Igby Goes Down

May 1st, 2003


Igby Goes Down

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Still of Kieran Culkin and Burr Steers in Igby Goes DownStill of Claire Danes and Kieran Culkin in Igby Goes DownStill of Susan Sarandon and Celia Weston in Igby Goes DownStill of Kieran Culkin and Amanda Peet in Igby Goes DownStill of Bill Pullman, Rory Culkin and Peter Anthony Tambakis in Igby Goes DownStill of Jeff Goldblum, Ryan Phillippe, Kieran Culkin, Amanda Peet and Celia Weston in Igby Goes Down

A young man's peculiar upbringing renders him unable to competently cope with the struggle of growing up.

Release Year: 2002

Rating: 7.0/10 (21,699 voted)

Critic's Score: 72/100

Director: Burr Steers

Stars: Kieran Culkin, Susan Sarandon, Jeff Goldblum

Igby Goes Down is a personal tale about a 17 year old misfit boy who copes with his mother's cancer and his father's insanity by pursuing relationships with older women. Truly an intellectual, Igby is a modern day Holden Caulfield, and the world he lives in is far removed from the high standards of expectation he holds for it.

Kieran Culkin - Igby
Claire Danes - Sookie
Jeff Goldblum - D.H.
Jared Harris - Russel
Amanda Peet - Rachel
Ryan Phillippe - Oliver
Bill Pullman - Jason
Susan Sarandon - Mimi Slocumb
Rory Culkin - 10-Year-Old Igby
Peter Anthony Tambakis - 13-Year-Old Oliver (as Peter Tambakis)
Bill Irwin - Lt. Smith
Kathleen Gati - Ida
Gannon Forrester - Little Cadet
Celia Weston - Bunny
Elizabeth Jagger - Lisa Fiedler

Taglines: Insanity is relative


Official Website: Atlantic Streamline [United States] story, shoot journal | Official site [Singapore] (English) |

Release Date: 1 May 2003

Filming Locations: Central Park, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $9,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $306,705 (USA) (15 September 2002) (10 Screens)

Gross: $6,770,000 (Worldwide) (2002)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | Argentina: (Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema)

Did You Know?

Kieran Culkin was actually drinking white grape juice at the Hampton's party.

Continuity: Rachel's position when she is lying in the bathtub in Russell's apartment.

[first lines]
Igby: Why couldn't she have been a fucking smoker.
Oliver: This has nothing to do with her being in such wonderful shape. The cause of our trouble was our inability to come up with a drug short of paint thinner, that would be at least somewhat novel to her system. She's built up a tolerance to everything.
Igby: A tolerance? She's taking her fucking afternoon nap.

User Review

Brilliant Filmmaking and Acting


Ten out of ten. One of the greats, with memorable characters you'll think about for days. This great film got caught in MGM/UA distribution purgatory. If it could have busted out of the indy circuit from day one and gotten into general release, it would have been favorably compared with "The Graduate" and Kieran Culkin's performance with Dustin Hoffman's debut performance in that Mike Nichol's classic. MGM/UA blew it.

Culkin is a great young player with a look and resources evoking both Hoffman and Robert Downey. He's naturalistic and great to watch. Smart, funny, urbane writing by first time director Steers is never "on the nose". Yet underneath the evasive, sarcastic stripped down dialogue he pulls hard hitting emotions from his ensemble. Not a false or wasted scene and more than a few really powerful ones. Every player is at the top of their game, from Kieran Culkin to Amanda Peet, Jeff Goldblum to Susan Sarandon, Bill Pullman to Claire Danes to Ryan Phillippe. They're obviously guided by a director who knows how to work with an ensemble to get an overall tone.

Igby is the anti Ferris Beuhler - a smart wanna be who's wise mouth and attitude usually piss off those around him - his mother, his brother, his godfather. Torn between those who don't get him and those who do (Peet, Danes), Igby paints all his relationships with the same sarcastic brush, his vulnerability only busting out when he's pushed to the limit. Culkin's perfomance is not to be missed. The key women, Sarandon, Peet and Danes all play fully formed characters. Goldblum is perfect for his role, his usual facile acting style well suited to the South Hampton prince he plays; his best turn in years.

Seers has style and flow, and his final cut is aided by the excellent music choices he and his music supervisor, Nick Harcourt arrived at. Cameron Crowe couldn't do better. The Igby soundtrack is tres alt moderne and every cut is great.

Warning: Actors are blocked (brilliantly) for wide screen format. So this film will suffer from TV / video screen ratios as the Graduate does. Either go see it in the theater NOW or wait for letterbox!


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