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      Thumbsucker

      2005, Comedy/Drama, 1h 35m

      117 Reviews 50,000+ Ratings

      What to know

      Critics Consensus

      Though quirky coming-of-age themes are common in indie films, this one boasts a smart script and a great cast. Read critic reviews

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      Thumbsucker  Photos

      Thumbsucker (2005) Thumbsucker (2005)

      Movie Info

      In the strange land known as suburbia, introverted adolescent Justin (Lou Pucci) spends the majority of his life pining after his attractive classmate Rebecca (Kelli Garner) and nervously sucking his thumb when he's alone. Oddly, after receiving some New Age advice from his spacey orthodontist, Perry (Keanu Reeves) -- and a helpful dose of prescription pills -- Justin becomes the outspoken star of his school's debate club. His extroverted persona, however, causes an all-new set of problems.

      • Rating: R (Drug/Alcohol Use|Disturbing Images|Language|Sexuality Involving Teens)

      • Genre: Comedy, Drama

      • Original Language: English

      • Director: Mike Mills

      • Producer: Anthony Bregman, Bob Stephenson

      • Writer: Mike Mills

      • Release Date (Theaters):  original

      • Release Date (Streaming):

      • Box Office (Gross USA): $1.3M

      • Runtime:

      • Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

      • Production Co: Keep Your Head, Good Machine, This Is That Productions, Bull's Eye Entertainment, Scared Little Animals LLC

      Cast & Crew

      Tilda Swinton
      Keanu Reeves
      Benjamin Bratt
      Ted Hope
      Anne Carey
      Bob Yari
      Cathy Schulman

      News & Interviews for Thumbsucker

      Critic Reviews for Thumbsucker

      Audience Reviews for Thumbsucker

      • Dec 11, 2011

        Nowhere near as good as Mike Mills' follow up, Beginners, but Thumbsucker definitely plants the seeds of a budding auteur

        Super Reviewer
      • Oct 29, 2011

        <i>"You are not alone. You are not afraid. You don't need your thumb, and your thumb doesn't need you."</i> Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb. <center><font size=+2 face="Century Schoolbook"><b><u>REVIEW</u></b></font></center> Thumbsucker is the film that we nearly didn't get to see. First time director Mike Mills had Elliot Smith on board to do the soundtrack and after he committed suicide, the director shelved the project. It wasn't until Mills saw The Polyphonic Spree and met Tim the lead singer that he saw a way to let the film see the light of day. So here with a brilliant soundtrack by both the Spree and Smith is a quietly subtle take on the life of a disenfranchised teenager and his diagnosis of attention deficit disorder due to his lack of energy and still sucking his thumb at his age. What unfolds is a beautiful tale of inspiration and aspirations in the minds of humans of all ages from teachers to dentists, mothers to drug addicts. Shot not unlike Solondz 'Palindromes' or Gondry's 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' it is at times touching and funny. Keanu Reeves is particularly funny as the hippie health freak but elsewhere all the performances are good. If you like little films with little messages then you'll love this movie. A subtle look at life through the eyes of the array of characters portrayed. Music video director Mills has produced a cracking debut and on the strength of this should go on to greater things, not unlike the thumb sucking central character in this film.

        Super Reviewer
      • Jun 17, 2011

        A young man, who occasionally still sucks his thumb, navigates adolescence, occasionally finding solace in a new love, an ADD diagnosis, and success in debate club. I simply have no idea what this film is about. I understand the plot of course, but what this film is saying about adolescence or parenting or the over-medication of today's youth is still a mystery to me. One reviewer remarked that unlike other coming-of-age films, this film tracks the effect of the adjustments adolescents make along the way. I find this comment both insightful and perplexing. It is true that the film denies its character easy solutions, but the ending implies that the ultimate answer lies in escape, independence, and time, all of which amount to, in my mind, an easy solution. Is the film simply saying that yes, adolescence is difficult, but it eventually ends? I don't know. Overall, I think there's something interesting going on here, but it's escaped me.

        Super Reviewer
      • Apr 22, 2011

        It's not bad, I enjoyed it.

        Super Reviewer

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