For some reason, this important film about cyber grooming and sexual abuse didn't find an audience upon its cinematic release. A very meagre $600,000 gross on a $4.5 million budget meant that David Schwimmer's second film as a director was a commercial failure. And what a shame, because the film is anything but a failure in merit. Of the several films made about this touchy subject matter, Trust is more perceptive and nuanced than most. Schwimmer's story takes every aspect into account, and the director treats his characters as human beings, even – and perhaps most importantly – the perpetrator, bravely and brilliantly played by Chris Henry Coffey.
Trust should function as a wake-up call for guardians of children operating on social media; it is urging us to be vigilant on their behalf. However, and this is perhaps Schwimmer's most daring and thought-provoking accomplishment here, Trust also warns of the ramifications of parents and other authorities reacting insensitively or disproportionately to the situation. The father, played with forceful desperation by Clive Owen, somehow does everything wrong after the fact, despite his very best intentions. The scenes of friction between Owen and the very talented Liana Liberato as his daughter towards the end are among the film's most moving and powerful.
Trust can become a problem when it is ill-placed or unbalanced, is Schwimmer's claim here. And he presents a highly relevant predicament on the matter with such sleight of hand and such sensitivity that his movie has become one of the very best of 2010, supported by great acting from a fine cast.