6.6/10
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95 user 117 critic

Thumbsucker (2005)

Trailer
2:16 | Trailer
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

Gross USA:

$1,328,679

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,919,197
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

A microphone can be seen when Justin is bringing his prize back home. 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

The end credits give special thanks for the support of this movie by many famous directors: Sofia and Roman Coppola, David Fincher, Spike Jonze and Ang Lee. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.1 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Spirit of Reiki
Written by Shastro
Performed by Shastro and Nadama
Courtesy of Malimba Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Your Thumb Doesn't Need You
29 September 2005 | by ferguson-6See all my reviews

Greetings again from the darkness. Very few things provide me the thrill of watching a movie with a great story, interesting characters, wonderful acting and professional direction. This is the case even when I realize that of all the people I know, 97 out of 100 will not see the film. Such is "Thumbsucker".

Director and co-writer Mike Mills presents the film version of Walter Kirn's novel and nails the issues we all face with relationships and life. So many teen angst movies provide us one dimensional adults or even one dimensional teens. This film shows the struggles we all face at every age and every stage in life. Catherine Hardwicke's "Thirteen" was a powerful movie focusing on girls. "Thumbsucker" is every bit as powerful, if not a bit softer in its approach.

Relative newcomer Lou Taylor Pucci is stunning and brilliant as Justin, the seventeen year old thumbsucker who, along with 98% of the others his age, just can't seem to figure out what its all about. His character turns out to be one of the lucky ones who finally determines that none of us really get it. That includes his friends, parents, teachers, orthodontist and celebrities.

The supporting actors are stellar and very well cast. Justin's parents are played well by the great Tilda Swinton (slightly underused here) and Vincent D'Onofrio. His hypnotist would-be guru orthodontist is hilariously played by Keanu Reeves and Benjamin Bratt is the TV celeb whom Justin's mom carries a torch for. Vince Vaughn flashes some real acting chops as Justin's Debate Team sponsor. This is not the typical punchline Vince that we have come to expect. A real standout is Kelli Garner as Rebecca, Justin's first crush. This role was originally going to Scarlett Johansson which would have been a mistake. Garner is so believable as the would be world saver if she could just understand why everyone acts the way they do. Looking forward to more of her work.

For a movie that tackles such tough subject matter, it does an amazing job of keeping the viewer from being depressed. There is actually hope in the message. The soundtrack was a bit of a distraction at times, but not enough to ruin any particular scene. Also, there is a story line about Ridlin and ADHD that would require a thesis to to describe my disgust. This is a film that deserves a bigger audience than it will reach. Sadly, too many will line up to see "Proof" which only impersonates an important film.


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