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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 121 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. 100
    It simply looks at the day as it unfolds, and that is a brave and radical act; it refuses to supply reasons and assign cures, so that we can close the case and move on.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    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]
  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. What the film does extremely well is take us deep into the crime scene, and give faces to the victims so we can experience this epic, incomprehensible and somehow prototypically American act of violence on a more personal and intimate level.
  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
    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: 41 out of 73
  2. Negative: 27 out of 73
  1. David
    Jan 10, 2009
    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
  2. ArthurM
    Aug 29, 2009
    This is a great movie, but most of all a great piece of art. The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous in this movie. Great for people who love Cinema. Expand
  3. Apr 29, 2011
    An amazing movie. As you can see by all the negative votes, it's not one of the idiotic, spezial-effect packed movies that you see in the cinemas too often. It showcases the incident without creating the "good ones" and the "bad ones". It's up to one to judge. If all you want to see is pure action without anything even close to a story, skip this one, because this will make you think. Overall a great movie, but not really suited for everyone. Expand
  4. Sep 20, 2010
    Through 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
    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
    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
    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 73 User Reviews