Save those Ross-and-Rachel and "with Friends like these" jokes for another time: Sitcom vet David Schwimmer's directorial U-turn into adult drama merits ridicule on its own ill-conceived terms. With all the ambiguity of a Dateline expos and the subtlety of a '50s scare film, Trust tells the story of a happy American family torn apart when 14-year-old Annie (Liberato) is seduced by an Internet predator. Feeling confused, isolated and humiliated, Annie tries to protect the perpetrator while her father, Will (Owen), becomes obsessed with apprehending him. Desperate to gain control over a hopeless situation, Will harasses local sex offenders, alienates his wife (Keener), and tunnels into parental hell.
Schwimmer is so committed to telling grim truths about modern living (whither goes humanity in the age of Twitter and sexting?!?) that he abandons the film's tantalizing slide into B-movie exploitation. Amid atrocious lighting and clumsy scene construction, Owen dives headlong into a role that shades toward New Hollywood antihero territory (there's a kinky edge to his rage) before ceding responsibility to trend-story straw men like sex in advertising and the big, bad Internet. It's essentially a feature-length elaboration of a "Do you know where your children are?" PSA, pairing stern message-making with an oddly trashy imagination. Schwimmer can play the scold just fine, but in matters of Trust, he can't keep his story straight---or even make it serviceable.
Watch the trailer