The Glass Castle (film)

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The Glass Castle
The Glass Castle (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byDestin Daniel Cretton
Produced by
  • Gil Netter
  • Ken Kao
Screenplay by
  • Destin Daniel Cretton
  • Andrew Lanham
Based onThe Glass Castle
by Jeannette Walls
Music byJoel P. West
CinematographyBrett Pawlak
Edited byNat Sanders
Gil Netter Productions
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • August 9, 2017 (2017-08-09) (Manhattan)
  • August 11, 2017 (2017-08-11) (United States)
Running time
127 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$21.9 million[2]

The Glass Castle is a 2017 American biographical drama film directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and written by Cretton, Andrew Lanham, and Marti Noxon. It is based on Jeannette Walls' 2005 best-selling memoir of the same name. Depicting Walls' childhood, where her family lived in poverty and sometimes as squatters, the film stars Brie Larson as Walls, with Naomi Watts, Woody Harrelson, Max Greenfield, and Sarah Snook in supporting roles.

The Glass Castle was released on August 11, 2017, by Lionsgate and received mixed reviews from critics. They praised the performances of its cast (particularly Larson and Harrelson) but criticized the emotional tones and adaptation.[3] The film grossed $21.8 million at the box office.

Plot summary[edit]

The film portrays the unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing that Walls and her siblings had at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents.


  • Brie Larson as Jeannette Walls, the second daughter of Rex and Rose Mary Walls' four children
    • Chandler Head as Jeannette Walls (age 8)
    • Ella Anderson as Jeannette Walls (age 11)
  • Naomi Watts as Rose Mary Walls, Rex's wife and eccentric mother of their four children.
  • Woody Harrelson as Rex Walls, Rose Mary's husband and alcoholic father to their four children
  • Sarah Snook as Lori Walls, the oldest daughter of Rex and Rose Mary Walls' four children
    • Olivia Kate Rice as Lori Walls (age 10)
    • Sadie Sink as Lori Walls (age 13)
  • Josh Caras as Brian Walls, the only son among Rex and Rose Mary Walls four children
    • Iain Armitage as Brian Walls (age 6)
    • Charlie Shotwell as Brian Walls (age 9)
  • Brigette Lundy-Paine as Maureen Walls, Rex and Rose Mary Walls youngest child
    • Charlie and Noemie Guyon as Baby Maureen Walls
    • Eden Grace Redfield as three-year-old Maureen Walls
    • Shree Crooks as Young Maureen Walls
  • Max Greenfield as David, Jeanette's fiancé
  • Dominic Bogart as Robbie
  • Joe Pingue as Uncle Stanley


In April 2012, Lionsgate was reported to have acquired the rights to the book and Jennifer Lawrence was in talks to star in the film.[4] In October 2013, it was revealed that director Destin Daniel Cretton was in talks to direct the film and re-write the screenplay with Andrew Lanham from a previous draft by Marti Noxon.[5] In October 2015, Brie Larson joined the cast of the film, replacing Lawrence; she had exited the film after a prolonged search for a male lead.[6] In November 2015, Woody Harrelson joined the cast of the film as the father.[7] In March 2016, Naomi Watts joined the cast as the mother.[8] In April 2016, Max Greenfield and Sarah Snook joined the cast.[9][10] In May 2016, Ella Anderson joined the cast.[11]

Principal photography began on May 20, 2016, in Welch, West Virginia.[12][13]


The Glass Castle was released on August 11, 2017, by Lionsgate.[14]

Box office[edit]

The Glass Castle grossed $17.3 million in the United States and Canada and $3.9 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $21.7 million.[2]

In North America, The Glass Castle was released alongside The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature and Annabelle: Creation, and was projected to gross around $5 million from 1,461 theaters in its opening weekend.[15] The film made $1.7 million on its first day and $4.7 million over the weekend, finishing 9th at the box office.[16] The film made $2.6 million in its second weekend (a drop of 45.5%), finishing 12th.[17]

Critical response[edit]

Despite mixed reviews, Brie Larson's performance as Jeannette Walls received critical acclaim

On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 50% based on 151 reviews, and an average rating of 6.0/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "'The Glass Castle' has an affecting real-life story and an outstanding performance by Brie Larson, but these aren't enough to outweigh a fundamentally misguided approach to the material."[18] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score 56 out of 100, based on reviews from 39 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[16]

Writing for Rolling Stone, Peter Travers said the film "peddles easy uplift instead of cold, hard truths" and gave it two stars out of four, saying, "Hollywood has a knack for sanitizing books that deserve better. In the case of The Glass Castle, it's a damn shame."[20] Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times also gave the film two out of four stars and was equally critical for its presentation, writing: "...a film that presents overwhelming evidence of Rex and Rose Mary as appalling human beings for 90 percent of the journey, and then asks us to give them a break? No sale."[21]


  1. ^ "The Glass Castle". AMC Theatres. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The Glass Castle". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  3. ^ Giles, Jeff (August 10, 2017). "Annabelle: Creation is a Potent Prequel". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Finke, Nikki (April 23, 2012). "Jennifer Lawrence In Talks To Star After Lionsgate Buys Rights To Jeannette Walls Memoir". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  5. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 9, 2013). "'Short Term 12' Director Circles 'Glass Castle' Starring Jennifer Lawrence (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  6. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 9, 2015). "Brie Larson Eyed for Lead in Lionsgate's 'Glass Castle'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Busch, Anita (November 5, 2015). "Woody Harrelson In Talks For 'The Glass Castle' Opposite Brie Larson". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  8. ^ McNary, Dave (March 29, 2016). "Naomi Watts Joins Brie Larson in 'Glass Castle'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  9. ^ Kroll, Justin (April 20, 2016). "Max Greenfield in Talks to Star With Brie Larson in 'Glass Castle' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  10. ^ A. Lincoln, Ross (April 28, 2016). "Sarah Snook In Talks For Lionsgate's 'The Glass Castle' Opposite Brie Larson". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  11. ^ Larson, Brie (May 5, 2016). "So happy that this deeply intelligent, ridiculously talented and totally inspiring creature @ellaanderson4u is joining us as young Jeannette in The Glass Castle. We had the best time at color me mine. #tbt". Instagram. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  12. ^ "Be in a movie: 'The Glass Castle' filming today in Welch". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. May 20, 2016. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  13. ^ Perry, Samantha (May 20, 2016). "'The Glass Castle': Academy Award winning actress films scene in McDowell County". Bluefield Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  14. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 4, 2017). "'The Glass Castle': Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson and Naomi Watts Drama Gets Summer Bow". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (August 9, 2017). "'Annabelle: Creation' Will Be This Summer's Last Scream At The B.O. With Estimated $30M+ Opening – Preview". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media.
  16. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony. "New Line's Dollhouse Of Dough: 'Annabelle: Creation' Opening To $36M+". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Hitman's Bodyguard' Flexes Muscle With $21M+ Opening During Sleepy Summer Weekend". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved August 20, 2017.
  18. ^ "The Glass Castle (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  19. ^ "The Glass Castle Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  20. ^ Travers, Peter (August 10, 2017). "'The Glass Castle' Review: Legendary Memoir Gets the Mediocre-Movie Treatment". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  21. ^ Roeper, Richard (August 10, 2017). "Attempt to redeem reprehensible dad cracks 'The Glass Castle'". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved August 28, 2018.

External links[edit]