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Review: Cherry – a hard-hitting and emotional love story

Synopsis: Following his service in the Army as a medic, Cherry struggles to gain control over his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder. As he becomes dependent on painkillers to ease his symptoms, Cherry soon falls into debt, forcing him to turn to bank robbery to finance his addiction.

Cherry is a love story, a hard-hitting, emotional, modern love story between characters Cherry (Tom Holland) & Emily (Ciara Bravo). The film performed as great entertainment with its numerous heart-wrenching scenes and unexpected details.

The film was based upon a Semi-Autobiography Novel written by Nico Walker, a War veteran who was arrested for bank robbery. Remarkably Walker wrote his debut Novel from his prison cell. The movie stars  Tom Holland as the lead male and Ciara Bravo as the lead female.

Cherry was expected to be a huge jump for the Marvel star, Tom Holland. Many of his fans are underage and won’t be able to legally view this movie due to the high age rating, however, they have made the opportunity for themselves to promote the movie & to praise the actors, alongside educating fans on what to expect if they were to watch the movie.

After being lucky enough to view the movie on 18th February, 3 weeks before the release date, I completely understand why it was given the R rating. But on the bright side, this was a huge jump in the right direction for the young movie star.


Tom has said that he thinks that this ‘jump’ was too big for him and that he will not be putting himself through the mental strain he did for this movie. He said that he had to go to some really dark places to achieve the look and feel The Russo’s wanted and doesn’t want to go back.

Multiple trigger warnings had been shared on social media during the weeks upcoming to the release date & film premieres, this allowed viewers to mentally prepare for the movie and mental preparation was needed.

The Russo Brothers did an amazing job directing this movie, especially since this was their first movie with Tom Holland away from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This was a stylish and creative way to bring light to the invisible Opioid epidemic happening right on our doorsteps.

When life was beginning, I saw you.

Both Ciara and Tom took their characters to dark places that were necessary to show the severity of the epidemic, this definitely showed the large number of acting skills & abilities along with the huge passion they have for their work. I couldn’t think of any better actors/actresses to have cast.

The Accents of the actors were spot on, knowing that Holland is a native British man and yet hearing him speak in a strong Cleveland accent was astonishing. This accent was different from what we were used to hearing from the actor in the MCU.

Photo credit: Apple TV+

Once I started watching, it was hard to take myself away from the screen, but a break was definitely needed. Some things were relatable whereas many things weren’t. As an empath I sat and felt so much pain for Cherry, there were many times when I was overwhelmed with my emotions that I cried, which is why I personally needed to take breaks to comprehend what had and what will happen.

There were so many tears shared from Holland during this movie, he seemed to be crying at every opportunity given to him, this wasn’t a bad thing, I felt it showed the emotions that the character was feeling a little bit better. Although I found myself laughing when he started to cry instead of making a move on Emily after they had a huge make-out session leaning against a wall, Emily had stripped down to her underwear said “Do what you want man” indicating that he could have sex with her but instead… he cried. A little bit of a cringe, but that’s life right?

Watching two characters my own age fall in love and never fall out no matter what life threw in their direction was heartwarming. It almost made you wish that you had that type of love within your life, just without the drugs, gore, and craziness.

Photo credit: Apple TV+

Tom Holland’s younger brother Harry Holland was also involved hugely within this movie. not only was he Tom’s assistant he was also cast as a character named ‘The Shaker Kid No.1’

Seeing Harry as The Shaker kid, an Ohio drug dealer who hangs around shaker square, was different. Everything down the accent was different, Harry who also is a British native man, mastered an American Ohio accent, I’d even go to the length and say that it was better than his brothers. As a fan of Harry I was overwhelmed with pride, Not only was he taking on the role of being his brother’s assistant he was also taking a role as a character. Toms brother had a lot of responsibilities whilst being Tom’s assistant, he had to keep Tom grounded and make sure that he didn’t fly off the rails, as a younger sibling I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and heartache he felt seeing his brother in some of the states he had to get himself into.

