decide to root for or against him which is a exactly the sentiment you want your audience to feel in this kind of film. In addition to supplying a solid dose of climatic suspense, Cherry Crush was absolutely stunning to watch. Kudos for the cinematography. This is the kind of movie that's so beautiful it MUST be seen on the big screen. I have recommended Cherry Crush to friends.
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Interesting thriller.
DigitalRevenantX711 June 2015
Photography student Jordan Wells is expelled from his elite high school after taking provocative photos of his female classmates. Enrolling in the local high school, his talent for photography is hijacked by a female student whose ambitions involve getting rich by blackmail. Jordan, smitten with the girl, helps her dispose of a lover but doesn't realise that she had put him in the firing line for being an accessory to murder. When a corrupt detective tries to blackmail him into getting a secret stash of money, Jordan's life comes tumbling down.

Cherry Crush is an interesting thriller that has some good acting in it & a decent story that will appeal to the many fans out there of amateur high school photography. Jonathan Tucker & Nikki Reed play their lead roles quite well & the twists & turns are well rendered if not a little formulaic.

But despite having good prospects, Cherry Crush has some downers in the script. I can't believe that a rich student in an elite high school is kicked out because of taking photos of his female classmates when they can't be identified in the photos & there are no complaints given. The ending is also a little weak.
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The Ultimate Movie Review! - - @tss5078
Tss507828 February 2014
This film is not usually the kind of movie that I go for, but I decided to watch it, for it's star, Jonathan Tucker. He is one of my favorite actors, and this is one of the few films, he's done, that I hadn't seen yet. The story begins with Jordan Wells (Tucker) in trouble with both the police and his private school. It was discovered that Wells had been taking nude photos of several of the girls, and the school was deciding whether or not to press charges. They don't, but the well-to-do teen is sent to finish his senior year at public school. Once there he meets the girls of his dreams, a girl he thinks will change his life, but she's not all she appears to be. For starters, the cast of this film was way to old to be believable as High School students and the story really didn't match the setting. This was a story of love, hate, betrayal, and murder, involving wealthy, well to do people. Setting the story in the context of a High School romance did it a huge disservice. The story itself wasn't bad, just slow at certain points, but the setting just turned me off to the whole thing right from the beginning. Jonathan Tucker does the tremendous job I've come to expect from him. It doesn't matter the role or type of film, but somehow this guy always manages to get audiences to like him. It's Tucker's charisma and connection to the audience that keeps me watching, even when it's a film like this, that I really wasn't into. Cherry Crush basically has nothing going for it, except for it's star, who does his best to try and save a film that just doesn't work.
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Cherry Crush,a great lip shade and movie(;!
alexisMhendy4 February 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Nikki Reed,oh, how you always surprise me! This film has to be just fantastic...the story,the characters,the title,everything! I just love the plot of "Cherry Crush" since it's just a great story,and bringing out the seductress in Reed as most her films do. This movie is a great drama,thriller,and it's really not exactly a romance,but there is some in there. It also brings in marvelous photography! These pictures and shots taken are just stunning! I love the way these shoots are set up in the film,because they are all gorgeous and the scenery is just amazing! This film I say has the plot of like falling for someone you never planned to or never wanted to,plus the theme of murder,lies,sex,desire,and betrayal also come into the film. The prep boy photographer who's been expelled from his rich kid school for taking many provocative photos of his girl classmates. At his new school he meets a mysterious and beautiful violinist,but as he begins to become closer to her as he takes pictures of her,he breaks his #1 rule: don't fall in love with the models,business only. He now gets involved in,as I said,murder,lies,sex,etc. I just love this movie! The ending is just open-ended so really anything could happen from the point it leaves off at. You decide if you like! I know I have considered a few possible good endings(;! I recommend this film to anyone really,it could just satisfy anyone's taste for mystery...and anyone really. I give this 10/10 stars!<3
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Average Movie
Baris Sentuna29 May 2007
This is not a movie that is so good. It is only average. The only things I liked are the beautiful, Nikki Reed (Shay) and some good cinematography in some places. The use of colors in those places is great.

Unfortunately, this is a film that you demand more as from the beginning. The beginning scenes are shot very well. But it is as I said average unfortunately.

The very beautiful girl. A young boy and older lover. Guess what. If what you guess does not come around so what again. Philosophy, Psychology, Great Scenes, Unbeliavabe Moments, Some great action none of them are in this film.

