Review by: Christopher Haskell
June 23, 2010

“Trucker” is every Indie director’s dream; four or more well-known stars, a great original story, and a full future ahead. Trucker was James Mottern’s first feature film endeavor but not by appearance. Dramatic storytelling is an art-form: making viewers care about imaginary people and their predicaments is not easy. Yet there was an ease to falling in next to these characters and seeing how they live, especially the lead, played by Michelle Monaghan (“Heartbreak Kid” and “Eagle Eye”). Having never been a huge fan of Monaghan’s, the fact that she won me over was tremendous. With a hard-edge yet child-like approach to the life (and child) given to her, you watch Monaghan’s character, a female truck driver, adapt to her surroundings, whether she is outside a convenience store in her underwear scolding some roughens or throwing back a few beers with an old friend at a local bar. No matter what, Monaghan’s performance is worthy of sinking into.

The star of the film (and many others as it appears) is Jimmy Bennett, Monaghan’s son in the film. Bennett is popping up all over Hollywood these days with huge roles in “Star Trek” (as young Kirk), “Orphan,” and a lead role in “Shorts,” all of which came after this stellar performance in “Trucker.” The boy is destined for great things and is well on his way to become the next big star of our kids’ generation. The film is sprinkled with scenes I could have done without. The children huffing spray Ready Whip was confusing and added to the R rating for no reason at all. However, the gorgeous scenes of the truck stop in the desert and the side of the highway shot in the rolling hills definitely made up for any inconsistencies. Overall, the film is stunning and dramatically sound, fit for any Indie director’s very first feature film.

October 9, 2009

James Mottern

James Mottern

Monterey Media

> $1.5 million

(for some sexuality, language, brief drug use involving minors, and a sexual assault)

90 minutes


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