Film Review: TERRI

Directed by Azazel Jacobs
Written by Patrick Dewitt
Starring: Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, Creed Bratton, Bridger Zadina, Olivia Crocicchia

Terri is a small film that has the uncommon knack of being unpredictable at nearly every turn. We saw it because the movie we went to see was sold out. Seeing a movie with few expectations probably helped make this film succeed for me.

PLOT: Terri (Wysocki) is an overweight misfit in a small town. I couldn’t tell where this town was located, but probably in the southwest based on the unrelenting sun and sunspots of its characters. He lives with his uncle (Bratton), who is drifting into dementia and Terri has no one else in his life when the film begins. Terri dresses in pajamas and is a loner but not in an overt way. The kids seem more accepting of him than in similar movies. That is one of the many ways this film surprises us. The principal, for reasons that eventually become clear, takes him under his wing and he eventually forms relationships with a pretty girl (Crocicchia) and a bantam-weight hair-plucker (Zadina).

What makes this film stand out (although in a small way—don’t have high expectations because at times it resembles an after-school special—)is the performances of its actors, the genre-bending writing, and the unique setting. All the things we expect to see, we don’t. And most of all the sure-handed performance of Wysocki makes it believable.

Patti Abbott writes crime fiction short stories. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at She hopes you’ll join in.