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Mean Creek Review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0
    74

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    As in most movies of this sort from "Rebel Without a Cause" to "West Side Story" to last year's "Thirteen," adults are marginalized, clueless or absent. I'm with them.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    A promising debut by young writer/director Jacob Estes, this story of a botched revenge plot still isn't likely to break out even in multiplex August dog days.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The final act of the film is extraordinary. How unusual it is to see kids this age in the movies seriously debating moral rights and wrongs and considering the consequences of their actions.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    By entering such fertile, intellectually stimulating and psychologically rich territory, Estes provides us with a freshman feature that is far beyond the generic coming-of-age tale Mean Creek initially seems to be.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Intelligent, universal tale.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Although the talent of a kid with the last name of Culkin may not, at this point, register as such a novelty -- Rory follows brothers Macaulay and Kieran -- there is something precociously mature but natural about the work of this youngest Culkin sibling that stands apart.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Mean Creek reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

This movie about teens is for adults only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie includes extremely strong language and very explicit sexual references, including sexual epithets. A character is called "faggot" and insulted because his fathers are gay. Middle schoolers are challenged to French kiss and others are dared to take off their clothes. There is a bare tush and implied nudity. Characters use a gun, cut their skin with a knife, and a character is beaten and another is killed. Teens and younger kids drink, smoke, and use drugs, and one who declines is insulted and pressured. The movie's themes include vigilante justice and there is a painful reference to suicide.

  • Families can talk about how and why the characters reacted differently to the situations they faced. What is the right way to deal with a bully? Why do the kids have so little faith in the adult world to help them solve their problems? Be sure to notice all of the different tactics characters use to get others to do what they want -- questioning everything from their loyalty and integrity to their manhood. They could also talk about the effect that a secret has on a group and the way it makes the power relationships shift. Instead of bringing them together, it pulls them apart. What do we learn from the cameras in the movie, including George's camera and the one in the police station?

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Characters use a gun, cut their skin with a knife, and a character is beaten and another is killed. Tense scenes, injuries and death.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Very explicit sexual references including insults.

  • language false5

    Language: Extremely strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking, smoking, drug use by teens and kids.

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