Manic

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Released 2001

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jordan Melamed
Released:
2001
Rating:
R
Manic is a 2001 drama directed by Jordan Melamed that explores the subject of youth violence, troubled teenagers and how mental institutions deal with such a sensitive issue. Lyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a young man who suffers from frequent episodes of aggressive behavior directed towards his peers. After severely beating a classmate with a baseball bat, Lyle is admitted to the juvenile department of Northwood Mental Institution. Lyle's mother, who had enough of her husband's physically abusive behavior, wants her child's anger issues addressed effectively by mental health professionals so that he can integrate into society. Lyle meets other teens who have various psychological issues that prevent them from functioning normally. He becomes friends with Kenny (Cody Lightening), a 13-year-old victim of child molestation, and falls in love with Tracy (Zooey Deschanel), a girl who has trouble healing after her rape. Doctor David Monroe (Don Cheadle) is assigned the difficult and sensitive task of mentoring these teenagers and treating their deeply rooted psychological distress, while confronting his own thoughts that originate in his troubled past.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Manohla Dargis

    If the cast is distractingly pretty, the performances are also quite fine and, in the case of Gordon-Levitt, exceptional.

  • 50

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    If the movie is not original, at least it's a showcase for the actors and writers. It does not speak as well, alas, for director Jordan Melamed and his cinematographer, Nick Hay.

  • 40

    The New York Times Dave Kehr

    The camera work is so self-conscious and so intrusive that it consistently overrides our interest in the characters and their individual dramas.

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Teen