* AlternativeCharacterInterpretation: There are multiple ways to read just about ''everybody.''
* SugarWiki/AwesomeMusic: It's an odd example, but there's something deeply thrilling about Laura's calm, self-assured recitation of "The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze."
* HarsherInHindsight: [[spoiler: The cigarette on the road.]] Kara's "You better be sure you wanna know what you wanna know." Quite a bit of the movie, in fact.
* MagnificentBastard:
** [[spoiler: Laura turns out to be a FemmeFatale ChessMaster that set everything in motion. Although she doesn't win at the end, her plan was both magnificent and clever]].
** The protagonist Brendan is a MagnificentBastard playing the part of an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent playing the part of a HardboiledDetective playing the part of a MagnificentBastard. [[MindScrew Where this cycle begins and ends]] is an exercise left entirely up to the viewer, but hell if Brendan doesn't keep the wheel turning.
* TearJerker:
** "Nine out of ten". [[spoiler: Laura tells Brendan that Emily's baby was his.]]
** The moment when Brendan finally cracks, after so long of being TheStoic. No [[ManlyTears subdued weeping]] or single tears here; just full-on, helpless, body-shaking sobbing while Laura holds him.
* TheWoobie:
** Even before Emily dies, she's terrified, over her head, and without anyone she really trusts.
** Dode [[spoiler: died believing the girl he loved and protected had been killed by her ex while pregnant with Dode's child, and it turns out the kid probably wasn't his]].
** Brendan is more of a JerkassWoobie, between his treatment of Emily and Kara, his cruelty to Dode, and [[spoiler: leaving the Pin to die]], but he gets put through the wringer.