Mean Creek - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mean Creek Reviews

August 14, 2007
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 19, 2004
Estes' dark sunlit tale cuts like a knife.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 24, 2004
A low-key, low-budget thriller that reminds us just how cruel young people can be.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
September 23, 2004
Although it is a flawed film, with a first half that moves slowly and sometimes tediously, it is redeemed by a second half that is gripping, not only for its action but for its moral complexity.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
September 17, 2004
Estes has accomplished quite a bit here. In addition to providing a textbook example of suspense, he also makes us want to know what happens to these kids after the screen goes dark.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 17, 2004
You could call Mean Creek a moral thriller. And the emotional currents the movie wades into are far more tricky than the gentle surface the kids' boat floats along.
September 17, 2004
I never lived a story anything like this, but I understand the emotional life of this film -- and I'm betting you will, too.
Read More | Original Score: B+
September 10, 2004
In its simple portrait of a bully Mean Creek may be one of the most political and socially conscious films of the year.
Read More | Original Score: B
September 10, 2004
As odd as it may sound, the best of the many good things that can be said of writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes' debut feature Mean Creek is that it could have been written by a teenager.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 4, 2004
There are all sorts of other themes at work below the surface, including examinations of teenage peer pressure and moral responsibility.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
September 3, 2004
Estes dives into this material as if it's never been done before, and his characters and situations are so realistic and the film's tone is so assured that he succeeds at making it feel fresh.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
September 3, 2004
An unusually truthful depiction of the way kids today talk, think and act.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
September 3, 2004
Very much its own picture -- and a damn sight better one than Stand by Me.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 27, 2004
Takes its place alongside Stand by Me and River's Edge as one of very few films to accurately portray the experience of growing up male.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
August 27, 2004
Estes has an uncanny knack for creating character, and for finding the kind of throwaway detail that resonates.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 27, 2004
Yet another small gem from the strong Sundance class of 2004, Mean Creek mines credible drama from teenage revenge fantasies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 27, 2004
That rare movie that manages to be not only an adroit, carefully observed study in character and suspense, but important.
August 27, 2004
A thoughtful, unpretentious coming-of-age drama with uncommon emotional heft and an engaging young cast.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 27, 2004
Never preachy, never sanctimonious nor touchy-feely, Mean Creek looks at what a social worker would likely call the roots and the legacy of abuse.
August 27, 2004
It could have been simple-minded and predictable, but it becomes a rare film about moral choices, about the difficulty of standing up against pressure from your crowd.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 27, 2004
Through the vast land mass of the teen movie, Mean Creek flows with intelligent purpose and thematic passion, at least until it doesn't.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 26, 2004
One of the year's very best independents.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 26, 2004
It's a dynamic debut for first-time writer-director Jacob Aaron Estes and a provocative showcase for a gifted young cast.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 26, 2004
Such a simple plot barely fills the film's 87 minutes, but writer/director Jacob Aaron Estes more than compensates with his labyrinth of moral dilemmas and complex characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
August 20, 2004
A welcome departure from typical movies about teens.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 20, 2004
Has a level of moral and psychological intricacy that is rare in high school fables.
August 20, 2004
Estes and his cinematographer, Sharone Meir, present a vision of paradise and innocence lost in this beautifully understated drama.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 19, 2004
Jacob Aaron Estes's debut film, about an adolescent prank gone wrong, is like an unusually sensitive and well-acted afterschool special.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
August 19, 2004
A harbinger of possibly better things to come.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 19, 2004
It doesn't pander to or indulge its characters like the teen films we're used to. It looks at them straight ahead and with respect. It's something you wish Hollywood, and even parents, did more often.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
August 19, 2004
Estes has provided a keenly-honed view of human psychology.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
August 19, 2004
While Estes' tale is unfolding, very little seems anything but natural, plausible and emotionally scrupulous.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
August 19, 2004
The kind of cheerlessly capable first feature that makes you think its young director, Jacob Aaron Estes, will do much better when he finds a voice to call his own.
August 17, 2004
A fairly ordinary, machine-shopped Sundance résumé indie, seemingly balanced somewhere between half-realized ambition and inexperience.
August 11, 2004
There is something precociously mature but natural about the work of this youngest Culkin sibling that stands apart.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
August 11, 2004
Estes' debut feature's strength lies in its crackling intensity, ultra-sharp character insights and an affinity for teenage protagonists who look and sound like real teens.
June 12, 2004
Estes has crafted a realistic and rich portrait of the moral dilemmas that adolescents experience.