Leave No Trace Review

Starring: Thomasin McKensie, Ben Foster, Peter Simpson, Dana Millican, Alyssa McKay

Director: Debra Granik

Release date: 29th June 2018


A young teenage girl and her dad are living in the woods, foraging and making their own little home. One day they need to go into the local town to get some provisions. On their return, they hear dogs in the woods so they run and hide, as they have practiced. Unfortunately the dad is soon caught and he tells them that his daughter is with him too. They take the pair separately to the city (Portland) and they are put through a lot of tests. Ultimately, they are given shelter by the local authorities. The dad is fighting his own personal demons and the pair is soon forced into a situation that they really don’t want to be in. Can they adapt to a ‘normal life’?


‘Leave No Trace’ is one of those movies that really makes you think. Even though this is probably just a story in a movie, it’s blatantly obvious that this probably could and does reflect real life. The dad in the film is brilliantly portrayed by Ben Foster and even though it isn’t spoken about, you get a sense that he is suffering from PTSD of some description and it explains a lot of his behaviour. Young actress, Thomasin McKensie is absolutely fantastic as the 13 year old daughter, making the best of a bad situation. It’s very obvious that the connection between the pair is extremely strong and they are doing what they need to do to survive each day. Tom doesn’t really possess any real people skills and so struggles when she has to interact with the people she comes into contact with.


If you’re looking for laughs, then this is not the one for you. A movie that has real heart and tells the story of the strong bond between a father and daughter, ‘Leave No Trace’ is one that shouldn’t be missed.

Overall: 8/10


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