Thumbsucker - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Thumbsucker Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2011
Nowhere near as good as Mike Mills' follow up, Beginners, but Thumbsucker definitely plants the seeds of a budding auteur
Super Reviewer
½ October 29, 2011
"You are not alone. You are not afraid. You don't need your thumb, and your thumb doesn't need you."

Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb.

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
June 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
June 14, 2009
i like to get high and have blindfolded sex with my new girlfriend.
Super Reviewer
½ April 16, 2007
This is a very quirky and odd film. It deals with the awkwardness of growing up (as many films do), but I like the way it is approached, and especially how it is handled. Things are nicely downplayed and not too overblown, melodramatic, or quirky.

I liked this film though. It's good. It sort of felt maybe a tad precious here and there, but overall, it's a nice (and fairly a degree) take on dealing with insecurities. The best things going for it are probably the music and the acting. There's some really good (and nuanced) performances on display. Yes, that even includes Keanu. He's pretty funny, but I wished there was more of his character. Vince Vaughn is also good, if a little creepy. That may have been the point though.

Anywho, this is one worth taking a look at. It's a tad surreal, but it IS supposed to be an offbeat indie comedy, so there you go. This one gets a solid B.
Super Reviewer
½ October 20, 2010
I wasn't expecting anythig of this movie, so it was a good surprise. I wouldn't say it's great, but it's quite nice and it has a great soundtrack.
A little bit like Running With Scissors, but better in my opinion.

Super Reviewer
½ August 9, 2009
Cast: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Keanu Reeves, Kelli Garner, Benjamin Bratt, Vince Vaughn, Chase Offerle, Sarah Iverson, Sarah Bing, Kit Koenig

Director: Mike Mills

Summary: Teenager Justin Cobb (Lou Taylor Pucci) has an embarrassing secret: He still sucks his thumb. Berated by his father (Vincent D'Onofrio) for the childish habit and unable to confide in anyone, Justin lets his loopy orthodontist (Keanu Reeves) try hypnosis. Trouble is, it works almost too well, and before long, Justin needs another crutch to keep his angst at bay.

My Thoughts: "A quirky, odd, but yet interesting story. Its an adolescence film to sum it up. Its about a boy who sucks his thumb as a habit to keep all his misery at bay. When that doesn't help anymore, he's on to the next fix. He really is just searching for something to make him feel OK, normal. But none of us are. So his search is never ending until he finally comes to the conclusion that being himself is OK. That he doesn't need to change and try to be someone he isn't for others. So in the end, its just about accepting who you are. It was a good film with great acting, some great quirky characters, and a great group of actors who pulled it all off. Maybe not a film for most. But give it try."
Super Reviewer
December 2, 2009
Pretty much a perfect blend of quirks to realism, charm to angst; think Junebug, but sweeter. The story is simple, but good. I would like to read Walter Kirn's novel someday. He brought us the brilliant "Up in the Air" after all. I'm very much in love with the music as well. Surprisingly good acting. Tilda Swinton is always brilliant, but I hadn't expected Keanu Reeves and Vince Vaughn to be so good. Lou Pucci, our hero, is incredible. I do not think I have seen him in anything else. He gives such honesty and sincerity, manages to still be accessible, while still being odd and foreign. As far as that goes, all of the characters have some obvious weakness or flaw, they are just shown in different ways, and have different effects on their daily lives. Lets face it, everybody is by-and-large messed up in some way. So, why judge? Life is frustrating enough already. At the end of the day we should all be able to lock arms and sing "It's a Small World After All."
Super Reviewer
November 16, 2009
A complete masterpiece when it comes to coming-of-age stories. It's such a surreal and accurate portrayal of high school insecurity, growing up, relationships, etc. It also has a great sense of humor, being almost too realistic at times. Lou Taylor Pucci was amazing, I was completely blown away with his performance. He was such a real character, flaws and all he was still a lovable character. Unlike many other movies like it, Thumbsucker has a style and mood that is both unique and true to life. It covers so much ground in so little time and you are left in awe.
Super Reviewer
½ January 25, 2007
Fun movie about growing up in a messed up world. I laugh every time the kids throws up the sign with the wolf at Keanu Reeves.
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2008
16 year old Justin Cobb is struggling. He keeps to himself, sucks his thumb, strikes out with his girlfriend. He tries cayenne pepper, hypnosis, Ritalin and street drugs to attempt to solve his problems.
Super Reviewer
June 28, 2007
Quite strange story of a 17-year-old thumbsucker who finds his place in his family and his world. Keanu Reeves does an amusing turn as a philosophical dentist.
Super Reviewer
July 30, 2007
Cool little movie with a great performance by Vincent D'Onfrio or however the fuck you spell his name.
Super Reviewer
October 6, 2007
This film has a great cast and some good performances especially from the up-and-coming young actor Lou Pucci. But this film, lacks a storyline that seems to go anywhere. I enjoyed it though because instead of being a witty teen movie it succeeds at being an intelligent drama.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2007
Very pleasantly surprised by this movie. The direction felt extremely random and hard to follow but kept it interesting.
Super Reviewer
May 15, 2007
This is actually a great little movie. It's got some really funny and random moments that completely justify a viewing. The casting is also great--we find out what happened to Neo from The Matrix movies and Vince Vaughn proves he can do more than play a fast-talking jerkoff. And one of the things I liked the most about Thumbsucker was that it didn't wear out its welcome--just when I got sick of looking at Lou Pucci the credits rolled. Great supporting roles, especially from Reeves. And having Elliott Smith on the soundtrack NEVER hurts.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2007
Not quite as "cloying precious indie treasure" as Chumscrubber or Me and You and Everyone We Know...but it's close. Awesome performances from the entire cast, an extremely likeable main character and a good ending manage to wash out the really wispy plot.
Super Reviewer
June 5, 2006
Keanu Reeves sends up both his bonehead and spiritual guide personas in this movie, but Lou Pucci is who really shines. I love the way every character is equally messed up regardless of age.
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