Review: ‘Small Time’ Has a Strong Cast, But Unredeemable Story

Small Time may not be an inherently unique film—retracing the familiar and well-tread beats that accompany a film set in rural, opioid-plagued America—but it is unique in centering its story around a young girl coming of age surrounded by adults who fail her. 

Oftentimes children are more of an afterthought in these narratives. 

But no one is redeemable in this script, not even Emma (Audrey Grace Marshall). 

Emma is met with hardship after hardship: an all-too-real look at rural America, but at the same time too much all-at-once. 

While Emma’s story is a familiar and all too realistic plight, there are elements of this film that felt, perhaps, too on the nose, and perhaps that discomfort was an intentional construct of the script. 

Small Time makes some interesting choices that make it hard to quantify as a “good” film, but what it does do well is give Audrey Grace Marshall material to prove what an incredibly talented young actress she is.