RUSHED Film Review — A Mother’s Quest for Justice


In the dimness of early morning, Barbara O’Brien sets down a small statue of the Virgin Mary on her kitchen counter. It takes its place among the clutter beside a bottle of barbecue sauce and a green tupperware container. Barb, donned in a bathrobe and slippers, lights a red candle in the dark, presses her rosary into her palms, and begins her morning prayer. In the hush of the room, the lens slowly pushes in on her as words escape her lips in soft whispers. Suddenly, Barb is jolted from her concentration by the sound of her phone alarm going off. Her earnest prayers quickly mix with equally earnest swears as she rushes to the fridge to begin making her kids’ lunch, still whispering Hail Mary’s in between various swear words; then to the bottom of the stairs where she yells up at the kids to get ready for school. Chaos quickly descends on the house as the bustle of the morning begins. All the while, Barb puts forth a never-ending stream of advice and admonishments to her three children: in the kitchen, walking to the car, during the drive, as the kids get out of the car and walk into school.

As Barb bustles through this daily routine with her children, she pesters one of her kids to call their college-aged brother Jimmy to make sure he’s on his way to class. Little does she know, he’s about to be in a lot more trouble than she realizes, and may need some of those prayers.

RUSHED is a Vibrant Depiction of a Grieving Mother’s Vengeance

This thriller, written by and starring Siobhan Fallon Hogan as Barbara O’Brien, and directed by Vibeke Muasya, follows an Irish Catholic mother’s quest to find justice for her son after he suffers a tragedy in a fraternity hazing incident. Neither the fraternity nor the university is willing to claim responsibility for what happened, and Barb is at a loss.

After her son’s tragedy, we are met with a stark contrast to Barb’s usual morning routine. We enter the kitchen to find one of her daughters opening the fridge and shouting, “Mom, we’re out of everything. Can I have money for lunch?” Her younger son Sean pours his unfinished cereal into the garbage and we watch as Barb, lying on the couch smoking, accompanied by a heap of blankets and an ashtray, gives a half-hearted goodbye to her children as they leave for school.

Their voices are muffled as they speak to her, as if coming from a long distance away, unable to penetrate her grief. They shut the door, and the camera rests on Barb as she puts her head on a pillow and silently cries.

It is not until Barb begins learning of other parents whose children have suffered similar tragedies in college hazing incidents that we see her strength and stubbornness return once more. Once again, we find her praying in the early morning light, swearing as she is interrupted by her alarm, yelling upstairs for the kids to get up. Except this time, she is on a mission to find justice for her son. Barb’s journey takes many dark and unexpected turns and grabs us along for the ride.

Rushed is driven by this strong, enduring mother who is full of contradictions: swearing as she prays, relentlessly stubborn, but also full of relentless love for her family. Throughout this film, you too will likely find yourself, as this reviewer did, grieving with and rooting for Barbara O’Brien as she strives for justice and closure, at any cost.

Although Rushed is a thriller, there are also many somber moments in this film due to the tragedy that instigates the plot, so if you are looking for a movie that jumps right into traditional thriller vibes, Rushed might not be for you. But, if you are interested in a film that takes the time to establish plot and character motivation, leading up to its thrilling climax, then this would be a worthwhile watch.


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Barbara O’Brien: Siobhan Fallon Hogan
Jim O’Brien: Robert Patrick
Ciara O’Brien: Ellie Frankel
Sean O’Brien: Liam Hogan
Kelly O’Brien: Lily Rosenthal
Jimmy O’Brien: Jay Jay Warren


Director: Vibeke Muasya
Writer: Siobhan Fallon Hogan
Producers: Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Peter M. Hogan, Patrick Clifton, Erin Fraser, Robert Patrick
Director of Photography: Matthias Schubert
Editor: Sabine Emilian
Co-Producers: Marie Gade, Jo Haskin, Peter Munson Hogan
Music: Kristian Eidnes Andersen

RUSHED is set to be released in theaters and on VOD/Digital on August 27th.

The VOD/Digital version of the film will be available on iTunes, Amazon, and anywhere else movies can be purchased.

Visit Vertical Entertainment’s YouTube channel to view the trailer for RUSHED.

Images courtesy of Vertical Entertainment

Grace Downing
Grace Downing

About the Author: Grace Downing

Grace has been an aspiring writer since she got in trouble in second grade for scribbling down ideas for her burgeoning fiction story instead of paying attention to the teacher. Since then, Grace has written a mix of fiction and poetry, penned a number of opinion articles for her high school newspaper, and has published one of her poems in a local newspaper in Venice, California. Reading lengthy fantasy series is a favorite pastime of hers as well. Grace is a part-time tutor, and when she is not reading or writing, she can likely be caught rewatching one of the Marvel movies or their many television shows.

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