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Review: Trust

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David Schwimmer directs a cautionary tale about the internet that transcends its issue-of-the-week agenda. “Trust” is best at exploring self-worth in the eyes of others. Fourteen-year-old North Shore volleyballer Annie (Liana Liberato) meets 16-year-old “Charlie” at a teen sports chat site. She cherishes his every text about her “beauty.” As their first in-person meet-up at a mall looms, he admits in stages to his real age. Her shock and hurt at these lies are only momentary, though. No matter how old “Charlie” (Chris Henry Coffey) looks to her offline, she yearns for his eyes on her. On a Saturday afternoon, after a stop at an ice cream parlor, she timidly models his gift of a red bra and red panties in his motel room. Penetrating another under-ager is why he booked a same-day roundtrip through O’Hare. “You don’t even know him,” she screams at her reeling parents (Clive Owen and Catherine Keener). “He did not rape me!” Later, after lashing out at classmates who are less “pretty,” Annie is shown FBI photos of other girls in the midwest that “Charlie” victimized: “They were not even that pretty. He said I was pretty. What is wrong with me?” Screenwriters Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger don’t answer that one, but do point a finger at an advertising campaign for the “Academic Appeal” clothing line where hot teen models pose with few clothes. Annie’s dad manages that account. “Trust” is not always subtle. Count how many times “Charlie” is called a “sick fuck.” Premature teen sexuality and predatory rape emerge here as vaguely monstrous in their own ways. But Liberato, Keener and Owen do more than a public service spot. With Jason Clarke, Noah Emmerich, Viola Davis. 104m. (Bill Stamets)