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The Chumscrubber (2005)

Jamie Bell , Allison Janney , Arie Posin  |  R |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jamie Bell, Allison Janney, Rory Culkin, Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes
  • Directors: Arie Posin
  • Writers: Arie Posin, Zac Stanford
  • Producers: Andreas Thiesmeyer, Bob Yari, Bonnie Curtis, Gerd Koechlin, Josef Lautenschlager
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Dreamworks Video
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BX8R1A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,734 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Chumscrubber" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

The Chumscrubber is a darkly satiric story about life crumbling in the midst of a seemingly idyllic suburbia.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm not dead, but who could call this a life? July 11, 2006
Of all the dramedies about suburbia's dark side, "The Chumscrubber" has to be the one... with the absolute worst title.

But fortunately almost everything else about the movie is good. Arie Posen's first full-length movie does manage to be jaded without being heartless, dark without being self-conscious. Instead it's morbidly funny -- few movies can make drugs, kidnapping and mental collapse seem so entertaining.

Dean (Jamie Bell) visits his drug-dealing pal Troy for some Prozac -- and finds Troy hanging from a noose. He simply walks out of the house, past a house-party full of adults. There's no point in telling them, because everyone around him is too preoccupied.

In the days that follow, Troy is tormented by his classmates, and by his psychoanalytical dad, who is trying to make him feel grief against his will. But things take a nasty turn when school thug Billy (Justin Chatwin) demands that Dean turn over all of Troy's drugs... which he doesn't have. So he kidnaps Dean's little brother... except he gets the wrong kid.

Instead, Billy has kidnapped the future stepson of the town mayor. Now Billy is threatening to kill the kid unless Dean turns over the drugs. Sooner or later, someone is going to go looking for him. Things come to a head at a wedding and a funeral -- fights will break out, confessions will be made, and the kidnapping erupts into violence that disrupts both the wedding and the funeral.

Normally mental breakdowns and kidnappings aren't funny at all, but Arie Posen manages to make them seem that way. "The Chumscrubber" is full of weird, frighteningly plausible events like wedding-obsessed Terri failing to notice that her son is missing, or the kidnapped Charlie swimming with his kidnappers.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding The Realness In Unreality: A Suburban Fable October 30, 2006
Suburban malaise. Teen angst. The hopelessness and futility behind a happy and "normal" facade. The "Chumscrubber" is yet another in a long line of middle/upper class social satire flicks. And yet this one seems to be polarizing--some camps claim it to be brave and true while others decry that it tries too hard and rings false.

Well, I can see both points--but ultimately, I like in "Chumscrubber" what many were put off by. It has a genuinely offbeat tone, bizarre yet matter-of-fact plotting, and a surrealness about even the most mundane of events. I wouldn't claim it had a huge social significance as many of the more effusive reviewers do. The characters here are clearly characters--there is a disconnect from real people. But I think that works to the picture's advantage--this is a super-fictionalized setting. Yet there are moments of sheer emotion that break through and thus are more effective because of the unreality of the situations.

Those that know me might be confused at this point. Realness is an important commodity to me, but I guess I take "Chumscrubber" in the vein of an entertaining fable. And I was definitely entertained and intrigued by the film. The cast is super. Glenn Close, in an all too brief appearance, personifies emotional detachment and need at the same time. Ralph Fiennes is amusing fluttering around the edge of sanity. And Jamie Bell continues to be one of our more interesting performers--seemingly choosing in his roles to be an actor rather than a star.

There is much unpleasantness in "Chumscrubber" from suicide, drugs, kidnapping--yet I don't find it to be a particularly downbeat film. It does have an odd or different tone--but that's what stands out. As many reviewers are quick to point out--it's not "Donnie Darko.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delicious Social Commentary November 23, 2006
As a dissonant high school senior living in the depths of suburbia, its understandable as to why this movie does not get across to everyone. They actually captured the atmosphere perfectly, if not with a bit of satiric exaggeration, which honestly is not very severe. The idea of a dull emotionless society of self indulgence and drugged up teens is the same world that I personally reside in, and the film takes a snapshot of it while adding fantastic acting and deep emotion, spliced with brilliant humor.

The first time I viewed this movie I caught it on television without seeing the beginning or title, and quickly became enveloped by its unique execution, forcing me to watch the entire film which I then fell in love with.

Donnie Darko, as mentioned as the benchmark in every review of this poor movie, is a terrible movie to compare this with. Darko, which has become an utter cliche among youth culture, contains far more of a metaphoric and plot driven story that largely acts out a finely tuned Christian symbolism, while The Chumscrubber is a satire of society's indulgence in present day suburbia.

Give it a watch, and if you don't feel anything as a result, it likely is not meant to appeal to you.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Don't ignore me." April 23, 2007
The Chumscrubber is a brilliant portrayal of suburban dysfunction that deserves a place alongside American Beauty, Edward Scissorhands, and The Squid and the Whale. The movie takes place in a picture-perfect community with social-climbing (and subtly back-stabbing) parents who have little time for their children. The movie opens with young loner Dean discovering his childhood best friend hanging from the rafters in his bedroom. Dean gets little support from the adults in his world, and a group of teens quickly latches on to see if Dean can score the drug connections of his deceased friends.

This is a tale told with subtle nuances and situational irony--the mothers pop speed and herbal energizers while turning a blind eye to their childrens' drug and alcohol abuse, the parents permit absolutely anything if "it's for school," and a funeral and over-the-top wedding compete for space and attention on the McMansion block. Kidnapping and bullying take place right under the eyes of a cast of self-absorbed parents played by Ralph Fiennes, Glenn Close, and Allison Janney. The dialog, imagery, and themes of this movie all compliment the first-rate acting. Prepare to have your jaw drop as you watch The Chumscrubber.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good shipping, good standard DVD but not one of Jamie Bell's greatest roles.
Published 2 months ago by Steve Kur
5.0 out of 5 stars A great find, and worth the effort
A friend recommended this wonderful movie to me several years ago, but it's always been difficult to locate in CD or streaming format. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kassey
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME Movie!!!!!!!!
This movie has a really stupid title but, it is a totally awesome movie. It does have an ensemble cast. Read more
Published 8 months ago by lemcbee
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
The first time I saw this movie, I did not think that I would love it as much as I do. It is an amazing movie. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Courtney Elizabeth Howerton
5.0 out of 5 stars Chumscrubber
Really weird, but really awesome. A satire juxtaposing our view of reality and the means we use to make that reality more tolerable.
Published 10 months ago by Carpenchantress
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie not as fictional as it seems
I love this movie and think it deserves more credit. It's basically about how everyone is messed up in there own way and how society self medicates with prescription drugs etc. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Alex Altman
3.0 out of 5 stars I liked it.
Dark humor, I wouldn't go as far to say that this is a comedy. More of a coming to age story. But nonetheless it's a good entertaining movie. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars COULDNT WAIT TO OWN IT!
Published 20 months ago by Panicos
5.0 out of 5 stars AWESOME!
What a fantastic movie! Granted it has it's stupid "teenage feeling and 'I don't know what my life is' and the 'who am I'" type feel to it, but it's a great movie anyways. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Laney
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
Another GREAT preformance by Jamie Bell, must see movie. It has several GOOD actors in it, don't miss this one. Kind of reflects todays living.
Published 21 months ago by Roadrunner
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