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This derivative poke at suburbia falls short of delivering a scathing indictment of upper middle-class disconnect. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

After a friend who sells prescription medication is killed, Dean (Jamie Bell) is confronted by Billy (Justin Chatwin), the high-school drug dealer, who demands he hand over the remaining stash. Dean refuses, causing Billy and his partner to plot to kidnap his younger brother, Charlie (Rory Culkin). However, unaware of what Charlie looks like, they accidentally abduct another boy. When neither parents nor law enforcement believes his story, Dean is forced to go on a rescue mission.

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Critic Reviews for The Chumscrubber

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (16) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (38)

  • It's a surreal, offbeat comedy where the kidnappers are hopelessly inept while Bell feels hopelessly at sea.

    June 8, 2007 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Despite the top-drawer cast assembled for his debut feature, the director Arie Posin's account of emotional dislocation in the 'burbs is stymied by a fatally uneven tone and a growing suspicion that we've been down this road many, many times before.

    June 8, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A tragic waste of acting talent, with nothing new to say. Can we please now politely close the door on middle-class repression before we get really angry?

    June 8, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Much like its characters: decorative, entertaining and emotionally empty.

    June 7, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Posin aims for are out of his reach and he's left to scrabble desperately for a story to plug in the gaps.

    May 26, 2007 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • An impassioned and occasionally mesmerizing first effort that's at once messier, more complex and more ambitious than many recent suburban dystopias.

    November 10, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Chumscrubber

  • Jun 22, 2011
    In suburbia, a teen who recently discovered the dead body of his best friend must recover the dead kid's drugs before his classmates kill a kidnapped boy. I was reminded of <i>Alpha Dog</i> when the victim of a drug-related kidnapping rather enjoys the experience compared to the stifled restrictions of suburbia, but there is more going on here, and nothing about the drug-dealing lifestyle is glorified. The film's message, condemning the self-absorbed nature of the suburban parents and seeing the kids growing up too fast, encountering issues way beyond their age group, is entirely clear. However, the film's tone is uneven. Often I thought that there were two conflicting styles at play: the parents were in a scathing satire, with Mrs. Johnson's repeated "I in no way blame you for Troy's death" and Michael's vacant-eyed dalliances, and the kids were in a teen drama in the vein of <i>Havoc</i>. This juxtaposition works sometimes, but most of the time I was left wondering if these styles would ever converge; they do eventually, but it's too late and too little. Overall, I'm sympathetic to the film's argument, and I think much of it is well-done, but there
    Jim H Super Reviewer
  • Dec 22, 2010
    Along the style of a Donnie Darko.... I enjoyed this movie just because it is different than the regurgitated Adam Sadler crap that is always out there! Jamie Bell is a fine actor. Ralph Fiennes could have just stayed home, his character in no way added anything to the movie for me.
    Thomas J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2010
    While I appreciated the overall purpose/message of the story, I felt the movie was put together rather poorly. The characters were over-worked and hard to like, the plot was holey, and the cinematography was less than fabulous. In other words, this is one of those movies that could've been great but ended up rather mediocre.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2010
    Indie comedy drama about the weirdness of small suburban towns. This one in particular becomes weirder than normal when schoolboy Deans best friend, and school drug supplier, Troy commits suicide, drying up the drug chain. Trouble is, Dean hasn't told any of the adults about Troys suicide, knowing that they're far to wrapped up in their own lives to care about anything/one else so he finds himself in a spot of bother when a local gang tell Dean to supply the drugs from now on, something Dean has no idea about, so when he refuses, the gang kidknap who they believe is Deans brother, potentially causing a shitstorm for everybody. If the grown ups bother to take notice that is. This has a great cast including acting veterans Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes and Willian Finchner(not sure if thats his proper name, you know who i mean!) alongside relative newcomers Jamie Bell, Lou Taylor Pucci, Rory Culkin and the stunning Camilla Belle, who i've never seen in a film before but will definately be looking out for, who all give great performances. This is quite a strange one, i guess you could say its what would happen if David Lynch tried to make a normal suburban comedy! Entertaining and cool, nonetheless.
    Adam M Super Reviewer

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