Skip to main content

Paloma Kwiatkowski in Riot Girls.

Courtesy of LevelFilm

  • Riot Girls
  • Directed by Jovanka Vuckovic
  • Written by Katherine Collins
  • Starring Paloma Kwiatkowski and Madison Iseman
  • Classification 14A
  • 81 minutes

rating

Back in 1995, a mysterious disease wiped out all the adults in fictional Potter’s Bluff, leaving only children and teens to rule the land. Or at least that’s what happened in the Riot Girls universe conceptualized by director Jovanka Vuckovic and writer Katherine Collins. Because in a world divided into East and West – regions rooted in freedom of expression and varsity-jacket-wearing fascism, respectively, it turns out the scariest scenarios are ones that transcend time, space and postapocalyptic reality.

Fortunately, we’re in good company with the film’s leads, Nat (Madison Iseman) and her girlfriend Scratch (Paloma Kwiatkowski), who are forced to venture to the East side to save Nat’s brother Jack (Alexandre Bourgeois). And from there, you never stop rooting for them.

Thanks to Iseman and Kwiatkowski’s heartwarming chemistry, Collins’s sharp dialogue and Vuckovic’s pointed direction, you find yourself running in step with two young women who are smart, interesting, brave and brilliantly capable. And that makes confronting the realities of their mission a little less terrifying.

Story continues below advertisement

Rooted in toxic masculinity, the West warns us all of what happens when power is wielded through abuse and discrimination. At least in Riot Girls, we have Nat and Scratch to keep us afloat. But you do leave the film asking yourself what any of us are doing to fight against those same things.

Live your best. We have a daily Life & Arts newsletter, providing you with our latest stories on health, travel, food and culture. Sign up today.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter