Mean Creek

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Released 2004

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Movie Summary

Director:
Jacob Aaron Estes
Released:
2004
Rating:
R
It all begins in a small Oregon town, when shy Sam (RORY CULKIN) confesses to his protective older brother Rocky that he is getting pummeled daily by the towering school bully, George. Together, they plan the perfect payback, inviting George on a birthday river trip tailor-made to end in the bully's humiliation. Rocky's pals Clyde and Marty and Sam's budding girlfriend Millie also join the journey, which starts almost immediately with misgivings. Seeing George in a new light, as a lonely kid desperate for friendship and attention, Sam wants to call the whole thing off. But the boat and the plot are already in motion, and no one can foresee the surprises and accidents that are to come.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Mean Creek's greatest asset is its sense of truth. 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 respec...

  • 80

    Variety Scott Foundas

    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.

  • 70

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Like an uncommonly artful and well-acted after-school special. I don't mean this as a put-down: its combination of realism and fretful moral inquiry is best suited to the tastes an...

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    Themes

    Crime