Sundance 2017: ‘Deidra And Laney Rob A Train’ Is A Fun If Not Perfect Film About The Importance Of Family

Posted by January 27, 2017 Comment

Deidra And Laney Rob A Train
8 / 10 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 10 Users (0 votes)
BC Rating

Deidra and Laney Rob a Train won’t change anyone’s life, but fun performances and a heartwarming story elevate it above average.

Director: Sydney Freeland
Summary: After their mother ends up in jail, two sisters turn to train robbery in order to support their family.

The idea of two teenagers banding together to rob trains to keep themselves afloat is hilarious on its own. It’s the type of thing someone who is wicked smart (but also overwhelmed) would come up with which is exactly what Deidra (Ashleigh Murray) and her younger sister Laney (Rachel Crow) are. They were barely getting by, but when their mom has a nervous breakdown and ends up in jail on a minor offense, Deidra is forced to take up the role as the parent for not only Laney but their younger brother as well. As the bills pile up and desperation to keep her siblings out of foster care intensifies, Deidra hatches a plan to rob trains and sell the merchandise.

Lance Grey, Rachel Crow and Ashleigh Murray appear in Deidra & Laney Rob a Train by Sydney Freeland, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fred Hayes.
Lance Grey, Rachel Crow and Ashleigh Murray appear in Deidra & Laney Rob a Train by Sydney Freeland, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fred Hayes.

This is a movie that is held together by the cast of characters, because if the audience doesn’t believe in these siblings then the entire movie is going to fall apart. The three main characters — but Deidra and Laney in particular — are fun and believable to watch. In one moment they are acting like you would expect two girls close in age to act, and the next they are planning another robbery like it’s nothing. As their deadbeat father (David Sullivan) enters the situation and things get more serious, we really feel for these girls. They are teenagers dealing with teenage problems on top of trying to keep their family together.

Lance Grey, Rachel Crow, Ashleigh Murray and David Sullivan appear in Deidra & Laney Rob a Train by Sydney Freeland, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fred Hayes.
Lance Grey, Rachel Crow, Ashleigh Murray and David Sullivan appear in Deidra & Laney Rob a Train by Sydney Freeland, an official selection of the NEXT program at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Fred Hayes.

The main theme of the movie also comes through these characters, as it is very much a ‘nature vs nuture’ type of thing. The girls believe they aren’t destined for anything because their parents weren’t, but as the movie moves along they realize they are more than their DNA. They also realize that family is so much more important than they thought as they try to stay away from the investigator of the crimes. However, all of this being said, the movie doesn’t add much to the genre either. It’s a little predictable, but the interplay among all of the characters is good enough that you’re able to excuse it.

Deidra and Laney Rob a Train is a movie built for the age of streaming. While it has broad appeal, the audience that falls in love with it will be the ones who seek it out. As far as “family hijinks movies” go, this is a strong sophomore effort for director Sydney Freeland.

What people say... Leave your rating
Order by:

Be the first to leave a review.

User Avatar
Verified
{{{ review.rating_title }}}
{{{review.rating_comment | nl2br}}}

Show more
{{ pageNumber+1 }}
Leave your rating

(Last Updated May 9, 2018 6:49 pm )

About Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is a film nerd, a comic nerd, an all around nerd that has a love for female superheroes and independent cinema. When she isn't watching movies Kaitlyn loves fiction writing and watching political satire. Follow her on twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on instagram. She's also a co-host at The Nerd Dome Podcast. Listen to it at http://www.nerddomepodcast.com

View All Posts