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Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In this sophisticated comedy, Evan Rachel Wood plays Kimberly Joyce, and insanely intelligent, wildly funny, shockingly cruel and sexy-beyond-her-years Beverly Hills teenager who will stop at nothing to become famous. (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 29
  2. Negative: 9 out of 29
  1. Reviewed by: David Gilmour
    88
    It is also extremely well-written in the fearless way of a smarty pants on a roll in the university cafeteria.
  2. It's too bad that the satire is not more pointed, because Pretty Persuasion is outrageously funny in short blasts, mainly thanks to James Woods at his most gleefully depraved.
  3. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    60
    A teenie "To Die For" whose flaws are superceded by a complex, compelling turn from Evan Rachel Wood.
  4. 50
    If the resulting film doesn't work equally well at all levels, Wood (who starred in "Thirteen") gives an astonishing performance that pushes it most of the way there.
  5. 40
    A high school send-up more gleefully incorrect than "Heathers" and considerably less articulate than "Election," Pretty Persuasion is a hand grenade lobbed at no place in particular.
  6. Not funny because it's not true.
  7. The disingenuous attempt to give the tawdry story some kind of social import only makes the tinny caricatures more insincere, while his erotic display of 15-year-old girls isn't a satire of a sexualized culture, it's just dirty.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. JaneA.
    Sep 3, 2005
    10
    It's Clever and Funny and Harsh. Well-written. Incisive look at highschool and contemporary attitudes.
  2. ArielG.
    Feb 12, 2006
    9
    Very sharp satire about high school life in these current times. Evan Rachel Wood shone in her dual role as the good girl and the schemer. Very sharp satire about high school life in these current times. Evan Rachel Wood shone in her dual role as the good girl and the schemer. There are parts in this movie which may offend some racial groups, so be wary. Offensive language and simulated sex scenes are featured occasionally - Don't watch it with your parents, unless you want to cringe with embarassment. But do see it if you're a fan of biting comedies and satirical high school movies like Election. Expand
  3. ChadS.
    Feb 14, 2006
    5
    At first, "Pretty Persuasion" seems like a "Heathers"-wanna-be. In both films, the protagonist wants to be a good person. But when we arrive At first, "Pretty Persuasion" seems like a "Heathers"-wanna-be. In both films, the protagonist wants to be a good person. But when we arrive at the final scene, it's hard not to see this mean-spirited teen comedy as a sort of "In the Company of [Teenage Girls]". Kimberly is Chad(Aaron Eckhart in the Neal LaBute film) in a skirt. What happens to Randa(Adi Schnall) is too heavy-handed; too serious a truth about Muslim attitudes towards their girls who besmirch the family's "good" name, in a film that uses the Arab teen as color. And what Brittany(Elisabeth Harnois) performs at a school-play rehearsal is about as unlikely as Meg Ryan's fake orgasm in "When Harry Met Sally". It's very unpleasant. "Pretty Persuasion" also needlessly tells its story in a non-linear fashion, and trades the world of teenage girls for the world of courtrooms to the detriment of the "teen film"-genre it's trying to skewer. Expand
  4. JS
    Aug 23, 2005
    3
    It's not that it was offensive, it was that it wasn't funny. Michael Hitchcock gave the most laughs and he was only in about 3 It's not that it was offensive, it was that it wasn't funny. Michael Hitchcock gave the most laughs and he was only in about 3 scenes. Perhaps it is that he is actually good at comedy? It probably isn't fair to dismiss the rest of the cast as talentless, so maybe it was the direction and screenplay. Speaking of the screenplay, it seemed as if about half the movie was written at a computer and the other half was written at a dart board. Halfway or 2/3rs through it just falls apart into random scenes that make desperate attempts at being meaningful and heartfelt. Only they come off as random and desperate. I think the film's major problem is that it ultimately wasn't absurd or subtle. Cartmen of South Park is funny because he is so extremely offensive. Other comedies are funny because they are subtle and thought provoking. This film sits in between the two; crass as it may be, the offensive material doesn't go far enough. The screenplay writer will say he was trying to make real people, not absurdities. That's fine, but none of these people are at all believable and even if they were, they wouldn't be funny. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews

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