Thumbsucker (2005) - Plot Summary Poster



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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.

  • 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 teacher. Nevertheless, more serious problems will come for Justin with his mother, his father and with a drug addiction.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Justin is a semi-nerdy teenager who still sucks his thumb, is in love with a classmate, and feeling uneasy. His dentist hypnotizes him for his thumbsucking habit, then he's diagnosed with attention disorder. After taking a prescribed drug, he becomes focused, clear, and aware, thinks fast, reads insatiably, wins debate tournaments, ...and thinks he knows everything, advising his parents on their lives, etc.

    About awareness, power, and maturity, in the form of a fable. Vincent d'Onofrio and Tilda Swinton are good as the parents, and Lou Taylor Pucci (playing Justin) does a great job.

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