Parents' Guide to

Mean Creek

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

This movie about teens is for adults only.

Movie R 2004 87 minutes
Mean Creek Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Must watch! Not for kids.

First of all, I LOVED this film and have seen it several times. It's not one you would find very often, it's unique and very underestimated! It's strictly for the older crowd only, I would say anyone under 16 should wait to watch this. It's a tragic story of a kid who gets bullied at school, his older brother & friends come up with a plan to teach him a lesson, but the prank goes terribly wrong. I like this movie because it's extremely realistic of what teens go through on a daily basis and I think it's important for adults to understand that. Lets be real, kids today do far worse things to their peers than what is presented in this story. The characters do have heart and most of them decide to cancel the prank half way through the trip but then things turn for the worst and it's too late. It's intense, suspenseful with a little light humor & fun to keep things interesting. It's a little slow moving toward the mid-end but still has you glued to the screen. This is the type of film where you really feel for the characters, it makes you think and wonder what you would do in their position at their age. And to me, that is a very well made movie worth watching! There is a lot of strong cussing (A LOT), even by tweens. There isn't that much violence (a few scenes and one intense one) but not overly done. Lots of alcohol use with some drugs involved (marijuana), quite a few sexual references, no real nudity except for a bare butt during a "Truth or Dare" game, lots of insults and references to a character being Gay. Overall, excellent acting (wow!), great cast, very enjoyable film worth watching more than once. Rated a high 7.3 on IMDB site!

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

MEAN CREEK never makes it all the way from idea to story, but the talented young performers give their characters subtlety and depth far in excess of the script. The screenplay emphasizes the obvious and the characters are too obviously created to fit into neat categories across the range of perspectives. The car they drive to the river has an "honor student" bumper sticker on it. The bully pecking order from Marty's older brother down to Sam is as carefully calibrated as a slide rule. After-school-special level dialogue hangs heavily in the air after it is spoken.

But each member of the cast is remarkable, utterly genuine, transcending the limits of the screenplay, benefiting from sensitive direction. Peck bravely lets us share the kids' mixture of impatience and pity toward George. Culkin provides another touchingly open and brave performance. Mechlowicz is exceptionally impressive, with real leading man potential (more than making up for appearing in the awful Eurotrip). The cinematography is superb, showing us the contrast between the placid surroundings and the explosive emotions. But it is the cast that makes this trip up the creek worthwhile.

Movie Details

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