Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 14
  2. Negative: 8 out of 14
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  1. 75
    A messy but hungry film like this is more interesting than cool technical perfection.
  2. Sloppy, self-satisfied and surprisingly heartfelt.
  3. Less an updated version of the Dostoevsky novel than an unusually somber Hollywood teen love story.
  4. 60
    Melodramatic look at alienated California high school students.
  5. 48
    Somehow manages to stay afloat on a sea of pretension, thanks largely to some splashy visuals.
  6. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    The whole point is nothing more than the revelation that the terrain of suburbia is populated with damaged people inflicting damage on others. This is still news?
  7. 38
    Just say no.
  8. 30
    Often succumbs to the craven hysteria perhaps inherent in its hoary premise.
  9. Not faithful enough to be an adaptation, too misguided to be considered an interpretation, and not funny enough to be a parody, this film would do well not to advertise its inspiration.
  10. 20
    Even dressed up in tabloid lighting and cut with jagged edits, this pulp nihilism never goes beyond daytime TV banality.
  11. Completed before the release of "American Beauty," this contrived, puffed up little picture nonetheless seems like a ripoff, perhaps because it mines the same tired assumptions and unexamined stereotypes about suburban family life.
  12. 20
    A cut above the usual teenage-wasteland movie.
  13. The "crime" was that it was made in the first place and the "punishment" is having to watch it.
  14. A somber, draggy, deadweight, lugubrious, absurdly self serious version of ''American Beauty.''

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