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:: Disturbia

The action, suspense and flirty teen sex makes Disturbia a lively, well paced film. It's also a breakout movie for young male actor Shia LeBeouf, who could be set for a busy schedule following his terrific performance here. He adds to the intelligence of the story and is sure to become a favourite of teenage girls.

We see a tender, dramatic opening scene where Kale (LeBeouf) is in a car smash that kills his father. The collision is a shocking sight and Kale's devastation is well demonstrated. As the story moves forward twelve months, Kale, still in a distressed state, lashes out at his Spanish teacher after an insensitive comment. He is sentenced to three months of house arrest where an ankle tag is fitted to alert the police that he has stepped out of a strict hundred feet perimeter.

Boredom naturally sets in after a short while and Kale grabs a pair of binoculars and observes the neighbours. On one side a new family moves in and amongst them is a gorgeous young girl Ashley (Sarah Roemer), who quickly becomes the centre of attention for Kale and his mate Ronnie (Aaron Yoo). On the other side is a big creepy-looking guy Mr Turner (David Morse). When Kale hears about several missing girl cases, he thinks Turner may fit the police profile.

Kale gathers Aaron and Ashley into a situation where he launches his own investigation. It takes director D.J.Caruso a while to crank up the tension and suspense but, when he does, we see the Hitchcock-like trickery and effective drama. It's very engaging due to the hip young actors and the technology given to them - imagine “Rear Window” with today's cameras and phones.

Shia LeBeouf and Sarah Roemer work smoothly as capable young actors. Both are headed for bigger things. Only a less-than-sparkling script foils their attempts to be totally convincing and interesting. We don't see much of Carrie-Anne Moss as Kale's mother, and we lose a little impact in the climactic scenes. But there is a certain charm to the storyline and resultant tension. “Disturbia” is better than your average teen mystery thriller.