Mean Creek - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mean Creek Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 31, 2011
Truly haunting and riveting. Outstanding performances, incredible script with compelling characters and a huge emotional core help make ''Mean Creek'', in my view, pretty much a masterpiece. It delves into the cruel side of the minds of teenagers and proves a very dark but accurate view of how horrible the consequences of an immature action can be. Fantastic.
Super Reviewer
½ September 8, 2010
Prepare for a downer. Mean Creek is depressing, slow moving, and excellent. While some may complain that everything seems to happen at a snails pace, but I believe that the unsettlingly realistic film's pacing worked to it's advantage. Throughout the first hour of the film you know something terrible is going to happen, and the suspense builds to what for me was a constant feeling of dread. By the time that moment comes I was completely emotionally invested and it made the second half of the movie all the more intense. Mean Creek is not for anyone looking for a nice light watch, but if you have the patience and stomach for it then your in for a great movie.
Super Reviewer
November 2, 2007
A devastating movie concerning the ultimate revenge plot amongst some young kids, who aim to get back at a high school bully (Josh Peck). Peck is a revelation in this movie, and the overall cast is phenomenal. It is disturbing, but extremely effective in many ways, and even though it has its share of problems (the two dads plot seems a bit out there), the ending is also haunting and completely unforgettable. Although "Straw Dogs" remains the ultimate revenge-bully film, this comes awful close to toppling it.
Bill D 2007
Super Reviewer
December 18, 2009
"Mean Creek," the debut film from writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes, is so-so. It's an intriguing idea, but Estes cannot quite pull it off. He particularly shows himself weak with actors. The cast of unknown, inexperienced teenagers seemed lost in most scenes, as if they had no feel for their characters. Especially disastrous is Scott Mechlowicz's crushingly fake depiction of a dangerous bad boy.

Rory Culkin, the only well-known actor in the cast, gives by far the best performance, but he does not have much dialogue. (If you want to see a masterful performance from a child actor, see Culkin's work in 2000's "You Can Count on Me," filmed when he was just 10.)

The story is set in a small town in Oregon, where a troubled boy takes out his anxiety and frustration on his peers, walloping them and berating them with almost no provocation. Several kids, with aid from their bored older brothers, scheme to give this boy his comeuppance. But surprises come when the group starts to see that this bully is really disabled. Gradually it also becomes clear that the supposed good kids humiliate each other verbally in as sadistic a way as the bully does. Estes appears to be making a point about the ubiquitous sadism that plagues youth culture.

The film gets quite dramatic when the bullying teen goes out of control and tragedy strikes. But I found the increase in drama rather predictable. Yet it was interesting to ponder how rivalries between children often get right up to the threshold of violence. Why do so many of our children become bloodthirsty vis-a-vis their peers? Estes has thoughtful questions but hasn't yet mastered the cinematic medium through which he can explore them. But he is a filmmaker to watch. His next film, "The Details," is due in 2010 and stars Tobey Maguire.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2006
Fairly well acted by all the young guys envolved and was a pretty good storyline with an interesting dilemma, bit of a slowish start though.
Super Reviewer
September 22, 2008
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2008
This was bloody brilliant.
Super Reviewer
October 23, 2007
The begining was really obnoxious (what some director thinks kids act like), and the end came too sudden and unfulfilling, but the middle was pretty good. Kids kill some fat kid on accident. In Oregon.
Super Reviewer
December 5, 2006
Directed by: Jacob Aaron Estes.
Starring: Rory Culkin, Scott Mechlowicz, Ryan Kelley, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder.

"And speaking of dead....fathers, I just remembered why bonehead white-trash fucking donkey-dick Marty got so fucking freaked when I started talking about his "daddy". His Neanderthal, drunk dad, put a gun in his mouth and splattered his brains all over the wall. You know, I almost forgot that my mom told me that. She said, "His daddy splattered his brains all over the wall." I thought it was sad at first. But now....I like it....His daddy splattered his brains all over the wall....His daddy splattered his brains all over the wall...."

