Thumbsucker | Chicago Reader


When you're a teenager all adults seem blind to their own sorry delusions, which is why the truest coming-of-age stories portray the grown-up world as not just wrong but slightly insane. (“Ben, I just want to say one word to you—just one word. Are you listening? Plastics.”) That sense of lonely lucidity colors this funny, offbeat tale of a misfit high schooler (Lou Taylor Pucci) whose unhealthy attachment to his thumb prompts his frustrated parents (Tilda Swinton and Vincent D'Onofrio) to put him on Ritalin. Among the kid's warped role models are his philosophically inclined orthodontist (Keanu Reeves, exuding Zen-like calm) and his bumptious debate coach (Vince Vaughn in a wonderfully low-key performance). Mike Mills cowrote and directed. R, 96 min.

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