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Igby Goes Down (2002)

Cast: Tim Gallin, Tim Gallin, Jodi Michelle Pynn, more...
Director: Burr Steers, Burr Steers
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Independent, Coming of Age , Dysfunctional Families
Running Time: 98 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

The cynical son of an upper-class New York family bedeviled by booze, pills and mental illness strikes out on his own in this caustic, darkly comic drama. Igby Slocomb (Kieran Culkin) and his older brother, Oliver (Ryan Phillippe), are are in the process of killing their mother, Mimi (Susan Sarandon). Flashbacks delineate Igby's troubled childhood: Speed-freak Mimi and her depressed husband, Jason (Bill Pullman), snipe at each other endlessly until Jason attempts suicide before Igby's very eyes and takes up residence in a mental hospital. Igby grows into a rebellious youth, gets kicked out of several boarding schools and ends up in a hellish military academy. After one failed escape attempt, he heads to New York City and hides out in the apartment of Rachel (Amanda Peet), the heroin-addled mistress of his godfather, D.H. (Jeff Goldblum). Oliver locates the young scoundrel and informs him that Mimi is suffering from cancer. Unperturbed, Igby continues his slacker existence -- and his romance with Sookie (Claire Danes), a hipper-than-thou undergraduate who finds herself torn between Igby and Oliver. As Igby gets drawn further into the mind games and hypocrisy of the adult world, his already jaded outlook grows even darker. He takes to dealing smack and hanging out with a cross-dressing performance "artist" (Jared Harris). Ultimately, though, Mimi's impending death draws him back into the family fold for unexpected revelations and realizations. Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Burr Steers, Igby Goes Down features Rory Culkin, Kieran's brother, as the young Igby. ~ Brian J. Dillard, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Trite by RHorsman January 21, 2005 - 9:42 AM PST
0 out of 4 members found this review helpful
A little of Infinite Jest, more of Catcher in the Rye, and a lot of blah blah blah from uninteresting characters I couldn't care less about. Amanda Peet gets naked, but that's hardly a novelty (I have a theory that one of her goals is to do a nude scene in every genre of film). Skip it.

...smooth. by kohnfused1 July 7, 2004 - 9:06 AM PDT
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
This is an interesting coming of age film filled with excellent performances and an equally refreshing story. I really enjoyed this movie, not just for its dysfunctional content, but also for its unblinking truth. The title character is a product of parents who have lived the high society life and crumbled to its many pressures. Having to grow up with a pill-popping mother and an institutionalized father, our (anti) hero grows up to be the inevitable punching bag. The film doesn?t get bogged down with sentimentality, nor does it take the route of total apathy. If you like your drama light, and your sarcasm plenty, then this movie is for you. Think of it as ?The Royal Tenenbaums?, but with a little more bite.

Igby Goes (two thumbs) Down by RGeissler July 23, 2003 - 2:38 PM PDT
3 out of 6 members found this review helpful
I thought I had read good reviews of this film, but I can't say I'd recommend it over other movies about rich-teen angst, like Tadpole. I found none of the characters to be remotely absorbing, if anything their whining was just irritating. More hollow stereotypes about the rich and the bohemian, and the Holden Caufield story's been done so many times before. The script is a mess, with far too many ultra-short scenes that do little to propel the story forward, leaving it feeling bogged down despite the fast editing. The movie also seems to have a hard time deciding whose story it's really telling. Still, there are amusing parts, and it's worth seeing if only for Susan Sarandon as an uptight upper-class matron.

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GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.50)
278 Votes
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