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Thumbsucker (2005)

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Justin throws himself and everyone around him into chaos when he attempts to break free from his addiction to his thumb.

Director:

Mike Mills

Writers:

Walter Kirn (novel), Mike Mills
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ted Beckman Ted Beckman ... Stoner Guy
Benjamin Bratt ... Matt Schramm
Vincent D'Onofrio ... Mike Cobb
Arvin V. Entena Arvin V. Entena ... Perry Lyman's Assistant
Tyler Gannon Tyler Gannon ... Stoner Chick
Kelli Garner ... Rebecca
Allen Go Allen Go ... Biology Teacher
Dakota O'Hara ... Girl on Plane (as Dakota Goldhor)
Walter Kirn ... Debate Judge
Kit Koenig Kit Koenig ... Principal
Sarah Lucht Sarah Lucht ... English Teacher
Eric Normington ... Hotel Desk Clerk
Nancy O'Dell ... Herself
Lanette Prazeau Lanette Prazeau ... School Nurse
Lou Taylor Pucci ... Justin Cobb (as Lou Pucci)
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Storyline

Justin is a teenager boy, who has an oral obsession with his thumb. His mother seems to be a normal housekeeper, but she has her own obsessions as well, like a crush on a TV-star. The only person who's aware of Justin's problem is his father, manager in a store, but none of his advices seem to be working for Justin. The kid is signed up in a debate workshop, but the thing isn't going well, because he has his mind in a pretty classmate and, of course, in his thumb, affecting all the rest of his classes. So, Justin is a loner kid in the school, who prefers to lock himself in the bathroom and suck his thumb. Justin's dentist, a mystical-hippie person, will try to help to overcome his thumb problem, through the hypnosis. But the school's psychologist will diagnose Justin with the Attention Deficit Disorder, and will prescribe him some drugs. Suddenly, Justin's problem with his thumb will disappear, becoming an hyperactive genius, winning several debate contests and the admiration from his... Written by Alejandro Frias

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug/alcohol use and sexuality involving teens, language and a disturbing image | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Age Difficile Obscur See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$85,327, 18 September 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,325,073, 4 December 2005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Scarlett Johansson was originally cast as Rebecca Crane, but she dropped out shortly before filming, and was replaced by Kelli Garner. See more »

Goofs

It is stated that Ritalin and cocaine have only three molecules different. Both are actually single molecules. Although similar in shape, there are several atoms difference. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Audrey Cobb: You're good at stuff like this. I have to find something distinctive about myself.
Justin Cobb: You're beautiful, Audrey.
Audrey Cobb: Seriously.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to the people of Beaverton and Portland, Oregon, for their generous contributions to the making of this feature film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Filmography: Keanu Reeves (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Thirteen
(1972)
Written by Alex Chilton and Chris Bell (as Christopher Bell)
Performed by Elliott Smith
From the film Lucky Three an Elliott Smith Portrait (1997) by Jem Cohen
Courtesy of Gravity Hill
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Thumbsucker" plays around with all the indie habits
11 January 2008 | by Movie_Muse_ReviewsSee all my reviews

It might seem strange at first to say independent film has become mildly formulaic, but it's slightly true. The salvation, however, comes in the form of originality. "Thumbsucker" has a lot of both and the result is a satisfying but not overly empowering movie.

"Thumbsucker" pulls together a cast that is no doubt impressive. There's everyone from mainstream actors like Vince Vaughn and Keanu Reeves to not as marquee but respected talents like Tilda Swinton and Benjamin Bratt. Most of the characters are very original and interesting which seems to either result in great success or a lapse in identification with the story. For example, the father, played by Vincent D'Onfrio seems to have a little to no parenting skills and while it makes an interesting character, it's a bit discomforting to be at peace with a character like that actually possibly existing.

The biggest Indie flaw is that there seems to be no thematic direction in the film. The ideas in the film are broad and precisely what the writer and even director are commenting on is too hard to pinpoint and the story unfolds. There is the thumbsucking habit, but there is also drug issues, fidelity, etc. It's not that there is no message, it simply takes more work to decode--the plot does not suggest to the viewer what things should be considered thematically. It takes some serious thinking to link all the many happenings in the film together.

There are some really great moments and characters going on in "Thumbsucker," but as a whole there doesn't seem to be a specific motion to the film and it loses some of the charm that many family-centered indies often provide.


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