Trust (2010 film)

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Trust ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Schwimmer
Written byAndy Bellin
Robert Festinger
Story byDavid Schwimmer (uncredited)
Produced by Avi Lerner
David Schwimmer
Starring Clive Owen
Catherine Keener
Liana Liberato
Viola Davis
Cinematography Andrzej Sekuła
Edited by Douglas Crise
Music by Nathan Larson
Nu Image
Dark Harbor Stories
Burk A Project
Distributed by Millennium Films
Release dates
  • September 10, 2010 (2010-09-10)(TIFF)
  • April 1, 2011 (2011-04-01)
Running time
105 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million [1]
Box office$595,439 [2] [3]

Trust (stylized as trust_) is a 2010 American drama thriller film directed by David Schwimmer and based on a screenplay by Andy Bellin and Robert Festinger, and an uncredited story by Schwimmer. It stars Clive Owen, Catherine Keener, Viola Davis, Jason Clarke, and Liana Liberato.


The film is about a fourteen-year-old girl who becomes a victim of sexual abuse when she befriends a man on the Internet.


For her fourteenth birthday, Annie Cameron receives a laptop from her parents, and she soon meets Charlie in an online chat room. At first, he states that he is 16 years old but, over time, he confesses he is 20 and then 25. Annie is taken aback at first but comes to believe that the two of them are in love.

After two months of communicating electronically, Charlie invites Annie to meet him at the mall. When he arrives, she discovers that he is a man in his late 30s. Annie is upset and uncomfortable at first, but he charms her into going with him to a motel. He makes her try on lingerie that he bought her. When he begins kissing her, she tells him to stop, but he pushes her down onto the bed and rapes her, filming the ordeal.

At school, Brittany, Annie's best friend, confronts Annie after having seen her and Charlie at the mall. Brittany is concerned about his age and notifies the school administration. The police arrive and depart with Annie, drawing unwanted attention from fellow students at her high school. The events initiate an FBI investigation. The FBI have Annie contact Charlie, in an attempt to identify him, but he figures out the ruse and breaks off contact with her before the FBI can trace his location.

Annie's father, Will, slowly becomes obsessed with catching Charlie; he hires a private investigation firm in New Jersey and even steals a collection of his daughter's chat conversations from the FBI. The private investigation proves fruitless, as it is discovered Charlie masks his IP address so his location shows up as the Czech Republic. Will's relationship with his daughter and his wife, Lynn, starts to become alienating, and he questions his work at an advertising firm, which uses provocative advertisements involving teenagers.

In the midst of her father's pursuit of her attacker, Annie begins to see Gail Friedman, a hospital counsellor. Annie's so-called "love" for Charlie is obstructing her view of what really transpired on the day that they met, and she believes Charlie loves her, too. Annie later goes back to school. Brittany tries to apologize but Annie refuses to forgive her and orders Brittany never to talk to her again.

Days later, although Charlie has still not been identified, DNA evidence proves he has previously sexually abused several other young girls. After seeing pictures of Charlie's other victims, Annie flees her home and seeks consolation from Friedman, before finally admitting to herself that she was raped.

The next day, Annie tries to move on with her life by participating in her school's volleyball game. There, Will sees a man in the crowd taking pictures, whom Will mistakes as one of the men from the registered sex offender list. Will violently confronts him, but he turns out to be the father of one of Annie's teammates. The assaulted man chooses not to press charges, realizing that in doing so he will inadvertently reveal that he is a sexual predator. Will apologizes to the man but Annie feels humiliated. She confronts her father, and insists that she just wants to move on with her life.

Annie hears from Brittany about a website in which people are belittling the fact that she was raped and posting photo manipulations of her in pornographic poses, as well as revealing her phone number and address. She locks herself in the bathroom at home and attempts suicide by overdosing with pills, unbeknownst to her father, who is still at home. A panicked call from Lynn leads Will to search the house for a semi-conscious Annie. Will forces Annie to vomit up the pills, and she is hastily rushed to a nearby hospital. Brittany spends the night to keep her company, mending their broken friendship.

Annie wakes up early the next day and discovers her father sitting outside in the freezing cold. He admits that he blames himself for not doing enough to protect her and pleads for her forgiveness, even though he believes he does not deserve it. Annie starts to cry and then embraces him. As the credits roll, a home video reveals Charlie to be a high school physics teacher named Graham Weston, a married father with a young son.



In an interview Schwimmer stated that he always wanted Annie to be played by a 14-year-old, as "there is a danger, if you cast someone who is 18, 19 or 20 to play 14 or 15, that very subtly, almost unconsciously, the audience is, 'Oh, this isn't so bad.'" He based the film on 14 years of involvement with The Rape Foundation and seven years of research. The scene where Annie is raped was filmed as late as possible, to ensure a "really safe environment for Liana." In the seven years of development, about 50 drafts of the script were written. [4]


The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. [5]


Box office

Out of its $4 million budget, Trust earned only $120,016 in North America and $475,423 internationally, for a worldwide gross of $595,439. [6] [7]

Critical response

Trust received positive reviews from critics. As of June 2020, the film holds a 79% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 66 reviews with an average rating of 6.7 out of 10. The critical consensus states: "Director David Schwimmer gets some gut-wrenching performances out of his actors but he still lacks the chops to fully ratchet up story tension." [8] The film also has a score of 60 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 18 critics indicating mixed or average reviews. [9]

In his review, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four stars out of four and stated: "The bravest thing about David Schwimmer's 'Trust' is that it doesn't try to simplify. It tells its story of a 14-year-old girl and a predatory pedophile as a series of repercussions in which rape is only the first, and possibly not the worst, tragedy to strike its naive and vulnerable victim. It's easy to imagine how this story could have been exploited and dumbed down. It works instead with intelligence and sympathy." [10]

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  2. Trust at Box Office Mojo
  3. "Trust (2011)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  4. "David Schwimmer Interview TRUST". Collider.
  5. Trust premieres at Toronto Film Festival, 2010 Archived December 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. "Trust (2011) (2011) - Box Office Mojo".
  7. "Trust (2011) (2011) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo".
  8. "Trust (2011)" . Retrieved June 20, 2020 via
  9. "Trust". Metacritic.
  10. Ebert, Roger (March 31, 2011). "Trust". Archived from the original on April 9, 2011.