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Mean Creek

HD   R Closed Captioning

Jacob Aaron Estes

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About the Movie

This coming of age film follows a group of ragtag teens on a boat trip to celebrate their youngest member's birthday - with an ulterior motive, to play a payback trick on the local bully. Mean Creek is a hearty dose of how revenge can change your life in 24 hours and plays like this decade's answer to "Stand By Me."

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 120
  • Fresh: 108
  • Rotten: 12
  • Average Rating: 7.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Takes its place alongside Stand by Me and River's Edge as one of very few films to accurately portray the experience of growing up male. – Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: That rare movie that manages to be not only an adroit, carefully observed study in character and suspense, but important. – Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Jul 16, 2008

Fresh: Very much its own picture -- and a damn sight better one than Stand by Me. – Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Estes dives into this material as if it's never been done before, and his characters and situations are so realistic and the film's tone is so assured that he succeeds at making it feel fresh. – Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle, Jul 21, 2005

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Honestly one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Now usually I dont like dramas, they are over dramatic and usually the plot is weak. But then I decided to rent Mean Creek, it looked alright. After the movie was over, I was breathless, I honestly thought it was one of the best movies I have ever seen. It is so realistic to the way the kids of that age think and you get into the mind of the kids in that type of situation. The acting is also superb, every actor in this movie has a different feel and adds a different effect. There are no unnessery roles in this movie. The last thing about this movie that makes it tremendous is the soundtrack, it COMPLETELY makes the theme of the movie. If there is anymore ways I could say how much I love this movie, let know. Its worth the nine bucks. If you're not sure about it, then rent it and see it for yourself, im also positive you'll come back here and buy it.

Carly makes it worth watching

While I thought all of the actors did an excellent job, especially Rory Culkin, what intrigued me the most was Carly Schroeder's performance as Millie. The events that happened seemed to effect her the most as someone who was caught up in a situation suddenly out of control. She starts as a typical girl and is transformed into something she can't face. What's even more amazing is that Carly was only 11 when the movie was filmed. Most teen actresses can't even come close to her calibre of performance, nor would a majority even attempt such a role. I find "Mean Creek" to be a loose adaptation of Joseph Conrad's book, "Heart of Darkness" with similarities to "Apocalypse Now" where the "good" characters in the story find out they're not necessarily good after all. The trip down the river is a metaphor for the character's souls. When it starts out, the river is clear, the sun is shining and life is good. However, as the trip progresses, the overall atmosphere turns from clear to gray and options aren't so clear any more. Some of the other reviewers have said they felt the swearing was unnecessary, but I feel all you have to do is go to any junior high or high school campus and it's exactly what you'll hear from kids like these. I thought all of the performances, especially Josh Peck's as the bad guy, was very realistic. You almost felt sorry for him. Be sure to look out for Trevor Morgan as Rocky. Outstanding performance. You might recognize him as Tommy Tomasino from "The Sixth Sense". A lot of people were also confused about the ending and all I have to say about that is that too many people are used to happy endings. If you want to really get into a movie and have it affect you deeply, watch "Mean Creek". If you're looking to just be entertained and don't like to think about what you're watching, put this movie back and try something else.

One of my favorites....

This movie is an excellent representation of life in middle school. It's distressingly beautiful. The soundtrack, for one, compliments the film so well and even on its own is a great collection of contemporary college rock. Secondly, the characters are unusually complex. I hadn't seen a character like Clyde before this film. Thirdly, the cinematography is incredible. Most of this was shot in Oregon and there is an amazing amount of detail in each frame. About a year ago I went to see the director speak at UCSC. He described this film as a revenge film and the consequences of a plan gone wrong. Apparently, Estes wrote the screenplay for Mean Creek after he played a prank on an obnoxious guy at the YMCA and it went south. Overall, this is a great, deeply disturbing look at human nature that is definitely worth the ten dollars.

Mean Creek
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  • $14.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2005

Customer Ratings