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IGBY GOES DOWN

"A movie that opens with two teens killing their mother had better know what it's doing. And this one does. Writer and director Burr Steers has crafted an ironic, literary tone whose closest antecedent is 'The Royal Tenenbaums,' another movie where family dysfunction is so severe, it morphs into theater of the absurd...The movie is an actors' paradise, and absolutely no one disappoints. Culkin proves once again that he is the real actor of the Culkin brood." --

Jami Bernard, The New York Daily News

"...poisonously funny and unstintingly furious gem, a little indie-style production that succeeds not because it breaks new ground but because it displays such nimble footing around a familiarly rocky coming-of-age landscape...[Burr Steers] has given Kieran Culkin the role of a young lifetime as Igby, unleashing a naked performance of such natural precision and authority that one wonders if all the ash of backstage Culkin family dramas we've read about over the years had to be compacted to produce such a diamond-sharp achievement...'Igby Goes Down' only gets weirder and meaner and darker and sadder as it progresses, which is amazing since it simultaneously remains funny and horrifying right up to the end." --Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"Written and directed by Burr Steers, 'Igby' tries to compensate for having an unoriginal thesis (News flash! Adults are craven fools and clueless idiots) by presenting a character dripping with self-conscious attitude, someone we're supposed to cleave to and sympathize with because he's discovered that (News flash, No. 2!) there's hypocrisy out there in the real world...No situation in his young life, no matter how dire, leaves him without a glib, smarty-pants rejoinder. In whatever time he's got left over from being an Oscar Wilde wannabe, Igby steals money and drugs, lies almost pathologically and looks hurt whenever anyone has the temerity to question his unswervingly juvenile behavior...Writer-director Steers has chosen to overload 'Igby' with phony archness and forced black humor, making it not the place to look for satisfying acting...Igby's idea of the good life is killing time, and there are few worse ways to do it than with the film that bears his name." --Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times

"'Igby Goes Down' is the remarkably assured directorial and screenwriting debut of Burr Steers...In a bracing turnabout from the wide-eyed saints with whom she is identified, Ms. Sarandon gives this monster a gleefully comic edge...Even though the movie drifts uneasily between satire and realism, and its visions of military school and bohemia feel secondhand, it maintains a ruthless emotional honesty. Ultimately, it gets at something that no other recent American movie has captured quite so acutely: a resentful, lurking disappointment in the good life." --Stephen Holden, The New York Times

"If 'Igby' doesn't entirely satisfy, it's because it's a little too in love with its WASP milieu, and because its subject--the inchoate rebellion of a preppy teen--feels insubstantial... the preppy rebel Igby doesn't have that much to be unhappy about, and doesn't take his rebellion anywhere truly dangerous...Culkin is superb--he makes you forget that Igby is a spoiled brat who actually deserves the beating he gets...But the real triumphs in 'Igby' come from [Ryan] Philippe, who makes Oliver far more interesting than the character's lines would suggest, and Sarandon, who couldn't be better as a cruel but weirdly likable WASP matron." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post