Maggie Gyllenhaal gives a powerhouse performance as the title character, a young woman fresh out of prison whose craving for heroin is held in check only by her love for her three-year-old daughter. Sherry's brother and sister-in-law have been caring for the little girl during the mother's absence, and when Sherry returns she finds to her anguish that her sister-in-law has fallen in love with the child and has no intention of giving her back. Gyllenhaal turns the young ex-con into an enormously sympathetic figure, but by the end there's no denying that her need for the girl is as selfish as her addiction. Laurie Collyer (Nuyorican Dream) wrote and directed this indie drama, eliciting fine performances from Brad William Henke as Sherry's conflicted brother, Danny Trejo as one of her old street pals, and Giancarlo Esposito as her parole officer, a good man who's heard way too many lies. R, 96 min.
By J.R. Jones