"Thumbsucker" is a more than capable film. I enjoyed watching it, but little has remained with me other than the desire to be prescribed Ritalin like Justin (Lou Taylor Pucci). If it can really do all that it did for him, then get me some of that.
"Thumbsucker" is inhabited by a group of characters played by a more than competent cast who all make their characters feel like real people. Tilda Swinton, as Audrey, especially shines (I cannot wait to see her as the Ice Queen in the upcoming Narnia film). The fact that the characters seem so much like real people, I think, is the reason that I did not particularly enjoy them as characters. all this will be invisible until you click on the title The characters are not dynamic. Though with Justin at least, he is not static. I think one could call his character "circular." He changes with the help of drugs, but then reverts back to his old ways. The film seems to be saying that change brought about by medication is not real change. What that says about mental illness is, I think, wrong.
The film is an engaging journey filled with bizarre dream-like sequences set to the music of the somewhat creepy Polyphonic Spree. There are many funny moments and a good bit of what Perry (Keanu Reeves) might call "hippie psychobabble." This ultimately brought the film down for me. It tries so hard to be ambiguous about its meanings and messages that it come across as unsure of itself. Also, while the characters all felt like real people, none of them are people that I would really enjoy spending time with.