Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: When a group of teenage boys and one bold young girl seek playful revenge on the kid who has tormented them, nothing turns out the way they expected. What begins as a trip down a river and a childish prank soon turns into an eye-opening encounter with the enemy -- a harrowing journey into wilderness and an event that will force them to grapple with the very meaning of friendship and responsibility. (Paramount Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. One of very few films to accurately portray the experience of growing up male.
  2. The acting is remarkable across the board, undoubtedly a combination of a strong script, gifted actors and exceptional direction.
  3. 88
    By entering such fertile, intellectually stimulating and psychologically rich territory, Estes provides us with a freshman feature that is far beyond the generic coming-of-age tale Mean Creek initially seems to be.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Exceptionally strong performances from the entire cast draw you into the movie's deliberately provocative world, a "Lord of the Flies"–like realm where parents are noticeably absent.
  5. If Estes' future efforts can offer us such potent, character-centered Molotov cocktails, Mean Creek may well signal the rise of America's next auteur director.
  6. A welcome departure from typical movies about teens, wherein their problems are external (the prom, status). Mean Creek is an adult movie that just happens to star young actors.
  7. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    As in most movies of this sort from "Rebel Without a Cause" to "West Side Story" to last year's "Thirteen," adults are marginalized, clueless or absent. I'm with them.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. LaurenO.
    Jul 5, 2006
    Mean Creek is a great movie. Scott Mechlowicz made it even better. It has to be my favorite movie ever. I saw it for the first time last week, and i've watched it about 6 or 7 times since, no lie. I hope that one day there will be a second one because i want to find out about what happened to everybody, especially Marty because he's the best character and it would suck if he got caught or went to jail. It would make me like the first movie more if there was a 2nd because it bothers me when movies keep you wondering... but this is still my favorite movie ever! Expand
  2. Nov 16, 2014
    Very under rated film, but extremely good. The best part about this movie was the acting. A lot of suspense throughout the movie and the plot and writing was incredible. Highly recommend it. Expand
  3. Apr 17, 2011

    It starts off with a scene starring Josh Peck, aka Josh from Drake and Josh.
    Honestly, I almost stopped it there... Him? In a serious sounding role? This could not end well... Or could it?

    Luckily it did. For those who haven't heard of this movie it revolves around a bully (Josh Peck) and his "victim", Sam. Sam wants to get back at him and enlists his brother and his brothers friends. They devise a prank that involves getting the bully, George, onto the river, daring him to strip naked, leaving him and making him run home naked. Of course as you can see by the poster...things turn dreary.

    This movie was honestly one of the hardest movies to watch I feel. So excruciating to watch as you know what they are planning to do, humiliate this bully. At first you feel bad for Sam as he got beat up, but then you get to know George and see that he actually just wants to be friends with them all and he has a learning disability and such. So watching them plot, scheme, and lie to his face knowing that he eventually is going to be hurt... so painful to watch. It gets even more painful when the climax occurs and the "accident" happens.

    The rest of the movie after the climax is just as painful to watch and just as emotionally draining. It follows the same characters, sans George, as they have to make huge decisions in their life and face the consequences. What makes this movie so good is the fact that as you are watching it you can easily put yourself into their positions and that turns this movie into a whole new perspective. You feel their distress, their sadness, their anger, their motives. You are Sam, you are George, you are every single one of those characters at once and feel all what they are going through. This movie will leave you in shambles.
  4. GregM
    Mar 13, 2005
    [***SPOILERS***] I'm trying to figure out how people are comparing this movie to "Deliverance." Just because there is a river involved does not mean the movies are the same. This is one of the best portrayals of teenagers I've seen in a very long while, and while I admit George's eventual death was easy to foresee, that doesn't detract one iota from the wonderful acting and writing here. Stop kidding yourself: you knew someone was going to die when you looked at the DVD cover. What I liked best was how the characters changed their minds in such a realistic way as Peck's personality kept revealing both monstrous and then humane qualities. A very good movie that should be seen, but it is no upper, if you are looking for one. Expand
  5. FA
    Nov 17, 2008
    It was a very good film although a huge amount of bad language. Good themes- deeper meaning. Would not recommend for younger viewers although would be good for those a bit older. Expand

See all 19 User Reviews