We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
"Hick" is a film about a damaged 13-year-old girl who runs away from an alcohol-soaked home and encounters only hateful, cruel or moronic people. I cringed. It contains some effective performances, it does a good job of evoking bereft and empty landscapes, but what is it for? Has she learned anything? Have we?
The film stars Chloe Grace Moretz, of "Hugo" and "Let Me In," who at 15 looks all too convincing as an adolescent. She plays Luli, who never goes anywhere without her drawing pad and records her life in pictures much brighter than it is. Here's an idea of the kind of family she comes from. Her 13th birthday is celebrated in a tavern, with her drunken father (Anson Mount) half-conscious and sprawled in a booth. Her mother (Juliette Lewis) helps her unwrap presents, which include a handgun. Everyone thinks the gun is a great present, except perhaps the bartender, who later has to forcibly prevent her father from driving her home.
We see enough of her slovenly home life before she gets the idea from a TV show that she should seek happiness in Las Vegas. Wearing Daisy Dukes and a halter top, carrying a jean jacket and a handbag with the gun inside, she skips away to hitchhike.
Her first ride comes from Eddie (Eddie Redmayne), wearing a cowboy hat, driving a pickup truck, superficially charming, who knows only bad people. Then she's picked up by Glenda (Blake Lively), possibly a hooker, who takes her to the home of a sinister man, where she meets Eddie again. Their paths seem destined to cross. Later, he parks outside a pool hall, tells her to stay in the truck, goes inside and plays pool for money. She defies him and comes inside. When he doubles up and loses, he seems to imply the winner can settle the bet with sex with Luli, but maybe that's not what he meant, because soon enough, he interrupts a rape in the ladies' room by bashing in the man's head with a sink he rips from the wall.