The Tic Code

Critics Consensus

Though the story is conventional, it's nonetheless sympathetic and credible.



Total Count: 28


Audience Score

User Ratings: 373
User image

The Tic Code Photos

Movie Info

Actress Polly Draper, best known for her role on the TV series thirtysomething, wrote and co-produced this family drama, as well as playing the female lead. Draper plays Laura, a single mother whose ten-year-old son Miles (Christopher Marquette) is already displaying a remarkable gift as a jazz pianist. However, Miles suffers from a mild case Tourette's Syndrome, a disorder that's not life threatening but causes victims to display a series of pronounced physical and facial tics, as well as occasional emotional outbursts. Miles makes friends with two bartenders at a jazz club, who let the kid sneak in to see shows and eventually introduce him to acclaimed jazz saxophonist Tyrone Pike (Gregory Hines). It seems Tyrone and Miles have something in common -- Tyrone also has Tourette's, but unlike Miles he's learned to disguise his condition with a variety of mannerisms, and prefers not to discuss the matter. Tension develops between the two when Tyrone and Laura develop a mutual attraction, which creates tension between the two musicians and forces Tyrone to confront some personal issues he's spent much of his life avoiding. The Tic Code was shown at the Vancouver Reel to Real Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Hamptons Film Festival and the Giffoni Film Festival in 1999 before its run on the Starz! premium cable service.


Critic Reviews for The Tic Code

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (7)

  • For me, it's just a little too restrained, with too many false notes.

    Jan 1, 2000
  • The Tic Code is the summer's surprise gift, a loving and humane film that rises above the season's overhyped blockbusters like a flower poking up through the concrete.

    Jan 1, 2000

    Jan Stuart

    Top Critic
  • Raising it above the usual clichés are the superb jazz music and a sparkling script by lead actress Polly Draper.

    Jan 1, 2000
  • It's got more genuine-seeming feelings and a more accurate take on its particular corner of the world than a colosseum of summer blockbusters.

    Jan 1, 2000

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Starts out self-consciously but gets better as it goes along, winding up as affecting as it is illuminating.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • This is the loving accomplishment of The Tic Code, to open a door onto the deepest kind of understanding.

    Jan 1, 2000

    Tom Keogh
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Tic Code

  • Nov 28, 2010
    Intelligent, uplifting story. Great acting. Realistic portrayal of Tourettes Syndrome by a very talented young actor. Great music. All around nice movie....good send off for the late Gregory Hines.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2008
    An interesting story about a musically gifted young boy who also happens to suffer from Tourette's syndrome.
    Ida K Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2007
    Decent music movie. Not great, not bad. Hines is good.
    Morris N Super Reviewer

The Tic Code Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features