Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 71 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An unsolved murder at Portland's infamous Paranoid Park brings detectives to a local high school, propelling a young skater into a moral odyssey in which he must not only deal with the pain and disconnect of adolescence but also the consequences of his own actions. As director of "My Own Private Idaho", "Good Will Hunting", "To Die For", and "Elephant", Gus Van Sant has created some of the most memorable works about youth ever committed to film. At the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, he was awarded the 60th Anniversary Prize for Paranoid Park, which is largely considered one of his finest films. (IFC First Take) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 27
  2. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Appropriately structured like a ride on skateboard: It swoops back and forth in time, hovers in midair, twists back on itself over and over again, then rolls into silence.
  2. A haunting, voluptuously beautiful portrait of a teenage boy who, after being suddenly caught in midflight, falls to earth.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Through immaculate use of picture, sound and time, the director adds another panel to his series of pictures about disaffected, disconnected youth.
  4. Reviewed by: Jason McBride
    It might seem, from 2002's "Gerry" to his ersatz Kurt Cobain biopic, "Last Days," that Gus Van Sant has been making the same movie: an enigmatic and poetic paean to (teenaged) male beauty, disaffection and inscrutability.
  5. 80
    Van Sant is such an assured filmmaker that Paranoid Park is almost inescapably absorbing; he has found a particularly engaging leading man in Miller, whose expressive, even painterly face goes from blank to angelic in the blink of a long-lashed eye.
  6. 75
    Slight but fascinating.
  7. There's some striking camerawork by Christopher Doyle (in 35-millimeter) and Rain Kathy Li (in Super-8), though this doesn't alter the overall feeling of random, nihilistic drift.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 33
  2. Negative: 13 out of 33
  1. Z.Wyatt
    Apr 25, 2008
    This was just spectacular film-making. Intimate, claustrophobic. Pure tone throughout.
  2. MarkR.
    Mar 25, 2008
    This film is the culmination of van sant exploring both the commercial and experimental approaches to filmmaking over the past decade, and the result is even more than the sum of those parts. by turns, it is beautiful, haunting, poignant, raw, challenging, but ultimately rewarding. one of our most underrated director's best films. Expand
  3. LindaP.
    Nov 29, 2008
    A gripper.
  4. DavidH.
    Nov 3, 2008
    Dull and uninspiring , not sure what the critics were watching.
  5. JonathanF.
    Dec 18, 2008
    A remarkably slow-moving story of accidental murder. when it should move along with a kind of anxious immediacy, it trudges on for what seems like two hours (the movie is 80 minutes) as it weaves a back-and-forth story more about nothing than murder or coming-of-age. while the cinematography is something beautiful, the rest of the film is a bit of a drag, especially the acting, which, for the most part is disappointingly inexpressive. Overrated. Expand
  6. CarlG
    Jun 2, 2008
    I was rather irritated after leaving this movie, there was no plot development, the dialog was unbearable, what made up for it was the fact that when I left I told all the people waiting in line that Kerry dies at the end. Save your money. Expand
  7. DavidC
    Jan 2, 2009
    If you like scenes in slow motion walking boy are you in for a treat because this movie has lots of it. Not to be typecast, it also has slow motion skateboarding and various other slow motion activities. Critics for some reason love Van Sant, you won Expand

See all 33 User Reviews