Down 434 this week

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008)

R  |   |  Adventure, Comedy, Drama  |  20 January 2008 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.4/10 from 2,691 users   Metascore: 38/100
Reviews: 19 user | 44 critic | 15 from

Based on Michael Chabon's novel, the film chronicles the defining summer of a recent college graduate who crosses his gangster father and explores love, sexuality, and the enigmas surrounding his life and his city.


(screenplay), (novel)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video


The 10 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 48 titles
created 06 Feb 2011
a list of 32 titles
created 29 Jul 2011
a list of 36 titles
created 22 Aug 2013
a list of 45 titles
created 15 Sep 2013
a list of 993 titles
created 27 Jul 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008)

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008) on IMDb 5.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh.

User Polls

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Two women get on the highway heading to Santa Fe. Marilyn dreams of winning a contest held by a famous belly dancing company, while her friend, Mona, has a secret: she's a fugitive from justice - accused of her mother-in-law's death.

Director: Rachid Bouchareb
Stars: Sienna Miller, Golshifteh Farahani, Bahar Soomekh
The Band (Video 1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3/10 X  

The Mighty Fighting Marmots, a small collegiate marching band comprised of misfits and outcasts, prepare for the National Band Championships in Tempe, Arizona

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Stars: Michael Cornacchia, Suzanne Powell, Michael Sean McGuinness
Camille I (2008)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A twisted honeymoon adventure about a young couple on their way to Niagara Falls.

Director: Gregory Mackenzie
Stars: Sienna Miller, James Franco, David Carradine
Interview I (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After falling out with his editor, a fading political journalist is forced to interview America's most popular soap actress.

Director: Steve Buscemi
Stars: Sienna Miller, Steve Buscemi, Michael Buscemi
Third Man Out (TV Movie 2005)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A gay detective is hired to find who has been been threatening a notorious member of the gay community noted for outing people.

Director: Ron Oliver
Stars: Chad Allen, Sebastian Spence, Jack Wetherall
Newcastle (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

'Newcastle' is a coming-of-age/family drama/surfing movie. 17-year old Jesse lives in the shadow of his older brother Victor's failure to become surfing's Next Big Thing. Even when he's in ... See full summary »

Director: Dan Castle
Stars: Lachlan Buchanan, Xavier Samuel, Reshad Strik
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Two feisty, free-spirited women are connected by the brilliant, charismatic poet who loves them both.

Director: John Maybury
Stars: Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Drew (Aaron Orr) is a forest ranger who meets yuppie Mark (Matthew Montgomery) after he falls while rock climbing... See full synopsis »

Director: Michael D. Akers
Stars: Matthew Montgomery, Aaron Orr, Ariadne Shaffer
Redwoods (2009)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

An unfulfilled gay man in a stagnant relationship finds his life changed forever when he meets a struggling writer visiting the Redwoods Country.

Director: David Lewis
Stars: Matthew Montgomery, Tad Coughenour, Caleb Dorfman
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Jesse and Brenden playfully negotiate their way toward having sex together, for the first time, on Metzger's last night in San Francisco before he returns to the Midwest.

Director: Travis Mathews
Stars: Jesse Metzger, Brontez Purnell, Ben Jasper
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The relationship of two gay men and their friends (from the pre-AIDS 1977 to the epidemic late 1980s) with the common theme of a green plaid shirt, which they found at their first meeting at a yard sale.

Director: Richard Natale
Stars: Gregory Phelan, Kevin Spirtas, Richard Israel
Alfie (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A cockney womanizer learns the hard way about the dangers of his actions.

Director: Charles Shyer
Stars: Jude Law, Sienna Miller, Susan Sarandon


Cast overview, first billed only:
Joe Bechstein
Ali Reed ...
Female Book Barn Employee
James A. Harper ...
Teen Book Barn Employee
Don Wadsworth ...
Class Instructor
Christian Hand ...
Punk Rock Bathroom Patron
Mohawk Man (as Jarid C. Faubel)
Tim Hartman ...
Restaurant Manager
Shannon Williams ...


Pittsburgh, coming of age in the 1980s. At the beginning of June, Art Beckstein calls this the last summer of his life - after which he'll work as a stock broker. Art's father is the city's mob boss, steering Art's life, judging his choices. At a party, Art sees Jane, smart, blond, lovely. They meet; she has a boyfriend. The next day, Cleveland, the boyfriend, pulls Art from work and the summer of adventures begins. Cleveland lives close to the edge; he's explosive, with hints of problems with local thugs. The triangle of friendship gets complicated when Cleveland disappears for a couple weeks. Can Art sort out his feelings as well as help Cleveland? Where does his father fit in this? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes life leads you to the most mysterious places.


