THE TRIBES OF PALOS VERDES is based on the novel “The Tribes of Palos Verdes” by Joy Nicholson. The movie was directed by Brendan Malloy and Emmett Malloy from a screenplay by Karen Croner and stars Jennifer Garner, Maika Monroe, Cody Fern, Justin Kirk and Alicia Silverstone.

Surf’s up in paradise. When teenage Medina (Maika Monroe) moves with her family to the picture-perfect paradise of Palos Verdes, California, they seem headed for a happy new chapter in their lives. But old troubles soon catch up to them, as her parents’ marriage disintegrates, her mother (Jennifer Garner) spirals into an emotional freefall, and her twin brother (Cody Fern) turns to drugs. Caught in the middle of it all, Medina must rely on her inner strength to become the stabilizing force in her family, while finding refuge in a new passion: surfing. Set amidst the sun-kissed beaches and crystal blue waters of the California coast, The Tribes Of Palos Verdes is a stirring look at how life’s greatest challenges forge who we become.

The movie follows the Mason family who moves to beautiful Palos Verdes, California for a fresh new start. At first everything seems like it’s going to go smothly for them but the lives of  this family slowly begins to spiral completely out of control. Sandy (Jennifer Garner) feels out of place and becomes socially awkward. She also becomes emotionally unhinged when she finds out Phil (Justin Kirk) is cheating on her. Each parent is selfish and vain in their own unique ways and they’re completely unlikable because they’re both ignoring the signs around them.

Their twins, Medina (Maika Monroe) and Jim (Cody Fern) pick up surfing and find it to be a great escape from their family drama. Medina really finds it therapeutic while Jim slowly ventures off into more dark avenues. What happens is, Sandy ends up depending on Jim for some uncomfortable emotional support but he loses it (because he’s a freaking kid) so he ends up getting on drugs to ease the pain. Medina is the only one in the entire family who stays sane enough as she watches helplessly as everyone around her falls apart. This is a tragic story about the Mason family and there are no happy endings.

The packaging comes with a slipcover/o-card. The front features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and specs. The reverse sleeve features some alternate artwork and movie credits. The Blu-ray disc also features some artwork that matches the front cover. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Tribes of Palos Verdes ended up being an extremely depressing watch but it’s a movie that so many families out there will be able to relate to. The interesting story deals with how unbalanced a family’s life can get and how it all spirals out of control when something is triggered. The two biggies here are cheating and drug use. The cast did a great job with their characters. Jennifer Garner brought her A game and delivered an extremely powerful performance as this psychologically unstable mother and the same goes for Maika Monroe who ends up being the family rock and is the only one in this messed up family who deals with things the right way – or as close to right as she can. Emmett Malloy did a really good job telling this tragic and bringing it all to life on screen. This character driven drama is a powerful and emotionally charged watch but it’s not going to be for everyone. The Tribes of Palos Verdes will be available on Blu-ray on April 10th.

Distributor: Shout! Factory and IFC Films

Run Time: 104 Minutes

Rated: R

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.40:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH and Spanish

Special Features: The extras include six deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer.

  • Deleted Scenes (09:03)
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:22)


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