Mixed or average reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: Seventeen-year-old Caroline Wexler is facing a teenager’s nightmare: her widowed father has moved them from the big city to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. When Caroline realizes she has nothing in common with the burnout losers in her new school she pursues the one person with who excites her interest – her handsome young teacher, Mr Anderson. A bizarre love triange ensues between Caroline, Mr Anderson, and a sweet, but troubled classmate. Featuring a hit indie soundtrack in this mash-up of the bizarre and the beautiful, Daydream Nation is a coming-of-age story for the 21st century. (Anchor Bay Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 5, 2011
    Daydream Nation hopscotches forward and backward and in and out of the surreal; its abrupt tangents are announced by chapter headings. In the most complicated sequence the film tracks three characters simultaneously. The cinematography is darkly lush in an ominous "Twin Peaks" mode.
  2. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 6, 2011
    Toggling between the tonalities of "Donnie Darko," "Ghost World" and the collected works of David Lynch, the blackly witty Daydream Nation takes its title from a Sonic Youth album.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    May 2, 2011
    Charged with alternating currents of teen angst, sardonic wit, nervous dread and impudent sensuality, Daydream Nation suggests "Juno" as reimagined by David Lynch, or a funnier, sunnier "Donnie Darko."
  4. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    May 5, 2011
    A fitfully engaging effort that is most successful as a performance piece for actors Kat Dennings and Reece Thompson.
  5. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    May 5, 2011
    It's a film about teen angst that's too caught up in its characters' state of mind to see its way through to the other side.
  6. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    May 3, 2011
    Daydream is decently acted, overwritten, slickly shot, decked out with the requisite indie soundtrack, and propped up with angst-ridden poses and pouting lips. It's also another film in which on-screen teens, especially the nubile femme fatale at the center, are but vessels to showcase the screenwriter's irony-drenched, self-satisfied intellect.
  7. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    May 3, 2011
    Michael Goldbach's pretentious take on identity development is woefully lacking in either subversive humor or genuine pathos; the overwrought end-of-the-world backdrop of a rampaging serial killer and a toxic industrial fire only poisons the concoction further.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Aug 24, 2011
    A great watch with some passionate performances from indie and mainstream actors/actresses. Kat Dennings is beautiful but also a fantastic actress who can portray a vast array of emotions. She is the next Ellen Page in my eyes.
    I liken this to Juno on acid washed down with a bottle of absinthe. Heart-warming and romantic with tragic characters making their way through mixed up lives.
    I cannot recommend highly enough if you enjoy films with layers and depth of story.
  2. Jan 4, 2013
    What a cool find! This movie flew under the radar, but don't let that discourage you from checking it out. It was romantic and funny and extremely dark for a teen film. The plot follows a girl that moves to a small town where she can't relate to the locals, so she tries re-inventing herself. I won't spoil anything, but needless to say this quickly leads to trouble. But what sets the movie apart are the complicated turns in the characters, and the surreal and slightly druggy atmosphere that hovers over everything. In some ways this movie caught my high school experience more closely than any Hollywood fare. Sometimes the movie slides off the rails, so it's not perfect -- but as the movie itself suggest, our ideas of what perfection means are open to interpretation. Expand
  3. Jul 15, 2012
    Just saw this movie on Netflix streaming and now I wish I'd seen it in theaters. Beautifully constructed, with the kind of buoyant messiness that perfectly captures being an overdramatic teenager, this movie was a sweet little surprise. Kat Dennings does a nice job as the femme fatale who realizes part way through the film that the role she's putting on at school doesn't lead to happiness. I highly recommend for people who like their teen movies tinged with something darker. Good movie. Expand
  4. Jun 8, 2011
    I felt like I really was in a daydream watching Daydream Nation possibly it was the set design and amazing sound that made the film 100 percent artful or possibly it was the fact that for over fifty minutes of the hour and a half long film I just sat there half asleep waiting for something to happen. It's artful but it is boring! Expand
  5. Apr 23, 2014
    This is a pretty average sort of "everyone is messed up" slice-of-life type of movie. It's got a nice arc to it that gets resolved in a satisfying way, but it's nothing to write home about really. However, it has Kat Dennings in it, so I'm giving it +1 just for that. Expand
  6. Jul 13, 2013
    Daydream Nation is a total snorefest, no wonder the critics loved it. The plot had too many distractions and meaningless little added tidbits that took away from the main story and added needless minutes to an already too long film. The acting was really good and Kat Dennings is something special for sure but other than those elements, this movie is 98 minutes long and could've been summed up just as easily in 30. Expand