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Thumbsucker (2005)

Lou Taylor Pucci , Tilda Swinton , Mike Mills  |  R |  DVD
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Lou Taylor Pucci, Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio, Keanu Reeves, Ted Beckman
  • Directors: Mike Mills
  • Writers: Walter Kirn, Mike Mills
  • Producers: Anne Carey, Anthony Bregman, Bob Stephenson, Bob Yari, Callum Greene
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.0)
  • Subtitles: French
  • Dubbed: French
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: January 24, 2006
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000C20VVE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Thumbsucker" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with writer/director Mike Mills
  • Previews
  • Sundance Film Festival, Special Jury Prize Winner, 2005

Editorial Reviews

Meet Justin Cobb (Lou Pucci), a teenager who still sucks his thumb. Realizing it's totally disrupting his home, love and school love life, he allows his orthodontist (Keanu Reeves) to break him of the habit through hypnosis. Justin begins to experiment with prescription drugs, pot and sex as alternate means to overcome his anxieties and become "normal," never realizing normal is just a state of mind.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
(60)
3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Quirky, Quiet Comedy About a Normal Teen September 22, 2005
Seventeen year old Justin (Lou Taylor Pucci) is a high school senior who still sucks his thumb. His father, Mike (Vincent D'Onofrio) seems more concerned about it than his mother, Audrey (Tilda Swinton). One day, Justin's dentist Perry (Keanu Reeves) talks to him about this habit, among other things, and Justin stops sucking his thumb becoming a chaotic individual who has to use Ritalin to calm down. The transformation is miraculous and he becomes a fantastic student and a brilliant member of the debate team headed by Mr. Geary (Vince Vaughn).

"Thumbsucker" written and directed by Mike Mills is a very good look at what life is like for a teenager and their parents.

Pucci won an award at Sundance for his performance. He does a very good job of portraying the low key teen and his character is fun to watch as he changes to the new Justin. One moment, he is a surly, confused teen who would prefer to sleep and then after he starts taking Ritalin, he becomes Super Student, always full of energy and raring to go. His performance is very natural and it is deserving of the award at Sundance. But I have to wonder how much of the `naturalness' comes from his age? Perhaps he simply hasn't had the time to become `an actor', to `emote'. But I don't think that gives him full credit. Even new actors generally take some time to find their place, appearing awkward and unnatural unless guided by a good director. I think the majority of us have all appeared in some sort of school play and know how it feels to be onstage in front of a bunch of staring eyes. Pucci appears to be naturally gifted and hopefully will continue to show this skill in many more films.

The supporting cast is filled with interesting and varied actors.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Echinacea-Flavored Fun. October 23, 2005
After passing many a delightful colorful poster, I finally saw Mike Mills' coming of age story Thumbsucker. It's a bittersweet film, mixing comedy with somewhat melancholy overtones in an Igby Goes Down sort of way. We follow a 17-year-old Justin Cobb (Lou Taylor Pucci) who hides behind his bangs and sucks his thumb as a means of comfort. Distant from his perfectionist father and concerned about his mother's crush on a drug-addicted actor, he struggles to rid himself of his thumbsucking habit and be everything he's supposed to be.

It's a nice little relatable film with the occasional surreal element, but I think what really made the film for me was Keanu Reeves' role as Perry Lyman, Justin's quasi-mystic orthodontist. I wiggled with glee every time he appeared on screen, as hearing Mr. Reeves guide a child in a dentist chair to find his power animal is pretty darn funny. Nothing he said would have been remarkable if he was played by anyone else. While his acting style has failed to change, he seemed a lot more relaxed than when he was Neo of the Matrix and it was all too perfect.

