“The Glass Castle” is all over the place. While I wasn’t a big fan of Jeanette Walls’ memoir, I expected that this cast and director could raise the material. What follows is what many would call poor people porn. The narrative is handled in a way that it becomes almost a sport to marvel at poor white people falling behind over the past few decades. Woody Harrelson plays a mean drunk and Naomi Watts always seems to be seconds away from crying. All the while, you wonder where Brie Larson went.

When Larson is onscreen, she does her best to frame what the audience has seen to this point. But, her character is mainly seen though child and teenage actors. When we see adult Brie Larson, she’s doing her best to make sense of the life she left behind. Adult Walls loves her parents, but she realizes that she must get away from them. The third act of the movie undercuts a lot of the book’s strength.

However, the film understands the immediate need to escape the squalor of her childhood. Some might call adult Jeanette Walls somewhat stuffy. It’s not anger, but fear that if she can’t approve…she’ll be forever trapped in the dreams of the past. Her father tried to escape the same track, but the dream of that Glass Castle is so strong. Fun fact: adult Walls leaves with her mother now. So, that ended up rather cheery.


  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurettes


  • 2.40:1 1080p transfer
  • Dolby TrueHD 7.1


  • 94%
    Video - 94%
  • 95%
    Audio - 95%
  • 93%
    Supplemental Material - 93%
  • 88%
    Film Score - 88%

The Plot Thus Far

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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