I was beyond astonished with not only the acting but the editing and use of technology within the movie. In a specific scene where Cherry is high on ecstasy, the characters seemed to be the only people in color. As someone who hasn’t used the drug, I felt like this helped explain and portray what the character was feeling. Multiple scenes containing dialogue in public had the same effect, the main characters were the only people in focus and where identities of people were kept secretive they’d be in darkness, almost as if they were silhouettes.

Swearing was hugely obvious within this movie, words that I had never heard being used in a sentence were being used, Instead of calling people ‘Idiots’ they’d be called ‘c–ksuckers’.

Basic Cherry

The movie shows not only the drug epidemic in great detail, but it also shows the war and what soldiers witness. It goes down the route that I have never seen within any other war-related movies.

The war seemed shorter than the rest of the movie themes, in the book the war was long, and the majority of the book. There were many things left out and there were maybe some things that should have been left out.

Photo credit: Apple TV+

Within the war scenes, we saw some very gruesome and invasive images, during the Bootcamp we saw what appeared to be the inside of Holland’s character bum. Personally, I feel that that clip was unnecessary but still earned a laugh and a gasp from me. Another time during the same section of the movie we saw a man laid on the sandy floor of Iraq with his guts and intestines out and we watched Tom push the guts back inside the man’s body.

The war scenes were the most heart-wrenching. Tom’s character went through so much mental pain during the period of time he was deported. Not only did he lose friends he had made he was missing the loved ones from home, especially Emily.

The makeup used within the war scenes was amazing and incredibly realistic, once scene in particular that I was amazed at was the scene when a truck full of soldiers got blown up by a mine. The bodies were shown, they were burnt to a crisp, I’ve never seen a dead burnt body but that is exactly what I expected them to look like. The detail put into the work was brilliant.


Home was an emotional section to the movie, this section showed the deep dark details. we watched Holland’s character turn struggle with civilisation and we watched him slowly and surly turn to drugs and become addicted.

This section was written with so much care, I personally found this section be the most delicate, a lot of PTSD episodes happened and a lot of arguments were shown. But what never changed through out this section was the love Emily had for him.

PTSD is such a hard thing to write about with everyone today becoming offended but the slightest mis-translation but the writers of the movie handled that brilliantly.

photo credit: Apple TV+

During this section we see cherry reach out for help with his PTSD and mental health issues that were caused by the war. We also see how the doctors just passed him off with some oxycontin. This made me slightly angry, I wish that the doctor did more than just supply medication to him but sadly that was what happened back in the early 00’s.

during the process of filming Tom spoke to multiple addicts and war veterans, it turned out that the majority of them experienced the same with the doctors.

Dope Life

It seemed that we saw Tom with his trousers down the majority of ‘Dope Life’, either he had his trousers round his ankles or he was just wearing a pair of discolored briefs. in one scene Emily is seen walking their dog in her slippers. I felt that these outfits portrayed the ‘I give up’ sense of mentality that drug addicts often have, it showed that they didn’t care about anything other than when and where they were getting their next lot of dope from.

Photo credit: Instagram: Tomholland2013

There was only one area of the movie that I found a little boring which was the time period the character was robbing banks. I’m not sure if that was because the start of the movie was so jampacked with love and action that by the end this seemed a little less exciting. Although there were many times that I laughed during this time period.

One specific thing I found funny was the use of the dollar Banknote, written on it was “I HAVE A GUN, THIS IS A ROBBERY”. I’m not sure if this was a mistake or if it was genuinely planned but with the first use of the banknote Tom’s character slides it onto the bank desk… UPSIDE DOWN!  I laughed as I found it relatable, I class myself as a clumsy person and if I ever went ahead to rob a bank, I’d probably mess up this way.

Although the movie was 141 minutes long, the twists and turns in the storyline kept me on the edge of my seat. To think that this many twists and turns could have happened in someone’s lifetime was astonishing. This movie had me feeling so many emotions, I went from laughing to crying within minutes.

Tom Holland makes a brilliant Spiderman but I’m very excited to see what else this young star can bring to our screens in the future years, especially since his Marvel and Spiderman Trilogy contract has ended.

Photo credit: Apple TV +

This is an emotion-filled, Award-worthy movie and well worth seeing. I expect to see this movie nominated for one if not multiple Grammys.

Cherry was made available to watch via Apple TV+ on March 12th, 2021.
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