The body clock struck thirteen. Out with Barbie and schoolbooks; in with fellatio and body piercing. Tracy (Wood) has this one shot at coolness - she's impressed school bad-girl Evie (Reed) by snatching a wallet to fund a shopping spree - and she's not going to blow it, even if it means her old intimates are in the dust. Single mom Melanie (Hunter), previously scraping by on family affection, doesn't know what's hit her; or at least doesn't want to believe it. And once Tracy's in, what a buzz! At last she can get out of the skin she's secretly been lacerating. Recent censor-baiting dispatches from Larry Clark and Catherine Breillat may smack of something vampiric, but that's part of their complex provocation. They also have the advantage of clear vision and composed stories. Co-written by director Catherine Hardwicke and a then 13-year-old Nikki Reed, on the basis of the latter's own tumults, Thirteen suggests the adolescent trait of not quite knowing what it's kicking against. Early scenes are great on detailed empathy, the performances sizzling with needy volatility. But somewhere the story loses it, and an attempt to chart the collision of teen insecurities and age-old rebellion with sexed-up pop consumerism gives way to cold sweat.