After countless faithful translations to the big screen -- not to mention one timeless, Oscar-winning musical version -- Charles Dickens' tale of downtrodden London youth is given a gritty, contemporary spin in this independent Canadian production. This time told from the point of view of the Artful Dodger, Twist transposes the story of Oliver Twist to modern-day Toronto, where Dodge (Nick Stahl) is a smack-addicted male hustler working the streets when he comes across foster-home runaway Oliver (Joshua Close). The two strike up a fast friendship and Dodge makes the boy his apprentice, introducing him to a world of drugs, prostitution, and squalid, rent-free living, overseen by the formidable pimp Fagin (Gary Farmer). But Oliver finds his loyalties torn between his nascent attraction to Dodge and his son-like affection for Nancy (Michèle-Barbara Pelletier), the girlfriend of and pusher for the powerful drug dealer Bill Sykes. Written and directed by former child actor Jacob Tierney (The Neon Bible), Twist first made its appearance on the festival scene at the 2003 Venice and Toronto fests.
~ Michael Hastings, All Movie Guide