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Twist (2003)

Nick Stahl , Joshua Close , Jacob Tierney  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nick Stahl, Joshua Close, Gary Farmer, Michele-Barbara Pelletier, Tygh Runyan
  • Directors: Jacob Tierney
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002ZDWA8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,194 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Twist" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

After countless faithful translations to the big screen -- not to mention one timeless, Oscar-winning musical version -- Charles Dickens' tale of downtrodden London youth is given a gritty, contemporary spin in this independent Canadian production. This time told from the point of view of the Artful Dodger, Twist transposes the story of Oliver Twist to modern-day Toronto, where Dodge (Nick Stahl) is a smack-addicted male hustler working the streets when he comes across foster-home runaway Oliver (Joshua Close). The two strike up a fast friendship and Dodge makes the boy his apprentice, introducing him to a world of drugs, prostitution, and squalid, rent-free living, overseen by the formidable pimp Fagin (Gary Farmer). But Oliver finds his loyalties torn between his nascent attraction to Dodge and his son-like affection for Nancy (Mich le-Barbara Pelletier), the girlfriend of and pusher for the powerful drug dealer Bill Sykes. Written and directed by former child actor Jacob Tierney (The Neon Bible), Twist first made its appearance on the festival scene at the 2003 Venice and Toronto fests. ~ Michael Hastings, Rovi

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dickens Artfully Dodged October 26, 2004
It seems everyone knows the Charles Dickens' novel 'Oliver Twist', if not from reading it, viewing old movie forms, or from seeing the long-running musical adaptation 'Oliver!'. And knowing that Dickens had a penchant for exposing forced child labor and abuse in the darker parts of London's seedy side, creating affecting tales of woe, only to find a happy ending in the last pages - knowing that may bring surprise at the adaptation of Dickens by screenwriter/director Jacob Tierney.

But TWIST is a contemporary look at issues that persist, this time around the boys housed and fed by Fagin and kept in line by Bill Sykes are not pickpockets but hustlers. This adaptation is as searingly disturbing as was Dickens' novel when it was published: runaway boys in Toronto find a means of existence by hustling johns on the cold streets and turning over their earnings to Fagin who in turn serves as their pimp. The evil Bill Sykes is retained in this version, cleverly off screen in visibility, but his misdeeds are still in view in his drug dealing and his abuse of the boy's kind 'surrogate mother', Nancy.

So the basic story remains intact and the message of the original is as tough to see, but the real difference is in Tierney's refusal to provide a happy ending - a decision that truly makes this excellent film more powerful.

The main character in TWIST is Dodge (the Artful Dodger) (Nick Stahl in a superb performance that grabs your heart and never lets go) who does his hustling but also is addicted to heroin. He befriends another runaway lad named Oliver (Joshua Close) who needs shelter and love and is drawn into the Fagin stable.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted!! June 14, 2005
Poor naïve Oliver. Mommy has passed away and he never knew his daddy. After a series of misfortunate events, he has found himself to be a 16 year old orphan/ runaway on the streets of Toronto. Lucky for him, while hanging out in a local café, he is discovered by Dodge, who seems to have a little experience in recognizing poor lost souls with no where to go.

Dodge is rather street wise, after all; he has been pounding the pavement nightly for quite sometime as a hustler himself. He offers Oliver some food and a place to stay, which Oliver gladly accepts.

Dodge and a few of his cohorts live in a ramshackle abandoned building with their "supervisor" Fagin watching there every move. Fagin reports to Bill (whom we never see); who runs his stable of boys & girls with an iron fist.

Dodge also has quite a nasty heroin addiction, which he relies on to get the job done every night. Dodge decides to train Oliver in his wicked ways, which the young Oliver seems more than up to the task of learning.

So is the story of Jacob Tierney's adaptation of the classic Dickens novel "Oliver Twist". This is NOT the Oliver that I remember growing up; but it is still a decent movie nonetheless.

The movie chronicles the lives of these young men & women in a gritty and depressing fashion. The movie centers around Dodge, who is played quite skillfully by Nick Stahl. Oliver (Joshua Close) just happens to be the catalyst that could bring the whole business crashing down.....

Will he survive the clutches of Dodge, Fagin, and Bill? Well, you'd have to watch to find out for yourself.

Dodge himself is quite an interesting character, and we get to find out about his family background and what has led him up to this point.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film, convincing actors October 20, 2004
By Holden
Okay let me begin by stating that if you are looking for a film that remakes Dicken's classic, don't hold your breath with Twist. Here the urchins are hustlers, not pick pockets. Aside from the names (our lead characters are Oliver and Dodge, with their pimp being Fagan) the similarities are limited. Although, Twist is faithful to the social reformist urgency which is key in the writings of Charles Dickens.

Having said that, I really thought this was a good film. It is not uplifting at all, there is little or no redemption, but the characters are very real, the acting is very good and you will become emotionally involved. You will care about these characters by the end, they have depth. I won't spoil the film for you but there are three scenes that will completely break your heart, two involving Oliver and one involving Dodge.

The film is not graphic in anything other than subject matter. The scenes on the cold winter streets of Toronto made me shiver (anyone in Northern Cities will understand). The film is just the right length. I would recommend that you at least rent this film. The DVD has a commentary with the Director and Nick Stahl that is nice, so you may want to own it also.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Twist March 9, 2006
By Kali
This unusual adaptation of Charles Dicken's Oliver Twist is a gritty, yet touching story, not unlike the original. It takes place in a small Canadian town and revolves around a gruop of young male prostitutes. The characters though not entirely three-dimensional, do well in creating a sense of danger and desperation. Nick Stahl is as usual very convincing and his portrayal of Dodger is rather moving. It's a slow paced thriller with nice little plot twists ;-)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, we get it
Toronto hustlers are a den of thieves like Oliver Twist, but don't take it all that literally. Or you'll be disappointed.

I was. Read more
Published 6 months ago by R.O. Despain
2.0 out of 5 stars Clever idea that falls short
Starts out really well. Unfortunately it falls apart in the end because of some odd choices in plot and character.
Published 6 months ago by MikeyBear
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality and generally great film
This is very intelligently written and sadly very real story-wise. Brilliantly acted and directed. I highly recommend this movie; great film.
Published 7 months ago by Michael D. Leach
3.0 out of 5 stars Gay Oliver Twist well done.
Good adaptation of Oliver Twist..good acting, but very sad ending. Very real situations and dialogue. I recommend it to older men.
Published 8 months ago by Br. Paul-Robert
4.0 out of 5 stars A Positive Twist
This film is an effective twist on Dicken's novel that provides a thoughtful viewer with an appreciation for both the contemporary approach to an ignored reality in nations of the... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gary L. Magruder
3.0 out of 5 stars Good To Watch
Is not the best writing/acting, but thought provoking. If you have time with nothing to do this is a good choice.
Published 8 months ago by USA is #1
3.0 out of 5 stars worthwhile
Worth watching but not an outstanding film in my opinion. I rate this an average to good movie to watch.
Published 10 months ago by Carl H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Check it out
Great movie. A little slow and plot was unclear but interesting. I felt like I got in on the middle and left early.
Published 12 months ago by Nyc hair
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible
I couldn't finish watching. Nothing more to say. But, I have to use a minimum number of words. Horrible. Horrible.
Published 12 months ago by sheryl
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING
I love this movie and what it stands for. I could not be more pleased. I would recommend this movie to my friends.
Published 14 months ago by Ryan
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