Heavy-Handed
Kids for Cash
Review by Ross Anthony

Interesting topic. Some fascinating footage of judges gone astray, but the documentary itself is unwieldy. While the interviews with victims are important and captured in a warm personal way, the interviews go long and become a bit redundant. If these were cut crisper, room could have been left for interviews with juvenile programs that are doing things the right way. Zero Tolerance doesn't have to mean shackles and prison time. Zero Tolerance could simply mean that misbehavior gets addressed, that there is intervention and follow up. This doc does a great job of bringing attention to the issue, but misses the opportunity to shed light on programs that have positive results.

The cardboard cutout of the detention halls may have worked in a motion picture, but feels inappropriate here. Likewise, the cover of Radiohead's "Creep" is wonderfully eerie and reminiscent of XTC's "Dear God" - I enjoyed the music, but its inclusion here feels manipulative. All of that subjectivity was not necessary, the topic is a good one. The footage and access to the subjects is also excellent, the portrait of Ciavarella is fascinating. It's just that the story/topic isn't flushed out to its fullest extent.

An uneven doc that brings to light an important injustice.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --


  • Kids for Cash. Copyright © 2014.
  • Directed by Robert May.

Grade..........................B- (2.5/4)


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Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.


Last Modified: Tuesday, 18-Feb-2014 19:22:04 PST