Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. This is an exhilarating picture, the kind that strips away smug complacencies and exposes raw nerves to a bright light. [14 Sep 1990, p.C4]
  2. A clarion call for freedom and collective action both hopeful and energizing, it qualifies as a generational statement as Rebel Without a Cause did in the 50s, but without the defeatism and masochism. Not to be missed.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    91
    This movie doesn't end up taking on all the problems it offers up. Meting out justice to an evil school administrator seems to be enough for now. As an enlightened and energetic film - a voice for the '90s - it is enough. [12 Sep 1990, p.11]
  4. 90
    Unlike "Heathers," a satiric treatment of teen suicide, Pump Up the Volume is passionately caring. It's a howl from the heart, a relentlessly involving movie that gives a kid every reason to believe that he or she can come of age. It appreciates the pimples and pitfalls of this frightening passage, the transit commonly known as adolescence.
  5. 88
    It's a celebration of free expression that treats youth like a fierce and beautiful animal, and never attempts to tame it. In Pump Up the Volume, the "why-bother" generation finds a voice, and begins to bother. [22 Aug 1990, p.47]
  6. 88
    Pump Up the Volume, in addition to presenting an engaging story, has tapped into a universal truth about rebels with causes.

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