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Gardens of the Night (2005)

Gillian Jacobs , John Malkovich , Damian Harris  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Gillian Jacobs, John Malkovich, Tom Arnold, Jeremy Sisto, Harold Perrineau Jr.
  • Directors: Damian Harris
  • Writers: Damian Harris
  • Producers: Damian Harris, R.D. Robb, Pascal Franchot, Joseph Dain
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Fisher Klingenstein Films
  • DVD Release Date: August 29, 2012
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001L8YQ64
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,315 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Gardens of the Night" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

In the most powerful role of his career, Tom Arnold plays Alex, who, with his partner Frank (Kevin Zegers) lures eight-year-old Leslie (Ryan Simpkins) into a car, changing her life forever. For seven years, she and another child, Donnie, live in horror, with no one to turn to but each other. Eventually abandoned by their captors, Leslie (now played by Gillian Jacobs) and Donnie (Evan Ross), struggle with a hand-to-mouth existence on the streets of San Diego. Haunted by their pasts, it seems reality for Leslie and Donnie is being bought by strangers and never going home. Also featuring unforgettable performances by John Malkovich and Jeremy Sisto.

This product is manufactured on demand using DVD-R recordable media.'s standard return policy will apply.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tough, not sure how else to summarize March 21, 2009
As a parent, I understand the importance of the content regarding children being kidnapped domestically and ending up lost in the sex/slave rings, but man this was a difficult watch. Even harder than Holly (also trailered on this DVD).

The story follows a young, upper-middle class girl (played incredibly by Ryan Simpkins, who coincidentally blew me away with her brief adult-style performance in Balls Out) as she is lured by a pedophile into an irreversible life of long term abuse and abandonment. The film flashes between her youth and later adult existence on the streets. No part of this topic is easy to watch, but everyone plays their roles adequately. Tom Arnold is absolutely scary as the pedophile, he was completely believable to the extreme.

The video and sound quality were fine, and the supplements cover the array of related topics. The deleted scenes were thankfully cut out (even more graphic), but it did show the obvious confusion towards the end of the film in the writing and editing. Malkovich and Sisto already had abbreviated parts, but as I was watching the end Michelle Rodriguez' part seemed strangely miscut, but then left in the deleted scenes, as were the alternate parent actors' roles. The credit listings supplement to help people learn about this topic were too "edgy" and distracting, it could have been made more straightforward and a great deal clearer.

An important awareness content film, hardly rewatchable, a few faults here and there, but the two performances of the main girl are worthy of acknowledgment.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie, but leaves questions unanswered June 16, 2009
I gave this movie 5 stars because of the phenomenal acting. You will cry when you watch it. It's the type of film that is very difficult to watch, but you can't stop watching it. The questions I have are: What happened to Alex and Frank and how did Leslie and Donnie get away from them? Does Leslie ever find Donnie? And it would have been nice to see Leslie and Donnie's lives as adults. Despite the lack of details, it was a great independent movie. I'm not sure it's worth buying, because you will most likely only watch it once.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let me Take You Down September 2, 2010
I suppose this is a good movie. Writer/Director Damien Harris does a fine job of hitting all the points the right way. I guess my problem is the story itself. It certainly isn't fun to watch. I know there are people out there doing the things that are done in this movie, but I don't need to see it.

A young girl gets kidnapped by a man (well played by Tom Arnold) and his buddy who first use her in internet child porn and then for prostitution. This is scary and painful to watch. What makes it tougher to view is the Tom Arnold character. He isn't a nasty, mean, drooling individual. He does seem to care for her at some level, and you get the hint his upbringing wasn't very joyous so he's not so easy to write off. He has also kidnapped a young African American boy for the same purposes and these two kids realize they are all they have and form a bond.

You skip ahead some 10 years or so and the two (Leslie and Frank) are still together. But now the Tom Arnold character and his buddy are gone and the kids are on the streets. They smoke, drink, do drugs and turn tricks. The people they hang with are the same. It's an ugly realization.

Through her trying to get into a shelter, the administrator, played by John Malkovich, finds out who she is and is able to send her home and reunite her with her family. I won't spoil it for you but let's say that Hollywood is no where to be found here.

Again. This is good. The writing, acting, camerawork, sound and music are as good as they need to be to get this done and done well. I don't know if it could have been done any better, but darn. I need hope in my life and you won't find it here.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you are not outraged - You are not paying attention November 15, 2012
By rwfo265
Format:Amazon Instant Video
Exploiting lurid material for dramatic purposes may not seem to serve a purpose to some - But anyone wearing rose colored glasses should be required to see this movie. The fact that we live in a broken world is obvious - But we can do something to fix it.
One cannot watch this movie without emotion. What we do with these emotions - that is what makes a movie like this one necessary.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardens of the Night April 26, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This movie was done very well. It opens your eyes to the adverse effect that young kids go through who are abducted from their family and friends. Children are not as tune to deception of people that they are easily persuaded by strangers to follow them. All parents should take the time and talk to their kids. Everyone is a stranger and be careful if it is someone you don't know that is trying to be nice to you.

All of the actors in this movie did an excellent job.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardens of the Night Review May 26, 2013
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
Very powerful movie!! Gillian Jacobs is an amazing actress in this! Such a sad story but one that should be out there because these types of things happen everyday. People would just rather not think that it actually can happen, but it does and we should make all of our children aware of stranger danger!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Bad Amazon Description January 18, 2014
By Cara M
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is a review of the Amazon summary, not the movie. Very little about the description is accurate. The main characters are NOT in foster care. They are abducted. They are NOT brother and sister, though they grow up together. They are also not teenagers in the bulk of the movie. This is pretty much the worst plot description I've ever read. The movie was ok, though. That's what the stars reflect.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 3 days ago by R. E. Llewelyn
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Didnt finish
Published 19 days ago by Ronald Ross
4.0 out of 5 stars Kidnapping, Pediphilia and Forced Child Pornography
WARNING: This may be difficult to watch for some viewers. Includes pedophilia, kidnapping, forced child prostitution, abuse, neglect, drugs and homelessness. Read more
Published 29 days ago by The Sassy Pen
3.0 out of 5 stars Woth watching once.
This movie is worth watching once.
Published 1 month ago by Wayne
5.0 out of 5 stars Gardens Of The Night...So powerful, disturbing, frightening,...
Although "Gardens Of The Night" is an outstanding film, it proved to be extremely difficult to watch. Read more
Published 1 month ago by goth chick
3.0 out of 5 stars 1,000,000 kids
Perhaps director Damian Harris felt the movie spoke for itself and therefore didn't provide any statistics in either opening or ending graphic-cards. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Darren
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Published 1 month ago by Jeremy J. Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars Why it was well put together
This movie was everything you should expect from the summery and anyone who expected less or more it was their own fault. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Samantha Schmid
4.0 out of 5 stars Very disturbing. Reveals how pedophiles forever damage the lives ...
Very disturbing. Reveals how pedophiles forever damage the lives and the souls of children.
Published 1 month ago by Loretta
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard towatch but very brutally honest about how hard it is ...
Hard to watch but very brutally honest about how hard it is to assimilate into society after enduring such a terrible experience
Published 2 months ago by Amanda
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