Hope you enjoy it.
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Travel through trippy trash.
EzoterikDark24 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
First, to address a few good things with Cherry Crush. It's not all that long. It's not all that boring (on a scale from 1-100 about a 20). And well, the camera work shows a little promise. But Cherry Crush is an experience in grotesque and stupid mind of an obviously deranged teenage wannabe director, that used this movie to launder some money or just has rich relatives or a LOT of connections.

Cherry Crush doesn't even try to hide the blatant idiocy that envelopes the very essence. It's almost a parody of noirish clichés and trippy haunting atmosphere. The plot is almost non existent (boy takes pictures of teenage girls, boy gets transfered to another school by his rich daddy, boy meets schizo girl, boy fcks schizo girl, schizo girl involves him in a giant scam involving murder, lots of money and other stuff, the end). Oops I'm sorry I meant to say ORIGINAL plot is almost non existent, there's a lot of recycling and flamboyant flashing of semi famous main leads.

I'll just address one thing more, because the movie really doesn't deserve anymore. The photography and directing was crappy. Really crappy. It actually looked like a five year old, who just watched Night of the Hunter shot the entire movie with his dad's camcorder getting some help with the screenplay from the neighborly six year old, that wrote that GREAT short story about that dog with spots.

Idiotic and appalling all in one. Why the 3 then? Dunno really. It wasn't that boring. And I actually laughed a few times when the intellectual babble started.
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Stereotype plot, plain story but contains some new stuff
coreguy3 July 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Sex, money, desire, crime…all these “necessary” elements combine using an old plot: story of a freaky photographer and a sexy girl. He takes her as his model and sex companion while she takes him as her tool for getting money.

The process is also plain and stereotype: They get acquainted. The girl tells a lie. The man trusts her and don’t know he is already trapped. Then the climax: They mistakenly kill someone,who is just the girl wanna murder in her plan. Her scheme makes the man really involve in the affair because of the photos he takes on the spot of case, and the tracks he leaves. Under the investigation, his character of indecisive and maybe some love for that girl keep him from telling all clues out. So, he bogs deeper and deeper…at last, his life is ruined. um.hum,nothing particular, isn’t it? Many crime flicks about “Photograph” act like this.

Bad side is over, now turn to the good side. Firstly, The leading cast is a highlight. Nikki Reed and Julie Gonzalo especially. Shay Bettencourt’s wildness and sexiness, and Desiree Thomas’s lawyer-like appearance are impressive. Worthy to mention, Some dialogs are interesting, like the discussion between Wade Chandling and Jordan Wells about the lawyer.

Secondly, I probably realize that the director may wanna show something under the plain story: a topic about scripted life designed by the family and an own life made by oneself. At the end of the flick, the main role loses his scripted life and have to escape but maybe it’s actually a good ending for him since he is not suitable for a lawyer career? Deep thought may survives this movie.
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OK c-movie, bad b-movie
spacekris29 May 2007
I really don't know what people here, writing summaries of the film expect from a movie. probably something above the average of their videostore where you take a look at everything choosing by its cover and if its standing in a good shelf for people to rent. everything here is pretty predictable. so the acting of the protagonists, which are enough for a c-movie flic. what i hated are those pseudo sophisms and quotes that the main character is talking about in his off. watch a rohmer or some nouvelle vague film if you want to listen to some essential thinking in the off. i would give it a 3 overall though for the looks of the girl, because you cannot judge this film by anything else as for some b-characteristica. its simply waste of time. finally i give it a 1 because of the idiotically high ratings it gets otherwise.
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Average thriller
chrichtonsworld4 August 2007
"Cherry Crush" is a movie that heavily depends on it's cast! The few actors that are in this movie do a decent job! Jonathan Tucker is convincing as a teen who gets in trouble after having an affair with Nikki Reed! Throughout the movie we sympathize with him and really care for him! This is one of the main reasons why this movie stays interesting! The other one is Nikki reed as Shay Bettencourt! One beautiful and very dangerous young woman! That's why she is perfect as the femme fatale! The plot is simple and not really exciting! There aren't many twists and turns! And the once that are there are far too predictable and a bit convenient! As a whole "Cherry Crush" is pretty average and doesn't offer anything new! I wouldn't recommend this movie!
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