Igby Goes Down 2002

Igby Goes Down

Critics Consensus

In the vein of The Catcher in the Rye, Igby Goes Down is scathingly witty and sharply observant.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 135

80%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 44,327

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Movie Info

Igby Slocumb (Kieran Culkin), a rebellious and sarcastic 17-year-old boy, is at war with the stifling world of old money privilege he was born into. With a schizophrenic father (Bill Pullman), a self-absorbed, distant mother (Susan Sarandon), and a shark-like young Republican big brother (Ryan Phillippe), Igby figures there must be a better life out there -- and sets about finding it.

Cast & Crew

Rory Culkin
10-Year-Old Igby
David Rubin
Executive Producer
Fran Lucci
Executive Producer
Lee Solomon
Executive Producer
Helen Beadleston
Executive Producer
Wedigo von Schultzendorff
Director of Photography
Kevin Thompson
Production Designer
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News & Interviews for Igby Goes Down

Critic Reviews for Igby Goes Down

All Critics (135) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (33)

Audience Reviews for Igby Goes Down

  • May 14, 2013
    An indie film from writer and director Burr Steers, this film follows the disenchanted life of a teenager in the world of the socially elite in his quest to remain untouched by his beginnings and venture into the underbelly of New York City. Steers has said that he originally wanted to write this as a novel instead of a movie, and the prose-like quality of the story comes through very well. This film is most reminiscent in tone to the writings of Augusten Burroughs, thanks to the lead character's rebellion from his family, being young and yet casual about sex, and living in different places but not having a clear home. His story starts with his father being diagnosed as schizophrenic, and his mother committing him to a home. Igby flunks out of prep schools, eventually landing himself in military school. He runs away to New York to meet up with an artist that his godfather is seeing behind his wife's back. The artist in question (Peet) has many issues connected to her lover's animosity towards her, and this leads to her own breakdown, witnessed by Igby at several intervals. She also has a friend who is a cross-dressing performance artist, and Igby takes up with a former Columbia student turned waitress, forming a kind of oddly arranged family in the city. His brother ultimately intervenes, and his mother, but Igby only flees them time and again, trying to run from his mother's bitter tirades, his brother's conservative and mature musings on his state, and his informal family crumbling before his eyes. This hits particularly strongly when it comes to Igby shifting between places to sleep as everyone unwinds around him, making his life unstable and yet tentatively epic. This dysfunction is well captured in a very composed performance from Kieran Culkin, another indie rave performance from Amanda Peet, a very low key and yet memorable one from Ryan Philippe, and Claire Danes in yet another role as a disenchanted young woman with her own severe problems. I guarantee that this film will make you swoon for the literary works of Kerouac, Burroughs, and Salinger.
    Spencer S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 18, 2011
    This represents something of a dry run for an updated Catcher in the Rye. It's a biting and caustic dark dramedy about Igby Slocumb- a rich and sardonic rich kid who hates his family and rebels at every chance he gets, trying to find an existence he can be happy with. His mother is a pill popper who comes from old money and is very overbearing. His father is schizophrenic and currently resides in an institution. His older brother Ollie is the type of well to do college guy with nothign but success in his future. And then there's Igby's godfather D.H., a wealthy and powerful guy whose status as Ollie's benefactor sees him play a rather questionably larger than normal role in his life for a non-mafia godfather. On his road to rebellion, Igby goes from school to school, then military school before ending up crashing in on New York's bohemian scene where he gets invovled with D.H.'s trophy mistress Rachel, her artist friend Russell, and a nice older, bored Jewish girl named Sookie. This is a big mix of satire, colorful characters, wittiness, humor, and pathos. It's also rather twisted and pretty weird at times. It's a well done nad entertainign film, though I did make the mistake of watching it in a double feature with The Squid and the Whale. Now my chances of having a happy rest of the day are pretty well non-existant. Oh well. At least the movies were good. Keiran Culkin is great as Igby, and, even though he's not yet achieved the household name recognition of Macaulay, he's definitely the more accomplished and better actor. Susan Sarandon seems to be having fun as Igby's mother Igby, and Ryan Phillippe excels as doing characters such as Ollie. Even if it is typecasting, he's still solid. Jeff Goldblum just radiates awesome smarminess as D.H. and I enjoyed (just about) every moment he was on screen. Claire Danes is terrific as Sookie, and Amanda Peet is really good as Rachel, and I'm jealous that Culkin (his character, rather) got to hook up with both of them. Bill Pullman's role is limited, but important, and he does a nice job. Harris is just batty, but fun. As a big fan of Catcher in the Rye, I dug this, even though it didn't grab me as mucch as that one did (or at least used to). In many ways I'm still very much like the leads from both wroks and can relate to them, despite being a bit older and having a more mature take on the world than I used to. All in all, this is good stuff, though it's not gonan be for everyone. If you like snotty rebellious bohemians and don't always see the glass as half full, I think you'll find something to enjoy here.
    Chris W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2010
    The whole rich, dysfunctional, crazy family genre escapes me. There are good versions of it, but this film makes no sense. Its a coming of age story, but I don't understand the transformation, if there even was one. The characters make choices that are absurd. The one bright spot of the film was Jeff Goldblum, but he isn't in the film enough to make a major impact.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 03, 2010
    An interesting film that is almost wrecked by Ryan Phillippe forgetting that he is no longer in Cruel Intentions. The Culkins are annoying to view but the acting is sound.
    John B Super Reviewer

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