My respect for Shia LaBeouf continues to grow. Granted, the three moronic Transformer movies allowed plenty of room for growth. But lately he has emerged as a solid, accomplished actor, as evidenced by The Peanut Butter Falcon and Borg vs. McEnroe. 

What many may not know is that he has been acting since he was a kid, and based the screenplay for this affecting drama (which he wrote while in rehab) on his own experiences as a child actor, in which he plays a version of his own abusive, ne’er-do-well father. Nicely done!

Israeli Alma Har’el’s feature directorial debut is a compelling, even therapeutic story, told with honesty and compassion. The actor is excellently played by Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place) as a child and by the estimable Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird, Ben Is Back) as a young adult. Can’t wait to see what Har’el does next.

(94 min)