The Chumscrubber

Rated 4.0

In a suburb where teenagers and their parents seem to live on different planets, one sullen teen (Jamie Bell) comes out of his shell when three classmates try to extort from him the stash of pills left after a friend’s suicide. Don’t let the infelicitous title put you off (and don’t ask what it means; it’s a foggy metaphor hardly worth explaining); this movie, the first feature from writer Zac Stanford and director Arie Posin, is a true original—bleakly funny and exhilaratingly unpredictable. Stanford and Posin are lucky to have a terrific ensemble cast (besides Bell, there are Glenn Close, Allison Janney, Rita Wilson, Ralph Fiennes, John Heard and others); they in turn must have been drawn to the movie’s elegant plot, in which everyone, for better or worse, gets what’s coming to him.