MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

Imagine the humiliation of being a thumb sucker at age 17. Justin Cobb (Lou Pucci) tries hard to hide it from his classmates by retreating to the privacy of the school restroom when he's stressed out. His parents (Tilda Swinton, Vincent D'Onofrio) are in denial about their son's need for help until he starts failing his classes. Meanwhile, Justin's orthodontist (Keanu Reeves) offers hypnotism. While his parents, his dentist and his debate coach (Vince Vaughn) jump into the fray to save Justin, their own insecurities make Justin's thumb sucking look mild. Justin's younger brother (Chase Offerle) complains that Justin is so worried about being weird that he has to stay normal. Thumbsucker's realistic portrayal of family dynamics is humorous and poignant. Pucci has won acting awards for his role as Justin at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival.

This journey of self-discovery stirs up questions of self-worth. Justin, like most teenagers, wants to be like everyone else, but he's not. When a doctor diagnoses ADD, the prescription gets Justin back on track, winning debate competitions, but soon he's addicted to the drug. He attracts the attention of Rebecca (Kelli Garner), a member of the debate team, who introduces Justin to pot and sex. The debate-team coach, a middle-aged man, buys the team beer and allows Justin to stay in a hotel room with the girl members. While Mom fantasizes about a TV action star (Benjamin Bratt) and enters a win-a-date contest and Dad feels like a failure because his pro football career ended with a knee injury, their main concern is Justin's thumb sucking. Justin figures out for himself that the drugs are worse than his unusual but harmless habit. Thumbsucker cannot be recommended due to obscenities, profanity and a gratuitous, graphic close-up of a nurse removing drugs from a patient's rectum.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Sony Pictures

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - strong (-ss 3, b-tch 1)

Obscene Language: Many (15) times - moderate (s-ck 1); strong (f-word 8, s-word 4, other 2)

Profanity: Several (6) times - moderate (G 5); strong (J 1)

Violence: None

Sex: Few times - mild (implied with married couple in bed and teenagers under influence of drugs)

Nudity: Few times mild (teenage girls in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times - strong (young boy makes crude remarks about brother's sexual relationship with girlfriend, reference to sex games)

Drugs: Several times - mild (teenagers drink beer in hotel room); moderate (teens smoke pot, girl introduces boy to marijuana, teen becomes addicted to prescription drugs)

Other: Family deals with insecurities, teenager learns to accept himself, dentist decides New Age remedies are worthless, honest look at teen pressures and family conflicts, gross close-up of nurse removing drugs from a patient's rectum

Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: 18 and Older

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