• R, 1 hr. 29 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Jacob Aaron Estes
    In Theaters:
    Aug 20, 2004 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jan 25, 2005
  • Paramount Classics


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Mean Creek Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The kind of cheerlessly capable first feature that makes you think its young director, Jacob Aaron Estes, will do much better when he finds a voice to call his own.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

August 19, 2004
Todd Gilchrist

The problem with dramas about doomed teenagers movies is that once you have seen one of them, in a way you've seen them all.

Full Review Source: FilmStew.com

August 23, 2004
Brent Simon
Entertainment Today

Reach exceeds grasp in this small ensemble character drama in the vein of Stand By Me that succeeds far more in theory than in practice.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Today | Original Score: C

August 23, 2004
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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A fairly ordinary, machine-shopped Sundance résumé indie, seemingly balanced somewhere between half-realized ambition and inexperience.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

August 17, 2004
Mike Clark
USA Today
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A harbinger of possibly better things to come.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 19, 2004
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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| Original Score: 2/4

August 14, 2007
Jay Antani
Slant Magazine

The script manages a few compelling characters, but the rest falls into that non-descript Troubled Teenager category.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 7, 2004
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly

If you saw River's Edge, you may know where this glum, well-acted drama is headed right after it sets sail.

Full Review Source: Boulder Weekly

September 24, 2004
Timothy Knight

A flawed yet promising first film from a writer/director whose ambitions exceed his grasp, at least for now.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

August 20, 2004
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Angry kids on an unsupervised boat trip? Constant ominous music? Gee, wonder what's going to happen next.

Full Review Source: New Times

January 4, 2005
Stephen Schaefer
Boston Herald

Full Review Source: Boston Herald | Original Score: 2/4

August 27, 2004
Sean Means
Salt Lake Tribune

[Writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes] coats everything in a brooding self-importance, as if he was intent on making the most depressing After-School Special ever.

Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 24, 2004
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly

Mean Creek functions well as both a tidy little thriller and a touching coming-of-age story, and that's more than teens usually get these days.

Full Review Source: Las Vegas Weekly | Original Score: 3.5/5

September 17, 2004
Annlee Ellingson
Boxoffice Magazine

At once endearing and infuriating, Peck has the audience emotionally vacillating between wanting to protect him and wanting to kill him.

Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Original Score: 3/5

August 19, 2004
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

...a movie about moral choices, about learning what it is to be decent in the world.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: A-

January 27, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It could have been simple-minded and predictable, but it becomes a rare film about moral choices, about the difficulty of standing up against pressure from your crowd.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

August 27, 2004
James Berardinelli
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Estes has provided a keenly-honed view of human psychology.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3.5/4

August 19, 2004
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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You could call Mean Creek a moral thriller. And the emotional currents the movie wades into are far more tricky than the gentle surface the kids' boat floats along.

Full Review Source: Denver Post

September 17, 2004
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

After-school-special level dialogue hangs heavily in the air after it is spoken. But the cast is utterly genuine, transcending the limits of the screenplay.

| Original Score: B

August 19, 2004
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

This movie about teens is for adults only.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 3/5

December 26, 2010
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009
Brian D. Johnson
Maclean's Magazine
November 20, 2004

Ebert & Roeper
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August 19, 2004

Boston Phoenix
August 28, 2004

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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September 24, 2004

April 26, 2005

Sydney Morning Herald
August 5, 2005

Time Out
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June 24, 2006
Page 1 of 7
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