Not long after Kale's father dies in a car accident that Kale (Shia LaBeouf) failed to prevent, the teenager clocks his teacher in the face and is sentenced to three months house arrest. To fight boredom, Kale starts spying on the neighbors, who include an attractive new girl next door (Sarah Roemer) and a possible murderer (David Morse).
Big question: Can "Disturbia" expose the hidden horrors of the suburbs in more ways than one?
Catch it: Who cares if "Disturbia" has less in common with "Rear Window" than "The Simpsons" episode based on the Hitchcock flick? It's a thriller with a pulse and a willingness to focus on the things that teens really think about. While the film doesn't escape its clear teen-movie inspirations, it's guaranteed to get your inner high-schooler excited for the end of the semester.
Skip it: If you don't own an iPod and can't understand why people are so attached to them. As Kale confesses, "That's 60 gigs of my life."
Bottom line: This little diversion won't change your life, but it's a solid piece of entertainment that pulls off the rare feat of presenting high school kids that really seem like high school kids. It's the kind of adventure you had as a kid that made you say, "Turns out it wasn't such a boring summer after all."
Bonus: Looking for a delicious homemade concoction? Try Kale's secret recipe: Take a huge spoonful of peanut butter, roll it in chocolate sauce and eat! Repeat as desired.
Matt Pais is the metromix movies producer.
Directed by D.J. Caruso; screenplay by Christopher Landon, Carl Ellsworth; photographed by Rogier Stoffers; edited by Jim Page; music by Geoff Zanelli; production design by Tom Southwell; produced by Joe Medjuck, E. Bennett Walsh, Jackie Marcus. A Paramount Pictures release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:44. MPAA rating: PG-13 (for sequences of terror and violence and for some sensuality; rating is being appealed).
Kale - Shia LaBeouf
Mr. Turner - David Morse
Ashley - Sarah Roemer
Julie - Carrie-Anne Moss
Ronnie - Aaron Yoo
Officer Gutierrez - Jose Pablo Cantillo
Daniel Brecht - Matt CravenCopyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times