Indie Gems: The Tribes of Palos Verdes

We're going to start fresh. 

Medina (Maika Monroe) has just moved to Palos Verdes with her family. Her father, (Justin Kirk) is a doctor who has just accepted a new job. When he ends up leaving the family and sending his wife, Sandy (Jennifer Garner) into a tailspin, Medina and her twin brother Jim (Cody Fern) find themselves dealing with Sandy's mental illness while Medina attempts to surf all her troubles away.

This is a very quiet film, but what caught my eye was Jennifer Garner. I sometimes forget that she was once a highly capable actress on Alias. All I associate her with now are these mom roles in family films, and it was nice seeing her tackle a role like this. Sandy is complicated, while they don't flat out name her illness she's pretty clearly bipolar and goes through extreme highs and lows, and Garner plays her very convincingly. It was hard watching her two teenager children struggle to deal with that on top of being horribly manipulated by their father. 

Maika Monroe is an easy protagonist to follow, as she was in It Follows. There's just something interesting about the actress.  This film packs a ton of baggage but isn't very showy. It has a slower pace, which does make it feel a bit too long in places, but it fits with the tone of laid back Palos Verdes.

Now with Peppermint in theaters, which I haven't seen, I hope this is a return of more diverse roles for Garner. 

Grade: B

Watched on: Netflix DVD

Memorable Quote: "...are you serious?" - Medina (Maika Monroe)


  1. I always feel that people don't really give Jennifer Garner enough to work with as I often feel she's better than some of the rom-coms she's in as I always wondered why Ben Affleck never casted her in a serious film role.

    1. Probably because she was too busy watching their children and keeping his ass in line.


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