Film reviews and more since 2009

Edge of Everything (2024) review

Dir. Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman

By: Steve Pulaski

Rating: ★★½

Abby (Sierra McCormick) is a 14-year-old girl rapidly approaching a spiral. The sudden death of her mother has forced her to move in with her father (Jason Butler Harner) and his girlfriend (Sabrina Friedman-Seitz). Not ideal. Abby’s cohort of friends keep her stable, but it’s her new friend, Caroline (Ryan Simpkins), who leads her down an even scarier path. Suddenly, Abby is drinking, experimenting with drugs, shoplifting, and attending parties populated with older men. She’s coming-of-age, as we say, but something might come at her quicker than age 15.

That’s the gist of Edge of Everything, an 81-minute film that is too long to be considered a short film, but also questionable as a feature. A litany of characters and plot-threads waiting for development and resolve populate a movie that feels like it’s three or four additional scenes short of being complete. What the writing and directing team of Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman gift us is essentially a lengthy proof-of-concept. This feels like a short waiting for its feature-length adaptation.

Lifting — no, carrying — Edge of Everything is Sierra McCormick, a 26-year-old performer who can still believably pass as a teenager. Abby isn’t one to talk much, even amongst her friends (side-note: Emily Robinson gives an empathetic performance as the best friend who tries to support her equal, until she can’t), but McCormick doesn’t make her an empty, surly vessel. She could speak up about her mother’s death has profoundly impacted her, or how her father, try as he might, isn’t good at “playing dad,” but who would listen?

Meanwhile, Ryan Simpkins throws herself into the role of Caroline, a hurricane of a human being, who coerces Abby to experiment with booze, weed, and eventually cocaine. Here’s a character that should talk more too. Sabella and Feldman have done a quietly stellar job at keeping the substance scenes raw; dimly lit rooms and close-ups of characters smoking, snorting, and guzzling this, that, and the other are shown in explicit detail. At the same time, they underserve their two dichotomous teen characters. We never understand why Caroline is like this, or what she’s trying to bury beneath a copious amount of intoxicants.

So much of Edge of Everything suggests there’s something more bubbling under the surface. The sad part is we don’t get to see it. Abby’s relationship with her father is undeveloped, truly defined by the awkward encounter of him forcing her to take a drug test followed by a testy confrontation. Abby’s relationship with Caroline is left on the surface, and the vivid scenes of bad behavior, while well-shot, leave you wondering if the lack of resolve is part endorsement. I’m sure it isn’t, yet that’s what happens when a movie doesn’t give you much on which to latch.

NOTE: Edge of Everything will be released on VOD on June 7th, 2024, and will see a DVD release on June 12th.

NOTE II: I got to chat with Sierra McCormick about her performance in Edge of Everything, her early TV roles, and more. Take a listen!

Starring: Sierra McCormick, Ryan Simpkins, Jason Butler Harner, Sabina Friedman-Seitz, Emily Robinson, Dominique Gayle, Nadezhda Amé, and Drew Scheid. Directed by: Sophia Sabella and Pablo Feldman.

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About Steve Pulaski

Steve Pulaski has been reviewing movies since 2009 for a barrage of different outlets. He graduated North Central College in 2018 and currently works as an on-air radio personality. He also hosts a weekly movie podcast called "Sleepless with Steve," dedicated to film and the film industry, on his YouTube channel. In addition to writing, he's a die-hard Chicago Bears fan and has two cats, appropriately named Siskel and Ebert!

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