Manic R CC

Amazon Instant Video

(69) IMDb 7.4/10
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After badly beating a classmate, Lyle is committed to an institution where he learns there is a thin line between 'sane' and 'insane.' Don Cheadle stars as the mental hospital's teen counselor.

Starring:
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Maggie Baird
Runtime:
1 hour, 42 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

Manic

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Jordan Melamed
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Maggie Baird
Supporting actors Don Cheadle, Blayne Weaver, Lydell M. Cheshier, Roxie Fuller, Bree Nogueira, Kathy Paradise, Elden Henson, Cody Lightning, Michael Bacall, Sara Rivas, Lauren Shubert, Zooey Deschanel, William Richert, Ben Markham, Travis Sutton, Nic Henley, Julie Remala, Van Epperson
Studio IFC Film
MPAA rating R (Restricted)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Intense as this may seem, the opening credits disturb the viewer even more intensively.
Elderbear
Maybe I didn't like this movie because I've seen this played out on the screen way too many times already and I'm bored with it.
Scott Sheridan
The acting is great, the script and dialogue is nice, and the overall story is very realistic.
Kalie A. Gipson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By D. Crawford on November 10, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am currently a mental health care worker that works in a facility like this. I can't believe how relistic this movie is compared to the real thing. Sure there are some moments in the movie which a professional will say that "it wouldnt work like that" or "That should have been handled differently" however, overall the movie was awesome. The main thing I liked about this movie was the therapist and his drive to help even though everything he tries usually leads to failure with the kids he works with. Working in this field, I know EXACTLY how he feels. How can you reach people who dont want to be reached? It hurts so much and is very draining to care about those that don't care about themselves. I understand all of the theories of how to help people however there are those that it doesnt matter what you try. It doesnt matter to them... they have already given up on themselves. This movie shows all of that. I highly relate to the therapist of this movie. This movie would be great to use in regards to mental health staff training and even during group therapy with trouble kids - especially teens. I think it would be helpful to let kids see other kids act the way they do at times and see what they feel about it - what comes up for discussion. See there I'm in the process of trying to figure out another way of helping. Its a constant cycle. Keep trying and trying. One sad thing about this movie is that there are some kids that are helped in real life. I dont want anyone to read this post or watch the movie and feel this type of care is worthless because it is not. I have made a difference in the lives of many kids. I wish this movie would have shown one kid having a break through that led to success. It didnt. That was the missing component of the movie.Read more ›
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52 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Elderbear VINE VOICE on January 9, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In a day when armed guards lurk in our schools and teens get tried and sentenced as adults, the film Manic opens a portal into teen rage, pain, and the existential demands of growing up. The acting, script, and phenomenal cinematography come together to grab the viewer's guts with razor talons-this is an easy movie to avoid, to turn away from, but those who dare to watch it, and to find their own anger and rage challenged, cannot watch it unscathed.
The movie opens with Lyle (3rd Rock's Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who plays a phenomenal role in this movie), in his late teens, having wounds sutured and his facial bruises attended to. He's anxious to go home with his mom, but two burly psych techs grab him, pump him with a tranquilizer and cart him off to a youth psychiatric unit.
Intense as this may seem, the opening credits disturb the viewer even more intensively. Lyle is in the clinical therapist's office, being interviewed. Between each question, the screen goes black and a set of credits is posted, while the sound of a fight turning into a beating runs in the background.

This sets the stage for a movie that uses digital cinematography, fast cuts, cine verite, and unexpected color to portray the chaotic life of the disturbed. Scene color schemes were actually drawn from several key van Gogh paintings, one of which plays a key role in the movie. Story lines and subplots develop. Lyle's murderous rage surfaces over and over again, challenged, each time, by his therapist. In one particularly charged scene, the therapist smashes a chair during group and asks, "Does that feel better? NO! So now I have to smash something else!" He hurls another chair, "Feel better yet? NO! So now you have to do what we all have to do, you have to live with the feelings!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Lux on February 13, 2008
Format: DVD
Manic follows juvenile psychiatric patient Lyle (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to Los Angeles's Northward Mental Institution, where he is admitted after beating another student with a baseball bat during a fight. In a hauntingly realistic portrayal of mental turmoil, the movie follows the painstakingly slow (or non-existent) progress for Lyle, suicidal Tracy (Zooey Deschanel), self-injuring goth rocker Sara (Sara Rivas), bipolar rich kid Chad (Michael Bacall), and sexually abused Kenny (Cody Lightning). Don Cheadle portrays staff therapist Dr. Dave, a man who struggles against his own feelings of futility and ineffectiveness. The teens have angst, their families are near the breaking point, and those charged with fixing the out-of-control teens lack all the answers.

Director Jordan Melamed shot the film on hand-held digital video in an actual mental hospital, strongly adhering to the essential intentions of the Dogme 95 movement. As such, film is not a barrier between the viewer and the action on screen.

Manic is never sensationalist; rather, it uncovers truths that lurk in the lives of nearly all families. There are no trite life lessons, no jaw-dropping "crazy person" performances in hope of an Oscar nod, and the end isn't tied up with a big pretty bow. The movie does end with a sense of hope, not for banishing all trauma and difficulty, but for the ability to control and manage it within our lives.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RC on November 5, 2006
Format: DVD
I was in a psych ward earlier in my youth for a short time and so i have some experience in a place such as the one that this film takes place although it didn't have a teen ward where people of a similar age group stayed instead all ages were just thrown together unlike in this film.

the film which is about a teen played by joseph gordon-levitt (who has come a long way from his days on 3rd rock from the sun) who finds himself in a downward rage filled spiral that eventually leads him (by way of a vicious beating with a baseball bat) to what i would describe as a new age psych ward... i say "new age" or "experimental" because it seems to be more about therapy and discovery rather than your typical throw someone in a facility and dope him/her up and nothing much else which is the way most normal places are... this place however tries to really help the troubled teens breakthrough their own troubles and look within themselves to try and deal with things and try and look at life in a different way... the head guy in charge is played by don cheadle who is always solid.

the story basically follows gordon-levitt as he goes through life in the psych ward.. and the people he meets and his struggle with everything.

the cast who portrays the group of troubled teens does good job at presenting the viewer with the type of people one would find in such an experience... one not familiar with the subject i think would believe that in such a place it is just a bunch of complete psychos biting their own hands and mumbling about president lincoln which isn't true for the most part...
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