Thumbsucker

User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31

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User Reviews

  1. 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 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
  2. PaulF.
    Feb 9, 2006
    8
    The best aspect to this movie was the layers it took on as the lead character evolved. The worst aspect to this movie was that no matter what age the characters were they all seemed the same in their existential philosophizing. In anycase the acting was fairly good and the film didn't rely on cheap over the top shock value stunts (well maybe one but it was funny). In short it was a The best aspect to this movie was the layers it took on as the lead character evolved. The worst aspect to this movie was that no matter what age the characters were they all seemed the same in their existential philosophizing. In anycase the acting was fairly good and the film didn't rely on cheap over the top shock value stunts (well maybe one but it was funny). In short it was a film that attempted to say something profound. I do not know if it suceeded, but it did have its moments. 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
  4. JoyceH.
    Sep 16, 2005
    9
    I saw this film last night and greatly enjoyed it. The story was funny and the cast was great.
  5. 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.
  6. [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.
  7. JasonS.
    Apr 12, 2006
    5
    A good attempt but in the end too lightweight. Some good central performances though and Reeves is surprisingly good.
  8. DamienA.
    Nov 24, 2005
    5
    This film is good, but not good enough to justify its existence when it's form and content echoes so many films of recent years: The Ice Storm, Happiness, Donnie Darko etc. It had some elements I really enjoyed- the parents seemed real and 'different' and the lead character's struggle to find peace was convincing and amusing. BUT I think in the end it was entertainment This film is good, but not good enough to justify its existence when it's form and content echoes so many films of recent years: The Ice Storm, Happiness, Donnie Darko etc. It had some elements I really enjoyed- the parents seemed real and 'different' and the lead character's struggle to find peace was convincing and amusing. BUT I think in the end it was entertainment without the depth it aspires to. Expand
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. DaveC.
    Jun 11, 2007
    4
    Zzzzzzz... trite and vacuous indie film. Non-descript where it thinks it is being subtle, banal where it believes it is being profound. Soundtrack was very good though.
  12. MarkK.
    Jul 29, 2007
    8
    A refreshingly original film with plenty of smiles and pathos. It is easy to imagine oneself in the main character's place, which makes the movie more effective. Overall, very enjoyable.
  13. Suz
    Sep 16, 2005
    9
    I thought this movie was fabulous. Aside from having some really top-notch talent it was a great story as well. I was amazed that we hadn't heard more about it, especially living in LaLa Land. It was tender, true-to-life, and more than a little moving. Highly recommend it!
  14. EllenS.
    Sep 27, 2005
    7
    An entertaining coming of age story where everyone, regardless of their choronological age, is having some trouble growing up. The film suffers from a slow start - no one seems likable at first - but once it gets rolling it's a fun night out.
  15. 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.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Bob Westal
    80
    Benefits from a goofy yet incisive sense of humor and some extremely strong performances.
  2. Thumbsucker is a head-scratcher. It's well directed and acted. Yet the story has little emotional pull.
  3. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    70
    Thumbsucker (like "Donnie Darko") is more likely to prosper in the long haul as a home-format cult fave than in its initial arthouse tour. Both offer eccentric humor within a fairly somber overall tone, support-cast surprises, and (to a lesser degree in Thumbsucker) fable-like, hyperreal elements.