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The Chumscrubber (2005)

Cast: Jamie Bell, Camilla Belle, Justin Chatwin, more...
Director: Arie Posin, Arie Posin
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: DreamWorks
Genre: Comedies, Independent, Black Comedy, Coming of Age
Running Time: 107 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

The death of a troubled teen throws a suburban neighborhood into chaos in this darkly satirical comedy. Dean (Jamie Bell) is a disaffected teenager living in a California suburb that's beautiful on the surface but populated by families who live emotionally vacant lives, with the parents often too wrapped up in their own problems to pay attention to their children. One day, Dean discovers his best (and only) friend, Troy (Josh Janowicz), has killed himself. While Troy's mother (Glenn Close) hasn't figured out her son is dead just yet, Dean opts not to tell her, and besides, his own parents (William Fichtner and Allison Janney) don't appear very concerned. Dean, however, does have reason to worry -- Billy (Justin Chatwin), Lee (Lou Taylor Pucci), and Crystal (Camilla Belle) are three bullies who used to buy drugs from Troy, and they want Dean find Troy's remaining stash and give it to them. When Dean refuses to cooperate, the bullies decide to get tough and kidnap Dean's little brother; however, they end up taking the wrong child and Dean grudging finds himself trying to rescue a child he doesn't know. Meanwhile, as the adults in the neighborhood begin to emotionally implode, "the Chumscrubber" becomes a common presence in town -- a comic book and video game character represented by a decapitated post-apocalyptic teenager who has become an unavoidable pop-culture icon. The Chumscrubber also features Ralph Fiennes, Carrie-Anne Moss, John Heard, and Rita Wilson. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

great black comedy by kittykris1 May 24, 2006 - 8:56 AM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
Despite the low score for this movie, I really liked it. This would make a great double feature with Donnie Darko.

Suburbia (Again) by talltale January 12, 2006 - 9:00 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
For its cast alone, THE CHUMSCRUBBER is a "don't miss" for movie buffs. How in hell did director Arie Posen and co-writers Posen and Zac Stanford entice this amazing list? Glenn Close, Ralph Fiennes, Allison Janney, Carrie Anne Moss, William Fichtner, Jason Issacs, Rita Wilson, Lauren Holly, John Heard and in the ensemble lead, Billy Elliott's Jamie Bell: Could you possibly NOT want to take a look? Well, do, because--messy as it is and full of ups and downs, and although newcomers Posin and Stanford tackle a rather tired subject (angst in suburbia)--this is still a very interesting and unusual movie.

If it doesn't offer the depth and vision that mature filmmakers might bring, it has enough intelligence and surprise--and those great actors--to hold you for its 100-odd minutes. As the story progresses, it seems to be heading in an apocalyptic direction, and I wish the moviemakers had gone ahead with this; instead they opt for the sentimental and feel-good. This doesnt destroy things but it would be interesting to see what they might have done had they stuck to (what appears to be) their guns.

In addition to the great adults on view, there is also Lou Taylor Pucci ("Thumbsucker"), Rory Culkin, Justin Chatwin, Thomas Curtis (particularly good), and knockout beauty Camilla Belle. The latter has been around for a decade now (she was in Cuaron's "A Little Princess") so its time she came into her own. A combo of young Anne Archer, Isabelle Adjani & Sophie Marceau, Ms. Belle should be seen in more--and larger--roles. The other Bell (Jamie, a Brit) also rings out quite truthfully as a complex American teenager. But we knew that already from "Undertow."

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.07)
59 Votes
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