Trash review

Check out our review of Trash - Andy Mulligan’s novel about three Brazilian street kids gets the movie treatment

Trash poster


Certificate: 15

Starring: Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, Eduardo Luis, Rickson Tevez

Release date: 2014

4 out of 5


Andy Mulligan’s novel about three Brazilian street kids gets the movie treatment, with Billy Elliott’s Stephen Daldry directing a smart script by Richard Curtis (Love Actually, War Horse).

Teens Raphael, Gordo and Rato find a wallet one day when they are picking through the huge piles of waste where they live. There’s money inside, but also a locker key that will bring them into contact with corrupt police and crooked politicians as they try to figure out what the contents mean and what – and whom – they will expose.

This is no cute-kids-on-a-sunny-adventure story, but a gritty, tense thriller (hence the 15 certificate) as the three boys face police brutality darting around Rio’s poverty-stricken backstreets, with only Sheen’s grizzled priest and Mara’s understanding teacher there to help them survive. The reality of their lives is perfectly depicted when one of the trio is grabbed by police (“Do you like rollercoasters?” the cop asks as he bundles the bound boy into the boot of his car and drives off, swerving at speed to injure him as much as possible) and it is automatically assumed by the others that he’ll never be seen alive again.

Superbly performed by the three kids – Luis, Tevez and Gabriel Weinstein – and pacily directed by Daldry, this boasts one of Curtis’ best scripts, too, and is a fresh, fascinating must-see drama for older kids and grown-ups.

Is Trash suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

Note: This is a 15 certificate and is not suitable for younger viewers.

The three boys are often in danger and we also see one boy hooded, taken in a police car, badly wounded and then threatened with execution. We also see one of the other characters bloodied and beaten.

There is also some strong language.

If you like this, why not try: I'm Not Scared, Stand By Me, Hearts In Atlantis, The Mighty, War Horse,