Rated NR

An unofficial suburban remake of Rear Window with Shia LaBeouf in the Jimmy Stewart role, only he’s more teenaged and pouty. LaBeouf plays Kale Brecht, a lad who gets sentenced to house arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. You’d think that with a Republican administration in office, punching a Spanish teacher would get you a medal, but no, young Kale is fitted with one of those ankle bracelets that summons the cops if you leave your home. There, he finds that his neighbors are all hot teens in bikinis, annoying children who watch porn, or mass murderers. The bikini teen and the mass murderer become the focus of his life as he tries to do the two things that adolescent males are always trying to do: get some trim, and solve a crime. Mostly, the film succeeds in the conventions of its genre: It is genuinely tense; the cinematography does a perfect job of revealing a little but not too much; and the central characters are sympathetic and attractive. It’s not the most original movie of all time, but then again, the most original movie of all time was Carrot Top in Chairman of the Board, so maybe that’s not a good standard for judging quality.

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