Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 122 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An inside look at an American high school on what appears to be an ordinary day.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 37
  2. Negative: 2 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    I haven't been crazy about a lot of Van Sant's recent work, but what he does here is simply astonishing. [November 2003, p. 25]
  2. 100
    The atmosphere is hypo-stylized, vividly generic and worse than real, like a doomy Frederick Wiseman documentary.
  3. Calmly, almost serenely, Mr. Van Sant and his superb cinematographer, Harris Savides, reveal a vision of contemporary American youth quite unlike any other.
  4. The film equivalent of Maya Lin's Vietnam monument, that collective gravestone to the fallen, in the way it employs abstract means to quantify the loss of life and elicit a profound sense of grief.
  5. 75
    Van Sant's audacious, poetic and emotionally distanced film doesn't even have a plot. It's just a random series of incidents one day at a suburban high school.
  6. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    60
    It's a daring and original effort, yet so noncommittal--so purposely vague--that it's apt to leave you flummoxed: at once stricken and etherized.
  7. A braggart piece of empty exhibitionism.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 74
  2. Negative: 27 out of 74
  1. JoanS.
    Feb 28, 2006
    10
    as a teen, i found this movie to be an accurate depiction of teen life through the eyes of people I see everyday... the shooters were scary as a teen, i found this movie to be an accurate depiction of teen life through the eyes of people I see everyday... the shooters were scary and their actions vivid... but their faces and their problems are problems and faces that i see everyday... it's chillingly real. Expand
  2. Mar 31, 2011
    10
    Gus Van Sant--A **** genius. This is one of the greatest movies that he's done. And that would be saying a lot, considering his track record.Gus Van Sant--A **** genius. This is one of the greatest movies that he's done. And that would be saying a lot, considering his track record. It's just brilliant. Expand
  3. David
    Jan 10, 2009
    10
    Simply put, this is a film where you either like its style or you do not. I very much fall into the former category. It is a hypnotizing and Simply put, this is a film where you either like its style or you do not. I very much fall into the former category. It is a hypnotizing and harrowing experiene. The films greatest strength besides just the superb cinematography is its portrayl or real people- I mean REAL people. We all knew people like these in high school, they are not cliches at all- quite the opposite. Even if you hated this movie I know you could never forget it, and to those that "got" it, this is truly one of the greatest films of the new millenium thus far. Expand
  4. Sep 20, 2010
    7
    Through the end, this movie is quite dreary, gloomy, and even egregious for some explicitly violent scenes. However, Van Sant makes this movieThrough the end, this movie is quite dreary, gloomy, and even egregious for some explicitly violent scenes. However, Van Sant makes this movie astonishing, and this move is totally sensational. Expand
  5. Jul 23, 2013
    4
    I pretty much liked the style of the film, I thought it was interesting. But at the end of the movie, there were too many walking sequences,I pretty much liked the style of the film, I thought it was interesting. But at the end of the movie, there were too many walking sequences, and too little character development. I felt like they could have done more with it. At least, that's my opinion. Expand
  6. MikeB.
    Feb 7, 2006
    2
    Pretentious baloney. Cliched characters (the jock with his pretty girlfriend, the dorky girl, the three chatty bulemics) walk the halls and Pretentious baloney. Cliched characters (the jock with his pretty girlfriend, the dorky girl, the three chatty bulemics) walk the halls and occasionally mumble lines for an hour or so until the two camoflauge-clad, violent video-games playing NeoNazis head into the school for the killfest. If only I was intelligent enough to love this shallow dribble for what it is. Expand
  7. TonyB.
    Sep 21, 2005
    0
    That such a serious subject has been treated so poorly constitutes a cinematic crime of catastrophic proportions. Is it possible that anyone That such a serious subject has been treated so poorly constitutes a cinematic crime of catastrophic proportions. Is it possible that anyone connected with this claptrap has ever spent a moment in a high school? It screams artsy pretentiousness all through its deadening 81 minutes. Expand

See all 74 User Reviews

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