Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Feb 7, 2013
    100
    King of the Hill could have been a family picture, or a heartwarming TV docudrama, or a comedy. Soderbergh must have seen more deeply into the Hotchner memoir, however, because his movie is not simply about what happens to the kid. It's about how the kid learns and grows through his experiences.
  2. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Feb 7, 2013
    100
    This story of a 12-year-old boy who drops through the net of middle-class life invites us-in each shimmering frame-to gaze upon the world with a child's freshly awakening vision.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Feb 7, 2013
    100
    King of the Hill has all the rich satisfactions of a fine novel.
  4. Reviewed by: Mike D'Angelo
    Mar 5, 2014
    91
    Boasts one of the most expertly crafted screenplays of the ’90s.
  5. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Feb 24, 2014
    90
    Part period piece and part coming-of-age story, King Of The Hill balances an incident-packed script with muted tones, painting a rich, absorbing picture of one boy’s struggle to live by his wits.
  6. Reviewed by: Desson Thomson
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    It's his best work by far.
  7. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    Feb 7, 2013
    90
    With warmth, wit and none of the usual overlay of nostalgia, King of the Hill presents the scary yet liberating precariousness of life on the edge.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Feb 11, 2013
    88
    Fury, I Am a Fugitive, Wild Boys of the Road and Emperor of the North come immediately to mind as definitive Depression movies. This little gem, which may get overlooked, deserves to be on the same list. [20 August 1993, p.5D]
  9. Reviewed by: Harper Barnes
    Feb 11, 2013
    88
    There are no false Hollywood dramatics, no musical cues telling us how we should feel about this boy's battle for dignity and a place in the world. The director lets complex emotions flow naturally out of believable action and dialogue in this very faithful adaptation of a fascinating memoir. [20 August 1993, p.3F]
  10. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Feb 7, 2013
    88
    The narrative is presented in a straightforward manner; Soderbergh doesn't employ any unusual chronologies. His style is frank, not quirky, and lends itself to a number of powerful images.
  11. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Feb 11, 2013
    78
    A far cry from his earlier films sex, lies, and videotape and Kafka, Soderbergh skillfully pulls off what could have ended up as a sappy glob of treacly nostalgia. Instead, the director populates his young hero's chaotic world with genuinely disturbing people, images, and events.
  12. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Feb 11, 2013
    25
    Soderbergh has bathed the Depression in lovely, golden-brown hues - so lovely, so golden, that the flick seems to be unfolding from inside the delicious core of a burnished bran muffin. [20 August 1993]

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