7.3/10
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157 user 127 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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4,394 ( 521)

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ON DISC
4 wins & 6 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:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Trevor Morgan and Rory Culkin were both previously directed by M. Night Shyamalan in The Sixth Sense and Signs respectively. See more »

Goofs

When George is introduced to all the guys in the station wagon, you can see his present to Sam reflected in the side window behind him (at around 37 mins), although George is holding the present in his hand. The commentary notes the reflection is from a second prop gift in the storage area behind the rear seat that they didn't realize was reflected in the window. 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

Angel On My Shoulder
Written by tomandandy and Gretchen Lieberum
Performed by Gretchen Lieberum
Produced by tomandandy
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
'Deliverance' For The Truth Or Dare Crowd
1 September 2004 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

'Mean Creek' is 'Deliverance' for the Truth Or Dare crowd. John Boorman's 1972 thriller about a canoe trip gone wrong had a sense of reality and inevitability that redeemed the horrific violence. The film didn't flinch and no one escaped with a happy ending. Feature-film newcomer Jacob Aaron Estes' prank-gone-too-far morality tale isn't as riveting as 'Deliverance', but his 'Mean Creek' hits many of the same haunting notes. He skillfully uses guilt and paranoia as weapons. Just ask Nixon...it's not the crime, it's the cover-up.

The only cast member I've heard of is Rory Culkin, who reinforces the notion that he's the best actor in his family. Sam (Culkin) and 4 others (his potential girlfriend, his big brother, and 2 friends) have conned the local bully into joining them on a boating trip. They're planning to trick him into stripping off his clothes, then they'll make him run home naked. The girl (Carly Schroeder) doesn't discover this plan until she's already in the boat, but she convinces the boys to call it off. After all, George the bully (Josh Peck) is just a fat fool who might even be a nice guy.

Ah, but a good film never lets its characters off the hook that easily. Our Greek tragedies dictate that there would be no film (certainly not one called 'Mean Creek') if they all just lived happily yadda yadda. George doesn't deserve this treatment, but he's not perfectly innocent either. Actually, he's askin' for it. What eventually happens to him might not be deliberate, but how will the kids explain their actions? It doesn't help that George has been recording most of the trip on a video camera.

The skilled child actors are allowed to play smart characters. They give naturalistic performances and say real things. Estes' perceptive script doesn't let ANYONE off the hook because there's a lot of blame to go around. George isn't the only bully, after all. 'Mean Creek' is a fairly simple story told with a series of complex layers. Humiliation, vengeance, a waking nightmare, no heroes or villains...the film is filled with themes. In the final thirty minutes, the characters are forced to deal with the consequences of their actions. For such a child-filled movie, this is a grown-up story.


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