6.9/10
4,010
27 user 29 critic

Gardens of the Night (2008)

R | | Drama | 21 November 2008 (USA)
Trailer
2:19 | Trailer

Watch for Free

on IMDb Freedive

ON DISC
ALL
After being abducted as children, and suffering years of abuse, a teenage boy and girl find themselves living on the street.

Director:

Damian Harris

Writer:

Damian Harris
3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gillian Jacobs ... Leslie
John Malkovich ... Michael
Ryan Simpkins ... Young Leslie
Tom Arnold ... Alex
Kevin Zegers ... Frank
Jermaine Scooter Smith Jermaine Scooter Smith ... Young Donnie (as Jermaine 'Scooter' Smith)
Harold Perrineau ... Orlando
Jeremy Sisto ... Jimmy
Raynold Gideon ... Judge Feeney
Cornelia Guest ... Mrs. Feeney
Natalie May Natalie May ... Judge's Daughter
Ben Lin ... Pa
Alice Lo ... Ma
Evan Ross ... Donnie
Landall Goolsby ... Blackberry John
Edit

Storyline

An 8-year-old girl is taken from her home and convinced that her family does not want her anymore. After enduring years of horror, she and her fellow victim are dumped by their capturers. Now, 17 years old and no one to turn to except each other, they do their best to survive life on the streets, until one day she finally accepts the help of a shelter counselor to find her way home. However, what she truly finds is the love of her life and that you can never go back. "Gardens of the Night", is a haunting, gritty and topical story which delves deep into the world of child abduction and where it often leads... for the "lucky ones." The writer/director, Damian Harris bases his story on the kids, counselors, cops and pimps he met during two years of research. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing content involving sexual exploitation of a child, language, sexual content and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jardins da Noite See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$2,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,072, 9 November 2008, Limited Release
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview with Filmmaker Magazine director Damien Harris said that since they couldn't tell the child actors what the story was actually about, they came up with an alternative story. It was that Alex (Tom Arnold) had been left by his wife and so he was living alone with Frank (Kevin Zegers), his good buddy, and he wanted a family so these two kids would become his children. There was not going to be a mother, because the mother had left. Frank was now jealous because he thought that he wasn't Alex's favorite anymore, so that's why he was being mean. Then for the specific scenes with Leslie (Ryan Simpkins), they came up with a scenario that fitted emotionally where she had to be, so they didn't have to tell her anything beyond that. Harris came up with that version of the story with the Ryan Simpkin's mother. See more »

Quotes

Young Leslie: [last lines - reading] "Come back", she whispered, "come back, for I love you. Come back again, by night or by day. This door is never shut to you." Mowgli's throat worked as though the cords in it were being pulled, and his voice seemed to be dragged from it as he answered, "I will surely come back."
See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Song
Written and Performed by Jonathan Edwards
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Growing up abducted, brainwashed, sold & scared
20 November 2014 | by knoxiiiSee all my reviews

This movie was an excellent portrayal of what I suspect is a realistic account of a girl & boy growing up way too fast. What happens to the children on milk cartons? This movie endeavors to show what too often can & does. I can hardly think of a more serious topic, but I want to reassure viewers that the movie is filmed in a way that reveals the horrible situations with integrity & nothing graphic is shown. Your only repulsion should come from an expanded understanding of what can happen to children and the twisted ways their minds are manipulated to deal with the perverse dilemmas they are forced to reconcile in their young minds.

The movie deals with so many issues in under two hours, which is impressive. Abduction, underage sex trafficking, methods of sex traffickers, runaways, homeless youth, the world-view & hardened emotions that manifest in dealing in this world, & the stories of extremely difficult survival for kids with no home. Again, it is amazing the director accomplished all of this subject matter without exploiting the actors themselves. While the ideas are revolting, your heart responds with a greater love & understanding of the victims of this ugly subculture of humanity.

Jillian Jacobs is astounding in a hardened but not too hard role as a teen who has been pushed beyond the limits of morality & maintains a softness & concern for others, rejecting the behaviors of abuse & subjugation she has been exposed to. Sadly, this is not common in the family life cycle. Normally, we learn from what we see and experience & then duplicate that in our own lives, because how would we know otherwise?

As this movie involved the journey of a boy & a girl through hell on earth, it should come as no surprise to hear it was a gripping thriller that demanded to be watched to completion. I enjoyed it because it informed my imagination & broadened my understanding of the causes & effects of many of our culture's most despicable acts & brought to life in as tasteful way as I could imagine, how these events are processed by children. Any movie that expands our collective consciousness achieves one of the cinema's primary objectives & deserves our heartfelt appreciation.

I rate this a 7/10 stars because of all of the above & the way Jillian Jacobs toes the line in her portrayal of a thoroughly sympathetic character throughout. This was not an easy role. If you enjoy thrillers & dramas & wouldn't mind becoming more informed about these issues, this is a must-see movie.

Knox D. Alford, III


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 27 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

IMDb Freedive: Watch Movies and TV Series for Free

Watch Hollywood hits and TV favorites for free with IMDb Freedive. Start streaming on IMDb and Fire TV devices today!

Start watching

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed