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66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

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7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: AMERICAN TEEN is the touching and hilarious Sundance hit that follows the lives of four teenagers - a jock, a popular girl, a heartthrob, an artsy girl and a geek – in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies,AMERICAN TEEN is the touching and hilarious Sundance hit that follows the lives of four teenagers - a jock, a popular girl, a heartthrob, an artsy girl and a geek – in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future. (Paramount Vantage) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 29
  2. Negative: 1 out of 29
  1. Shows how a documentary can be as moving and suspenseful as the best narrative feature.
  2. Reviewed by: Zack Haddad
    90
    Never has a film captured the spirit of being a teenager better.
  3. 83
    Though it's compelling enough as soap opera, American Teen digs deeply into why kids grudgingly accept the roles they've been given and the brutal consequences that come with straying outside the lines.
  4. What makes Nanette Burstein's movie so powerful is its uncanny sense of familiarity.
  5. So is the result just a case of life imitating pop art, or has the director shaped the footage to enhance the imitation?
  6. The movie does get under your skin (the tremulous misfit girl, Hannah, might be a breakout role model), but the way it has been put together reminds me of those animal shows where the crew nudges the gazelles in the direction of the lions with multiple cameras standing by.
  7. At times it's almost like "Lord of the Flies," with the camera serving as the flypaper dipped in the honey of the promised land of celebrity.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. MarcD.
    Aug 4, 2008
    9
    It's amazing how the whole Hannah & Mitch storyline was mirrored the Andie & Blaine storyline from Pretty in Pink. Except not even It's amazing how the whole Hannah & Mitch storyline was mirrored the Andie & Blaine storyline from Pretty in Pink. Except not even Blaine would do what Mitch did. Expand
  2. PrestonMelbourne-W.
    Jul 26, 2008
    8
    Though I am about to embark on my senior year, and this at times seemed more like watching a mirror than a movie screen, i found the film Though I am about to embark on my senior year, and this at times seemed more like watching a mirror than a movie screen, i found the film entertaining and well done. Some scenes seemed like they could have been staged, but all-in-all, it felt real. Teens, coming from one, can be nasty, and this film is in no way shy about that. We can also be sweet, intelligent, and lovable, all aspects that are shown. I hope that this movie can get us teens a little more credit for what we're going through by reminding adults what a hellish time being in high school can be. That being said, I recommend this film. Expand
  3. JayH.
    Dec 16, 2008
    7
    Fascinating documentary, and gives a very insightful look at American teenagers. It makes you think and you do care about the teens in the Fascinating documentary, and gives a very insightful look at American teenagers. It makes you think and you do care about the teens in the story. I do question the sincerity, it seems a little odd that these teens do some of the things they do on camera, particularly acts of vandalism. Expand
  4. DaleM
    Sep 8, 2008
    5
    This movie claims to be a documentary but felt contrived. Are we supposed to imagine these people don't notice the camera? Are they This movie claims to be a documentary but felt contrived. Are we supposed to imagine these people don't notice the camera? Are they hamming it up as they do in reality TV or are they rehashing the past or are they reading from a script? The characters come off all too often as stereotypes. Take away the idea that the film is a documentary and you are left with a boring and failed attempt to be American Graffiti for the present decade. Expand
  5. AnthonyK.
    Dec 30, 2008
    5
    Not good, not good at all. Were it not a (completely scripted) "documentary", this would be the most unremarkable film of the year. As it Not good, not good at all. Were it not a (completely scripted) "documentary", this would be the most unremarkable film of the year. As it stands, it's still pretty unremarkable. Don't waste your time. Expand

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