Damaged and confused people try all sorts of inappropriate solutions, in this case in a beautiful natural environment. I think many of the reviews that criticize the girl's obvious stupid choices don't realize the damage that abuse does to a young mind. People with no options and no power don't make good choices, especially if they're 14.
This movie is about a young girl (14 years old) who is in her searching years, obviously already trying to figure out her life (hints: wildly ugly makeup and constant chewing on her sleeves), who is abused by her uncle and then tries to escape from him. But where to? In a strange place with no resources (Alaska), she tries to get away. For those who don't know, a ship or airplane is the only way to get out of some of the towns in the Alaska panhandle, and Juneau is a small enough town that hiding there is not much of an option. She ends up choosing a slim option of following what appears to be a decent man on his own search for closure after his wife's death. This girl, like most 14 year olds, is naive and clueless, and that comes across as bad judgment in many cases.
I thought it was very realistic in showing how impaired young people can be when they have few options. The fact that so many reviewers hate her attitude is exactly why these kids often end up thrown away. Is it any wonder that she has a bad attitude? Lack of judgment, no money, no knowledge of geography, paranoid because the people closest to you have hurt you--good grief, she had a lot of things going against her just like in real life. She tried to get close to people in the only way she knew how, and it only hurt her more.
Some reviewers complained about the ending. It is a closure. I got it. You'll have to see it to decide, but I thought it was fine.
As a bonus, the entire movie shows the magnificent Alaska scenery, which hints at its harshness. If you spend any time outdoors, you can tell that she would have died if her chosen companion hadn't decided to help her. More bad choices, just like most 14 year olds I know. But her random companion choice worked out. Not a great pathway to a better life if you had other options (and the police do not always help in these situations), but it worked for her. Which is one of the messages of the movie: how unlikely it was that her life would become better without this random help.