Mean Creek

With his directorial debut, Jacob Aaron Estes takes a compelling and insightful look into the teen psyche in this dark drama that he also scripted. Rory Culkin effectively plays the susceptible victim of verbal and physical abuse from the school bully (Josh Peck). Soon the protective older brother (Trevor Morgan) finds out and enlists the Kenickie of a Podunk Oregon town. Together, they plot a cruel revenge that accidentally leads to a far more malicious finale. Even though the film is a sparse 87 minutes long, the diverse characters are all fully developed and excellently executed with realistic depictions of how teenagers deal with ridicule, personal issues and death.

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