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Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An honest and funny look at the struggles of people who feel deeply flawed, both those in youth and middle age. They yearn to be anything but their real selves with their real fears and doubts. Instead, they want to be "normal." They look for magic answers to fix themselves – only to realize that they can’t be someone else, that "normal" does not exist, and that their flaws are what make them human and loveable. (Sony Pictures Classics) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Most disappointing is the ending, which, in projecting the possibility of a saner and more hopeful world, is a bit of a cop-out.
  2. 75
    Pucci is an actor to watch: He rides this spellbinder without softening the truths that plague the thumbsucker in all of us.
  3. 70
    Vince Vaughn in a wonderfully low-key performance.
  4. 70
    It's a familiar story, but Mills and Pucci treat it as if it were the first time anyone had thought to tell it.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    50
    The parents are the casualties of Mills' misplaced sincerity, which makes Thumbsucker the quintessential misadapted head-scratcher.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. KennyM.
    Mar 27, 2006
    10
    This was by far the best movie I've seen in the last year...great acting, great filming and amazing music..props to tim delaughter and the polyphonic spree, and the late elliot smith...amazing, touching, beautiful movie...must see. Expand
  2. TonyB.
    Jan 27, 2006
    9
    this was a very well made movie, first off the acting was excellent the directing was done very well and the story was good with a deep meaning of life with it. this film has accomplished what many films have in the past (such as donnie darko) this was a much better movie then donnie. If you like Wes Anderson movies then you will probably enjoy this highly recommended for a viewing. Expand
  3. MattJ.
    Sep 3, 2006
    9
    A cross between two great films, fight club and donnie darko, feeling that the weight of the world is on your shoulders, and trying to find all the ways possible to become perfect, but realising true perfection is imperfect Expand
  4. ChadS.
    Oct 28, 2005
    7
    The suburbs is the setting for "Thumbsucker" and refreshingly, it's not Todd Solondz's suburbs. "Thumbsucker" is more like the NBC series "Freaks and Geeks" than "Napoleon Dynamite". There's no trace of self-conscious indie cool in director Mike Mills' portrayal of the Cobb family. Justin(Lou Taylor Pucci) has parents who are real, and not caricatures. Mike(Vincent D'Onofrio) is a little distant, and Audrey(Tilda Swinton) shouldn't be asking her son to button the back of her blouse, but they don't do anything that's not recognizably true-to-life. There's not a laugh to be had at the expense of anybody in "Thumbsucker". To cure himself of his oral fixation, Justin takes some prescribed pills, then goes off it, because the drug is "three molecules short of being cocaine." "Thumbsucker" is at its most winning when Justin is Max Fischer-like on the debate team. To impress his Lindsey Weir-ish dream girl, Rebecca(Kelii Garner, the one good actress in "Man of the House"), he leaves the geeks from his debate club to be a stoner. Mills never quite convinces us that Justin would throw his debating career away after one bad performance. His departure seems like a contrivance to get Rebecca back into the story. "Thumbsucker" is without any big laughs, which is fine with me, since laughing at the characters seems to be typical of this genre. Tilda Swinton, once again, as she proved in "The Deep End", is absolutely convincing playing an American mom. Expand
  5. Mark
    Feb 24, 2006
    7
    Although some of it is a little too surreal for its own good, and the transformation from Ritalin stoner to pot stoner is forced and not well done, this is a fine movie with a great message. Vincent D'onofrio is his usual great self, and Pucci and Swindon are both amazing. Expand
  6. D.B.
    Feb 5, 2006
    7
    Says many things about many things, and all of them with colour, gusto, and indie flair. Good acting, good writing, good direction, just a slight touch too heavy on suburbian hopelessness for my taste. Not a flaw in the movie, just not necessarily as light and uplifting as the Polyphonic Spree score would suggest. Keanu Reeves is a joy. Rent this movie and see something different. Expand
  7. [Anonymous]
    Feb 8, 2006
    1
    I can't understand how anybody, least of all film critics, could have spent two hours of their time watching this and thinking their was something redemptive about having done so. I thought it was silly, vapid, and trite. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews

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