Mean Creek is a revelation and a complete change from the crap we are fed in films today and it just shows that we can always depend on independent films. I can't compare the films to others, but from what I have read, it certainly echoes films like Deliverance and Stand by Me. It rises in so many areas that other 'teenager dramas' fall, instead of being completely derivative, out of focus and underdeveloped, Mean Creek is so unexpectedly suspenseful, thoughtful and very well developed. You would think with the first hour being a build up to the certain event, but Jacob Aaron Estes focuses and builds on his characters, he makes them more than cliché as you would probably expect in a film with such a topic, he makes them whole, human and likable. He touches upon many true themes of teenage life, from bullying to moral decisions and he never lets up on making us feel for every one of these characters. A big surprise was acting, who would have thought that a film where its main characters average an age of around 17, could actually deliver very strong performances by every one of its young stars who all show major potential as brilliant actors/actresses in 10 years. I do have one slight problem with the film though, as soon as the suspense lets, we are introduced to the final act and everything seems very rushed and although I would have liked to have seen where things led, the sudden ending certainly fits the mood of the film.

Like I mentioned, although the film seems to rush the final 10 minutes and end so suddenly, the first 80 are surprisingly suspenseful and thoughtful and we are introduced to some brilliant little actors and some familiar faces. If Hollywood ever turns to complete shit, as least we know that we can believe in independent cinema and its brilliance. An Independent Gem.
Super Reviewer
½ June 2, 2007
A very good film that feels similar in many ways to "Stand by me". Great acting from the young cast as a group of kids plan to get revenge on a bully. Though their attitudes change over the day, will they go through with it and with what repercussions?
The film handles the whole bully situaition well and will remind a lot of people how tough life can be as a young kid growing up and going through school.
Super Reviewer
September 21, 2005
[font=Century Gothic]"Mean Creek" starts out with Sammy(Rory Culkin) being beaten up by long-time bully, George(Josh Peck), at middle school. Sammy's brother thinks enough is enough and forms a plot along with his friends to get revenge on George. The plan is to invite George along on a canoeing trip and humiliate him by then making him walk back home naked. But once out on the excursion, Sammy realizes that George may not be that bad after all(it is revealed that George has a learning disability and this may be the least of his troubles) and has second thoughts...[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Mean Creek" is a thoughtful take on masculinity(the slur of choice tends to be homophobic in nature). One of the main themes is that a person cannot be judged until you get to know them. The movie is completely believable with very good acting by its young cast. There is a bit of letdown in the last third of the movie. [/font]
Super Reviewer
½ July 20, 2011
It's interesting the struggle between love and hate that I have watching the antagonist or "bully" when he is such a dynamic character, I like this movie a lot.
Super Reviewer
June 11, 2009
"Mean Creek" is such a film, In which you feel it as being a totally open Melo-Drama, but as you watch even more and more, it turns out to be much more and, In fact turns out to be a very spectaular , and heart-wrenching drama.
Super Reviewer
July 5, 2008
I've never understood people who looked back on their childhood as simple times or even high school as the best period of their life. Not that there were no good times, but there were plenty of shitty ones, and Mean Creek is about the worst situation these kids could get into. Jacob Aaron Estes makes a strong debut film here, it's nice to see an exploration of bullying that goes past the simple demand of lunch money. The film is tremendously depressing, but then it should be given the material.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2007
When films speak this truthfully and affect me on as deep of a level as this one did, I feel unjust criticizing them. We're used to seeing films that are primarily about the victim or primarily about the bully. Jacob Aaron Estes abandons these formulas and decides to examine both the oppressor and the oppressed on a crushingly profound level. As the story's events unfold, they hit a hell of a lot harder because of the character depth that provides foundation for them. Estes maintains a sense of reality while also incorporating a somewhat poetic sensibility. The approach provides for one of the most unnerving movies I've seen. The movie's greatness is secured by phenomenal performances from a young and talented cast of actors, and the photography is stunning despite its simplicity. As a very significant footnote, the musical score is haunting and damn beautiful.
Super Reviewer
November 3, 2007
Brilliant first half...then it runs out of steam and doesn't know what to do. Such a shame.
Super Reviewer
June 27, 2011
Powerful drama about a joke gone totally wrong. All the lead actors are superb! The movie crawls slowly to an end you see coming but still hits you hard when it does; a sign of a great film!
Super Reviewer
½ August 2, 2009
Mean Creek was a movie with a very simple storyline,what if you could get revenge on the guy who bullied you, would you? and if do, what would be the consequences?It had also a very dark storyline, it was about how a group of kids want to get even with a bully. It got very interesting when the joke went off hand and they accidentally kill the bully. The plot showed how some of the characters had family issues and pasts that they rather did not want to talk about.I liked the movie being so realistic in how it described the teenagers and bullying and ways of dealing with it.Josh Peck did a great job as George, a big jerk, but at the same time as a cool guy. It started with a low pace, but then turned out very well only the ending was not bad, but could have been better,
Super Reviewer
February 8, 2010
Wonderful performances from a really young cast.
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