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Mean Creek - Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder, Jacob Aaron Estes

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Beneath the surface, everyone has a secret.

Set in a small Oregon town where secrets are hard to keep and lies even harder, Mean Creek flows with a simple elegance of truth and consequences as it follows a crisis in the lives of its teen characters, keenly directed by first-timer Jacob Aaron Estes.

The journey within begins as a plot for playful payback on a local troublemaker; the journey on-screen begins with a river, as a rag-tag group of troubled-and-not teenagers set out on a boat trip to celebrate the birthday of their youngest member. As a sort of boyish Heart of darkness trip develops, cracks in the crew form when some of the teens have second thoughts about what they are about to do.

Mean Creek is an allegorical tale that probes the moral dilemmas we all face. Ultimately, it is the story about the balance between friendship and responsibility.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Mean Creek image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film teen school bully revenge

Persons of interest

  • Rory Culkin .... Sam
  • Ryan Kelley .... Clyde
  • Scott Mechlowicz .... Marty "Martini" Blank
  • Trevor Morgan .... Rocky
  • Josh Peck .... George
  • Carly Schroeder .... Millie
  • JW Crawford .... Tom
  • Michael Fisher-Welsh .... Mr Levinworth
  • Raissa Fleming .... Maggie Tooney
  • Kaz Garas .... Detective Wright
  • Shelly Lipkin .... Mr Merric
  • Heath Lourwood .... Jasper
  • Jacob Aaron Estes .... Screenwriter
  • Jacob Aaron Estes .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

  • Mean Creek official movie site
  • Mean Creek film production notes
  • Mean Creek movie trailers:
  • Awards and film festivals:
    • Cinematic Intelligence Agency Trenchcoat Awards 2005: Nominated: Best teenager (Sam - Rory Culkin, Clyde - Ryan Kelley, Marty - Scott Mechlowicz, Rocky - Trevor Morgan, George - Josh Peck, Millie - Carly Schroeder)
    • Deauville Festival of American Film 2005: Nominated: Grand Special Prize (Jacob Aaron Estes)
    • Flanders International Film Festival 2004 : Nominated: Golden Spur (Jacob Aaron Estes)
    • Humanitas Prize 2004: Won: Humanitas Prize: Sundance Film Category (Jacob Aaron Estes)
    • Independent Spirit Awards 2005: Won: John Cassavetes Award (Jacob Aaron Estes, Susan Johnson, Rick Rosenthal, Hagai Shaham), Special Distinction Award (Rory Culkin, Ryan Kelley, Scott Mechlowicz, Trevor Morgan, Josh Peck, Carly Schroeder - These young actors turned in performances so uniformly unselfish, and so intricately in tune with one another, that it became impossible to single any one of them out from their extraordinary achievement together. Their work is of such high quality that it moves beyond craft to achieve that mysterious truth and beauty that constitutes the finest acting.)
    • Stockholm Film Festival 2004: Won: Best Directorial Début (Jacob Aaron Estes)
    • Young Artist Awards 2005: Nominated: Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor (Rory Culkin), Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress (Carly Schroeder)
  • See also Bully
  • Studios and distributors:

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Mean Creek is about bullies, revenge and guilt. As it turns out, everyone is a bully, everyone wants revenge and everyone is guilty. That seems to be the consensus among filmmakers in the United States of America.

I've said before (and I'll say it again), when I was at school no-one ever stole anyone else's lunch or lunch money, no-one was beaten up, no-one got wedgies (unless they were your mate, then you had to give them wedgies). I realise that bullying is a problem but there's nothing that a good conversation with the wooden spoon won't fix. I am all in favour of corporal punishment in the form of a leg smack or a bum whack. I am not in favour of anything which draws blood, leaves bruises, breaks bones, shakes babies or targets anything other than the aforementioned body parts. Just so you know. Many of society's woes stem from bad parents having children willy-nilly: unplanned, unrestrained, undesired.

Meanwhile, all the actors are good, good, good. Without mentioning one of the leads over all the others [Yes, you are! - Director of Intelligence.] I have to say that Scott Mechlowicz rocks. He's now officially in that Dark-haired Bad Boy Cute Club that also includes Hayden Christensen and James Franco. That's different from that Dark-haired Nice Boy Cute Club that includes Tobey Maguire and Topher Grace.

Mean Creek is a good look at bullying and revenge-gone-wrong, one which teaches you the lesson that bullies are losers (which makes you an even bigger loser for being beaten up by one) and that revenge is a dish best served cold (which is why schools have reunions). A good resource for teachers and parents all over.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level coarse language, adult themes)

Surveillance time

89 minutes (1:29 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 4 August 2005
DVD rental: 8 December 2005
VHS rental: 8 December 2005

Cinema surveillance images

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