So I'm going to throw aside the fact that Justin pushes and pushes and pushes himself through the debate team, experiments with drugs and sex, becomes hostile with friends and family as he strives to be a flawless human being, and ultimately learns a very profound truth, and say GO SEE IT BECAUSE KEANU REEVES PLAYZ A HIPPIE DENTIST LOL.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 stars - don't listen to these other reviewers November 23, 2005
Format:DVD
i have no idea what the other reviewers on here are talking about. First of all, this movie had some hilarious moments. Keanu Reeves as the hypnotist is a great and funny scene. This movie is somewhat formulaic in the way that a young boy who doesnt fit in overcomes his problems and fits in - but it all goes to his head. But the directing is beautiful and the acting is quite brilliant (even vince vaughn is pretty good). and don't listen to the guy who said that me and you and everyone we know is unoriginal. that movie was as good as thumbsucker if not better.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs-up! September 17, 2005
Justin is a nice, but weird, kid who has the unseemly habit (as the title suggests) of chronically sucking his thumb. This is considered socially unacceptable behavior in a 17-year-old. What's his problem? What deep dark secret childhood trauma is causing him to do this? There must be one...right? Adults keep trying to intervene, but end up only making things worse. Finally, he is put on Ritalin, which works wonders. He becomes the genius star of the debate club. There's only one drawback; as his debate coach (Vince Vaughn) puts it: "In my professional opinion...you've become a monster."

Thumbsucker is one of those off-beat, coming-of-age movies...like Donnie Darko without the science fiction. It chronicles the horrors and the humor of being seventeen and different. The movie benefits from great performances. At its heart is newcomer Lou Pucci, who manages to be off-putting or cute as the film requires. He calls his parents by their first names. His mother (Tilda Swinton) fantasizes about running away with a movie star and his father (Vincent D'Onofrio) is a jock who lives in the shadow of a ruined football career and who doesn't know what to make of his son. Surprisingly, one of the best performances comes from Keanu Reeves, who almost plays a parody of himself; he is Justin's orthodontist, but he acts more like his psychiatrist.

This movie will probably develop a cult following over the years. It will certainly appeal to teenage outcasts and those of us who are recovering from being one. It is funny and quirky (if a bit long) and is a good independent alternative to the usual studio fare.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but not in a big sense. More in ...
Entertaining but not in a big sense. More in a series of small senses. The plot gets weak and slow at certain points. Overall, it was just okay.
Published 2 months ago by Eugene La, Pia
4.0 out of 5 stars Lou Tylor Pucci - need I say more?
Lou Taylor Pucci is currently one of the most under rated actors out there. This is one of his first roles and it is played very well. Read more
Published 5 months ago by S. Beers
5.0 out of 5 stars Great coming into yourself movie
Very under rated movie - great acting - modern day "Catcher in the Rye". Captures the angst of being different and attempting to fit in. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Christine P. Verdon
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
this is not the usual movie. this is an interesting look at a teenage boy and the things he goes through and the issue he has with sucking his thumb. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Abby Joan
1.0 out of 5 stars Thumbsucker Sucks
Like "Igby Goes Down" and a long list of other failed teenage-angst flicks, this sucker also goes down. Read more
Published on September 6, 2012 by Lloyd Christmas
3.0 out of 5 stars Clever, down-beat indie angst
Thumbsucker is a clever, dry and vaguely familiar entry to the teen-angst Indie canon. Justin (Pucci) is having a hard time. He simply cannot stop sucking his thumb. Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by Kevin F. Tasker
5.0 out of 5 stars A Film Which Depicts Endearingly the Personal Trials of (and Triumph...
Not having read the novel of the same title on which this film is based, I thoroughly expected this film to be a teen farce, given the potentially absurd problem that bedevils the... Read more
Published on March 7, 2012 by Gerald Parker
4.0 out of 5 stars great movie
my movie arrived much faster than i expected...and right before christmas! i was impressed at the quality of the product (dvd worked great) and the service was pleasing.
Published on January 17, 2012 by car11muff
5.0 out of 5 stars Best movie I've seen in years!
I just saw this on Sundance and I can't believe it didn't win more awards!
It's the best movie I've seen in years and one of the rare few that I'd like to see again and to... Read more
Published on January 10, 2010 by Earthmother
5.0 out of 5 stars a coming of age story with comedy and drama
Thumbsucker is a sweet, tender and often humorous look at an awkward teenager's coming of age. The casting was superb; and the acting so well done that I found it a delight to... Read more
Published on December 7, 2009 by Matthew G. Sherwin
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