Thumbsucker Reviews

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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
November 24, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
August 16, 2007
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
October 7, 2006
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Time Out
February 9, 2006
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Arizona Republic
December 24, 2005
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Ken Tucker
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 9, 2005
Unlike so many movies in which a character changes in order to propel the plot forward, this one stops to follow up on the consequences of those changes.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 8, 2005
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Detroit Free Press
October 8, 2005
| Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 7, 2005
A tender but glib coming-of-age journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 7, 2005
So no one would argue that Thumbsucker sucks. But the thing does seem just so indie-movie familiar.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 2, 2005
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Dallas Morning News
October 1, 2005
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
September 30, 2005
Mills, who hails from the world of music videos and TV commercials, has surrounded Pucci with a superlative group of actors, all of whom are in tune with his quiet, low-key approach to humor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
September 30, 2005
Brave, funny leap into the abyss of adolescence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
September 30, 2005
Mills makes his debut in impressive fashion, which means he finds a nice tone with which to take us on this familiar but ultimately rewarding ride.
| Original Score: B
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
September 29, 2005
A gently stirring symphony about emotional transition filled with lovely musical passages and softly nuanced performances.
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 29, 2005
Quiet, quirky gem.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
September 23, 2005
Although often amusing, Thumbsucker lacks the necessary bite.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
September 23, 2005
Mills, working from a novel by Walter Kirn, brings some unusual touches to a film that could easily have become a standard indie coming-of-age tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
September 22, 2005
A smart, funny, sometimes lovely little film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
September 22, 2005
I have focused on Justin, but really the movie is equally about the adult characters, who all seem to have lacked adequate parenting themselves. We talk about the tragedy of children giving birth to children; maybe that can happen at any age.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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David Denby
New Yorker
September 20, 2005
The movie never reaches much of a dramatic climax, but there are many surprises on the way to nowhere, and Mills's refusal to rush brings out the humor and the hidden tensions in material.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
September 19, 2005
[Vaughn is] playing a different role here and I thought it was a really strong performance.
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
September 16, 2005
While it isn't a pioneering piece of filmmaking, Thumbsucker travels a familiar path in an engaging way, bolstered by a heady cast and smart, unsparing writing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
September 16, 2005
Respectful performances are given by all, with Pucci the standout. But the actors can't escape the confines of the warmed-over, coming-of-age-in-suburbia script.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Robert Dominguez
New York Daily News
September 16, 2005
A quirky coming-of-age tale where just about every character is going through some sort of change.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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September 16, 2005
The quintessential misadapted head-scratcher.
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Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
September 15, 2005
Thumbsucker aims high but swerves too frequently between the engaging and the credibility-defying to be satisfying.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
September 15, 2005
Mike Mills's feature-film debut manages to show how calamitous and out of control (and also how thrilling) growing up odd and ordinary can be.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
September 15, 2005
In adapting Walter Kirn's novel, Mills has made a thoughtful study of our collective search for magic pills and other panaceas.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 15, 2005
Thumbsucker boasts a strong character arc, some nice performances, and an understated message about the overprescribing of drugs to American youths.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
September 14, 2005
The film isn't nearly as witty as its source.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
September 13, 2005
Endearing and well-acted.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 9, 2005
Pucci is an actor to watch: He rides this spellbinder without softening the truths that plague the thumbsucker in all of us.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
September 9, 2005
One can see the sequel now: Bed Wetter.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
August 19, 2005
Other than moments here and there, drama is sorely lacking.
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Dennis Harvey
Variety
June 18, 2005
What at first looks like a standard if well-crafted tour through familiar coming-of-age territory takes some interesting detours.