Big girls, they don’t cry…but they do, according to Catherine Hardwicke’s sensational Thirteen, begin stealing, doing drugs and getting homemade piercings shortly after they become teenagers. A rather basic tale about the perils of going along with the in-crowd and the extremes to which teenagers will act out for attention, the film details former straight-arrow Tracy’s (Evan Rachel Wood) radical rebellion against her hippie mom (Holly Hunter), her well-behaved brother (Jeremy Sisto), and her absentee father (Brady Corbet). Supposedly authentic because it was co-written by its young co-star Nikki Reed (who pulls double duty as horrible whorish influence Evie Zamora), it’s an after-school special made bracingly gritty by fearsome performances by Wood, Zamora and Hunter and a welcome disdain for melodrama. It’s also, however, far from a tell-all expose of out-of-control youth. Clinging too tightly to its rote storyline, and too desperate to shock us into submission by piling on Tracy’s vices, Thirteen tries to scare us into accepting a commonly held fact – that angry and resentful teenagers frequently defy authority by behaving recklessly. On behalf of the world’s former teenagers, let me simply say: Well, duh.