Only the Young

Only the Young Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: The friendship between a couple of high school boys in California, both snowboarders and evangelical Christians, is explored in this documentary by Eliazabeth Mimsand Jason Tippet.


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Feb 20, 2013
    And yet that is what is so very remarkable about the film: In a slim 72 minutes, it heart-tethers us to these teenagers, paying tribute to their unique and private selves while allowing the audience to see its own reflection in them.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike D Angelo
    Dec 5, 2012
    Not much of real significance happens, which makes Only The Young feel a bit slight, even at a mere 70 minutes. At the same time, though, every hint of direct conflict threatens to break the spell, in part because the film's secret subject is adolescent self-consciousness.
  3. Reviewed by: Farran Smith Nehme
    Dec 14, 2012
    The film thwarts any pat expectations you might glean from the town's bad economy and these checkered backgrounds. The teenagers are refreshingly gentle and clean-living; they don't drink, they don't swear and they certainly aren't having sex. All three are religious, a fact that is neither emphasized nor underplayed.
  4. Reviewed by: Sarah Fisch
    Dec 4, 2012
    Only the Young captures the lyricism of late childhood and the bewilderment of the road ahead. As for the skate footage, it's shot for pure glory and for all the world, like Wild China or Blue Planet, beautiful beings struggling in exotic habitats: abandoned houses, red-gold bluffs, and run-down mini-golf courses.
  5. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 6, 2012
    If Mr. Tippet and Ms. Mims weren't such accomplished visual stylists, you might even think that the teenagers shot the documentary themselves, which explains both its appeal and its limitations.
  6. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Jan 3, 2013
    Only the Young rarely coalesces into anything more meaningful than a casual collection of moments. Maybe that's the point.
  7. Reviewed by: David Lewis
    Jan 10, 2013
    A charming, aimless film about the aimless. It plays like a nuanced MTV reality show (an oxymoron, perhaps, but you get the idea).

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jan 12, 2013
    "Only the Young" is a BEST independent movie ever made. That movie is named after the song performed by Journey, one of my favorite songs I"Only the Young" is a BEST independent movie ever made. That movie is named after the song performed by Journey, one of my favorite songs I ever heard about. Expand
  2. Sep 23, 2013
    First of all, this film is beautifully shot and the filmmakers manage to capture a lot of truth. If there's a "message," it's that, in an ageFirst of all, this film is beautifully shot and the filmmakers manage to capture a lot of truth. If there's a "message," it's that, in an age of absentee parents, skater culture, pink hair and noserings, there's still an innocence to youth. Relationships develop at their own pace and in their own ways, and they can end up stronger for it. The idea that there's an explicitly Christian message doesn't really hold up, because at times the church isn't even portrayed in a particularly positive light. At its core, this is just a lovely little character study. Collapse
  3. May 30, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Interested? Hard to tell. The story goes nowhere, and centers aroung the wrong characters.

    While the very-forgettable-blond young (sic) dude has simply nothing to offer in terms of charisma and story, and following the incredibly pointless vicissitudes of Garrison who falls in and out of love no more than two times in less than 1h10, yes an 1h10, we are simply gutted to miss the sole interesting story of
    (wait for that) Skies (don't ask).

    Yes she's quirky. But quite mature and so damn real! Her story is obviously the richest. Her ressurected heroinoman mother, her jailed dad, her house getting repossesed, her granddad too old and destitute, two boyfriends...and yes all that in less than 1h10... puff!

    Alright, so you have a pool scene that goes nowhere, a party scene that goes nowhere and then when you think it gets redundant, (listen to that) you are thrawn into a pitiful forced love triangle introduced by that blond dude I still don't remember the name who so clearly seeks attention boasting about his scarification that It just shows blatant clumsiness from the filmaker failling to (at least) skillfuly forced down our throat un-eventul interesting stories.
    This doc goes nowhere! and who the hech is Mr Conway? We will never know.

    But there is still a subtle angle, despite the incredible dullness. What was once the American dream reveals its cracks, filmed in remote California, emptied houses serve as the playground and background of those kids. Families ousted out by credit mortgages.

    Their genuine immaturity isn't enchanting but it has the merit to be authentic.


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