ThumbsuckerThere were several movies at the DVD rental place that we’d heard good things (the box even had an unintentionally(?) funny quote from Roeper and Ebert proclaiming “Two Thumbs Up!”) about, but we finally decided to go with Thumbsucker, which turned out to be sort of a blah choice.

One of the things that’s a bit misleading about the film is that it indeed does have a great cast, with uniformly good acting. Tilda Swinton, Vincent D’Onofrio (who should be in more films), and even Keanu Reeves were all excellent, along with a supporting cast that included Vince Vaughn and others. Overall, the film looked nice and was edited well.

Unfortunately, the actual plot of the film is what drags the whole thing down as it tries to throw just about every different theory for teenage turmoil out there and hope that some of it sticks. You’ve got a 17 year old sucking his thumb, taking psychotropic drugs by prescription, smoking pot, having fumbling relationships, feeling isolated, having a few small redemptions, and finally feeling some sense of freedom as he goes to college in another city.

That above description might sound fine and dandy, but the execution of everything is so random and even awkward that instead of feeling much for the characters, you can’t help but wish the film had just a little more focus. There are a few great scenes where the acting really shines through and raw emotions are felt, but they’re few and far between, with lots of other moments that simply feel random and/or out-of-place. Because of the good parts, it makes the bad ones even more frustrating, because it seems like there’s a good film hiding in there somewhere wanting to escape. I wanted to like this one, but it just didn’t do much for me.