7.3/10
27,086
155 user 125 critic

Mean Creek (2004)

When a teen is bullied, his brother and friends lure the bully into the woods to seek revenge.

Director:

(as Jacob Aaron Estes)

Writer:

(as Jacob Aaron Estes)

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ON DISC
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Raissa Fleming ...
Maggie Tooney
Heath Lourwood ...
Jasper
Ryan Peterson ...
Cashier
Michael Fisher-Welsh ...
Mr. Levinworth
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Tom (as James W. Crawford)
Shelly Lipkin ...
Mr. Merrick
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Detective Wright
Hagai Shaham ...
Handsome Police Officer
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Storyline

When Sam Merrick is beaten up by local bully George Tooney, Sam's older brother Rocky and his friends Clyde and Marty plan to pretend it's Sam's birthday to "invite" George on a boat trip in which they would dare him to strip naked, jump in the lake, and run home naked. But when Sam, his girlfriend Millie, Rocky, and Clyde see George as not much of a bad guy, they want to call off the plan, but Marty refuses. Will the plan go ahead as planned? Written by Seth Waters *AshTFrankFurter2*

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beneath the surface, everyone has a secret. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, sexual references, teen drug and alcohol use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A harag sodrása  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$29,170 (USA) (20 August 2004)

Gross:

$603,943 (USA) (10 December 2004)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marty's real name is Martini Blank. See more »

Goofs

When Millie is writing what to say to Sam on a first date, what she writes differs slightly from what she reads out loud. Whereas she says 'So, Sam, it's a beautiful day' as she writes the first item, when it cuts to the shot of the paper she's writing on (at around 29 mins), she's writing 'So, Sam, it's a really beautiful day'. See more »

Quotes

George: [Josh sets his camera down and starts shooting baskets on the basketball court; Sam notices Josh's camera and picks it up, looking at it]
[first lines]
George: Hey! What do you think you're doing?
[knocks over Sam; the camera falls over a fence and lands on the ground, only showing Josh in frame fighting over Sam]
George: You're a punk, Sam! I ought to kill you!
[kids start gathering around the scene]
George: You fucking dickhead! I told you to never touch my camera!
Sam: Stop!
[...]
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Crazy Credits

Hagai Shaham is credited as being the "handsome" police officer (he is also a producer of the movie) See more »

Connections

Featured in The 20th IFP Independent Spirit Awards (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

On Edge (Bunker Version)
Written by Ethan Gold
Performed by Ethan Gold
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Amazingly accurate depiction of American adolescence
9 February 2008 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

I had one of the biggest shocks of my life recently. I proudly showed this film to my best friend from Europe. We normally have very similar tastes in movies.

I have to admit, I almost teared up a little around the end of the movie, but managed to keep my composure. Then the movie ended... to dead silence! I was waiting for my friend to say something, and what he said shocked me: "What the hell was THAT?" After discussing the movie a bit, I came to the conclusion that his experiences growing up were so different than this that it was like showing a futuristic Sci Fi movie to a person living in rural Zimbabwe. In the Czech Republic, where he is from, you don't commonly have these kinds of problems. Kids get along amazingly well. You may find this hard to believe, but in the Czech Republic, grade school and high school teachers routinely take their classes to places all around Europe. They have no trouble with kids not getting along. No one has any whiny special requests, and no one refuses to share a room with someone.

Guess that explains why this movie made no sense to my friend.

However, if you are an American, as I am, this movie is deeply touching, and may even bring back unsettling childhood memories of bullies.

Scott Mechlowicz is certifiably great in this movie, as is Josh Peck, who plays George, the bully. I look back at movies from the 1970's. Child actors back then were hilariously amateurish compared to these people. In fact, movies increasingly are showcasing young actors whose talents are absolutely astounding. (unlike the kid who played opposite Lucille Ball as "Auntie Mame's grandson).

What makes this movie so compelling and memorable is that it is tragedy in the old Greek sense of the word: people bring about their own downfall. The bully George, as it turns out, has a good side, but he is socially inept, and so he lashes out in terrible ways. The kids are ready to like him and forgive him. Instead, George can't control his anger, and he verbally lashes out at everyone, until their newfound compassion (or at least pity) for him starts to evaporate.

The tragedy in this movie is that everything comes so close to working out fine for everyone.

I hope that will peak your interest. And speaking of interest, I have none in writing a "spoiler" review. This movie is best seen knowing as little as possible about the plot.

I think if I had to defend American movie making against all the criticism of how Hollywood depends on special effects, big name actors, and lurid story lines, I would choose this movie as proof that American movies are still the best in the world.

Addition added January 16, 2009: I have been writing reviews here for over three years. Sometimes years will go by without any indication someone read my review. So, please let me know if you read it. The thumbs up or thumbs down is entirely your choice. I'm just curious.


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