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The Glass Castle (2017)

PG-13 | | Biography, Drama | 11 August 2017 (USA)
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A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.


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A young girl comes of age in a dysfunctional family of nonconformist nomads with a mother who's an eccentric artist and an alcoholic father who would stir the children's imagination with hope as a distraction to their poverty.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Home goes wherever we go.


Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content involving family dysfunction, and for some language and smoking | See all certifications »




Release Date:

11 August 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El castillo de cristal  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$4,678,548 (USA) (13 August 2017)


$17,273,059 (USA) (12 October 2017)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Did You Know?


Brie Larson's second collaboration with director Destin Daniel Cretton. She previously starred in his feature Short Term 12 (2013). See more »


Rex: I never built the glass castle.
Jeannette: No. But it was fun to plan it.
See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Tulip Fever (2017) See more »


O Christmas Tree
Performed by Mario Lanza
Courtesy of Sony Classical
By arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

The Glass Castle
16 August 2017 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I remember reading Jeannette Walls' memoir back in 2012. A good friend had given it to me as a gift because he himself had read it and liked it very much and thought that I would too. At the time that I read, The Glass Castle, it was either the Fall, or Winter of that year and I remember that during that year I was dealing particularly with some unwanted anxiety and depression issues which were mostly situational issues and yet nevertheless they were there. As, I read this memoir, I found myself appreciating it and yet perhaps because of the fragile emotional state I was in where any little thing could bring about a strong anxiety attack, or racing thoughts, I found the book a difficult read not because it was overly academic, or anything of that kind, but instead because of the high emotional intensity of the book and the themes that the book ran on which in this case was a true story about a girl growing up in an extremely dysfunctional family. I remember whilst reading the book that I became almost exasperated at the two parental figures in the book and why they chose two live the way they did and why so much trauma and difficulties were thrust upon their young children at such a young and impressionable age. I haven't read the book since then as usually I will finish one book and then jump right into another with me very seldomly returning to a book to reread it, but one thing that stuck out about the book to me and it becomes even more apparent now that I have seen the film version of The Glass Castle, is that basically we are dealing with two parental figures who for reasons either of their own choosing, or perhaps some like other things were maybe situational as well. Needless to say they did not want to live a swanky, posh lifestyle and give their kids everything handed to them on a silver platter. These kids really had to witness a lot of difficult and what I would consider traumatic life changing things as they were growing up in the Walls' family household including alcoholism, poverty and going without daily necessities such as food as well as the fact that their father, Rex, could almost be really friendly and warm one minute, but in the next be the exact polar opposite and could come on strong, intimidating and even down right scary and mean. The alcohol he consumed any chance he had probably did not help this and there were often many family arguments and things that could get so tense and uncomfortable that you could probably cut the thick dense air around them with a butter knife. One element that is really rewarding to watch amiss the dysfunction is how these young kids really stuck together and would defend one another and more, or less made a pact between one another to always be there for each other because I think that even at a young age they knew that their family dynamics were not in the least bit what you would call "normal" and that to survive that they would have to make it on their own and be self sufficient and be able to provide for themselves and also each other. While, I was at times incredulous with these two parents while I read the book and also watched this new film, I have to say that the film also gave the story a new light to the subject in my eyes as while it showed the unhealthy living conditions of this family and what to most children would have caused irreparable psychological damage, the film also shows us that while living like this certainly wasn't easy for any of them that because of their surroundings they all grew up to be perfectly functioning and capable people who were not hindered because of their upbringing, but instead grew all the more strong because of it and truly learned to persevere and stay strong in the midst of whatever storms came their way. The film also showcases that while Rex Walls in particular was a terrifying figure at times and a true nonconformist and yet he had his own personal demons and troubles to deal with and even if he had an odd way of showing it, he really did love these kids with all his heart and that no matter what happened nothing would change that. And, I think also as the kids became adults they could put aside the troubling and bad times and remember everything that was good because there were certainly those moments as well. This film version of The Glass Castle, is top notch in each and every way possible and while it can not include each and every moment of the book, what it does leave us with is quite memorable. The acting here is beyond phenomenal from the young child actors to greats like Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, who I sincerely hope are both up for Oscars for their powerful and moving performances. This is a film that hits you quite hard emotionally, but at the same time is a completely rewarding experience that made me appreciate the book even more, but also gave me a different look at this family and dysfunction in general with even a sense of acceptance and love towards this family. This is the most powerful and moving film of the year so far and also with the best performances so far this year. A true masterpiece in each and every sense of the word.

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