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 January 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein verhängnisvoller Sommer  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,783 (USA) (10 April 2009)


$80,283 (USA) (8 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Max Minghella was originally attached to play Art but dropped out due to school commitments. See more »


When Art and Phlox are fighting after his first meeting with Cleveland, she says that it is past midnight. But when Art puts his hand to his face, you can see his watch is showing 8:15 as the time. See more »


Jane Bellwether: And what does he do? What does your father do?
Art Bechstein: He manipulates Swiss bank accounts with money that comes from numbers, whores, protection, and cigarette smuggling.
Jane Bellwether: Really?
Art Bechstein: No, he's in finance.
See more »


History Repeats
AKA "Mystery Mix"
Written by Phil Boyd, Jason Kirker and Paul Quattrone
Performed by Modey Lemon
Courtesy of Modey Lemon
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lifeless Lead Character Drives A Pointless and Obtuse Story
25 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am quite a fan of novelist/screenwriter Michael Chabon. His novel "Wonder Boys" became a fantastic movie by Curtis Hanson. His masterful novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" won the Pulitzer Prize a few years back, and he had a hand in the script of "Spider Man 2", arguably the greatest comic book movie of all time.

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber has also directed wonderful comedic pieces, such as the gut-busting "Dodgeball" and the genius short film series "Terry Tate: Office Linebacker". And with a cast including Peter Saarsgard, Sienna Miller, Nick Nolte and Mena Suvari, this seems like a no-brainer.

It is. Literally.

Jon Foster stars as Art Bechstein, the son of a mobster (Nolte) who recently graduated with a degree in Economics. Jon is in a state of arrested development: he works a minimum wage job at Book Barn, has a vapid relationship with his girlfriend/boss, Phlox (Suvari), which amounts to little more than copious amounts of sex, with no plans other than to chip away at a career for which he has zero passion.

One night at a party, an ex-roommate introduces Jon to Jane (Miller), a beautiful, smart violinist. Later that night they go out for pie, and she asks Jon a question that begins to shake him from his catatonic state of existence, "I want you to tell me something that you have never told a single soul. If you do, it will make this night indelible." Jon then tells her a reoccurring dream of his in which he wanders about town looking at the faces of strangers passing him by, yet none of them look him in the eye. "I imagine it must be what death feels like," he says.

The next day Jane's wild boyfriend Cleveland (Saarsgard) kidnaps Jon from work and takes him out to a hulking abandoned steel mill, and soon Jon, Cleveland and Jane are spending every waking moment together going to punk rock concerts, doing drugs and drinking lots of alcohol. This doesn't sit well with Phlox, who pushes Jon for a more personal relationship, namely letting her meet his new friends and his father. The film then attempts to take us on Jon's journey as he shakes off the shackles imposed on him by his father, Phlox and his dead-end job as he finds freedom and expression through his relationships with Cleveland and Jane.

There is a problem having us follow Jon throughout the film: he's completely uninteresting. He has no ambitions, passions or goals. He walks through life like the invisible wraith he described to Jane the night they met. At the outset this isn't a problem. But he never gets any more interesting. He's a completely passive character. He simply follows along the bohemian Cleveland and Jane, but he never once gives us any inkling as to what he cares about or wants to to do with himself.

Consequently, the film and its supporting characters have nowhere to go and little to do other than party, have sex and get in arguments. In other words, much ado about nothing. What we have here is the shallow skin of a good movie without anything on the inside. Sweeping cinematography, ponderous voice-over with characters staring off into the distance, lots of sex scenes both straight and gay, big arguments, more angry sex, a chase scene and a tragic death... but it doesn't seem to matter. Ironically, at one point Jane, confused at a number of Jon's aimless actions, asks him, "What's going on, Jon? What is this all about?" Yes, Jon, do tell. We in the audience are dying to know, too.

The title "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" must refer to the characters themselves, because that's what they are. They are all facades, one-dimensional stand-ins for actual people. The film never lets us in. We never know what makes any of them tick. We see them do lots of things, but we don't know why. And the absence of "why" is one of the worst things a movie can have.

103 of 134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A challenge to any willing Pittsburghers urza9995
did anyone NOT read the book and saw the movie? rndstr
Pittsburgh is NICE! pittphoenix
What is this crap? Why would she bash Pittsburgh? Vaslo77
The Book was a COMING OUT STORY, the movie is a disaster. STAY AWAY. jsngrnt
Where are they this week? knobby9999
Discuss The Mysteries of Pittsburgh (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: