Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 6, 2014
    The movie perfectly captures the vibe of late high school, in a way that's both of its time and timeless.
  2. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    May 21, 2014
    Palo Alto is the sort of debut picture that makes me eager to see how Gia Coppola is going to grow and change as an artist, but it's more than just a demonstration of potential.
  3. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    May 8, 2014
    What tethers the movie and especially April and Teddy is how Ms. Coppola captures that exquisitely tender, moving moment between fragile, self-interested youth and tentatively more outwardly aware adulthood, a coming into consciousness that she expresses through their broken sentences, diverted glances and abrupt turns.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Sep 16, 2013
    Palo Alto is one of the best movies ever made about high school life in America (admittedly a low bar), blurring the lines between how unique it is to be a teenager, and how universal it is to feel like one.
  5. Reviewed by: Alonso Duralde
    May 8, 2014
    Coppola doesn't let these kids off the hook for their stupid decisions, of which they make many, but she's not judging them for their folly, either. Unchecked privilege and clueless parents are trotted out as part of the problem, but Coppola seems more interested in exploring human frailty and vulnerability than she is in digging for a social statement.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 36 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. May 11, 2014
    At the outset of the film, I was highly fearful that the director would be satisfied to tread on well-worn territory, sticking to the same old cliches that every other teen movie trots out. (The party, "Never Have I Ever", Old dude wants to hook up with young girl). But something about the look of the shots, the soundtrack, and the fresh acting talent (especially Val Kilmer's kid as the lead actor) won me over. If you didn't want kids before, you won't want kids after seeing this film - but if you're a horny kid yourself? Check it out. Full Review »
  2. May 11, 2014
    I wouldn't say the movie was boring, but it was definitely themeless, or at least seemed so to me. The characters were solid enough to lead the narrative, but the the story as a whole was quite disconnected. Full Review »
  3. Sep 11, 2014
    A film that does a good job at showing the potential real life of a teenager, but struggles to get a good feel for the characters. Their is definitely a feel of realism coming from these teens and for the most part the film doesn't hold back, but after a while I started to wonder how much I cared. All in all it's a mild recommendation. B- Full Review »