Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. 90
    A hearty style of self-referential filmmaking that only adds to the persuasiveness of Lillard’s stunning performance.
  2. 75
    [Lillard's] performance dominates the film, and he does a subtle, tricky job of being both an obnoxious punk and a kid in search of his direction in life. He's very good.
  3. A surprisingly genial and affecting comedy about the trials and tribulations of teenage rebellion during the Reagan '80s.
  4. Reviewed by: Michael Sauter
    75
    For a while, angry young Stevo (Lillard) turns his quest for total anarchy into a grungy, giddy, randomly violent rave. Then reality creeps up and, well, it bites.
  5. Ultimately a wiser and truer film than its crass and cartoony beginnings would have us believe.
  6. It's handsome filmmaking that doesn't surface until the final 25 minutes during which Stevo and company's sense of marginalization achieves the palpable, emotional import that's more expressive than anything its characters' have to bitch about.
  7. 63
    The film has an undeniable energy, and, at times, it works as light entertainment, but there is a problem. The central character is consistently aggravating.
  8. 60
    Merendino's most innovative directorial strategy is to collapse present and past by having Lillard shout Stevo's reflections about his youthful rebellion directly at the camera, while the scene he's describing in the past tense takes place behind him. I know it sounds like a Brechtian affectation, but it works.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrea C. Basora
    60
    We don't really need some young punk to tell us that anarchy is an untenable idea, but watching him live it is an invigorating experience.
  10. 60
    Lillard, who played the squirrelly Stuart in "Scream," brings a mischievous sense of humor and an easygoing charm to his potentially unsympathetic character.
  11. So forced and contrived in delivery that it's tedious. That's not good when the intention is to be audacious.
  12. The movie starts out as a sweet piece of hardcore pie, full of energy and "Repo Man"-esque satire, but ultimately deteriorates into a Percodan-flavored "Afterschool Special."
  13. Likable for its outlandishness, less so when it shows a self-important streak.
  14. Reviewed by: Tom Meek
    40
    What begins as a poetically offbeat comedy, full of energy and verve, turns woefully mundane as the protagonists become introspective and enlightened.
  15. 40
    Merendino's film is lacking the streamlined cohesion it needs to spike itself in your cortex as hoped, but it is about as accurate a punk film as I've seen in some time, especially when it comes to the horrors and boredoms of small-scene life.
  16. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    40
    Energetic but poorly structured.
  17. Ultimately, SLC Punk! doesn't have enough dimension to maintain dramatic interest.
  18. Though Lillard's excitable tone keeps promising wild comic adventures, the sequences are uniformly flat and humour-free.
  19. It's an unenlightening film that proves youthful anarchy is just as dull as a midlife crisis, and sadly, as predictable, too.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    30
    Very possibly the most ruthlessly irritating comedy since the dreaded "S.F.W." attempted to put its finger on the pulse of young America, and that's saying something.
  21. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    30
    What it offers at its shockingly sappy core is a familiar view of adolescent rebellion as a goofy but inevitable phase.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 18
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 18
  3. Negative: 1 out of 18
  1. HaileyH.
    Aug 5, 2006
    9
    I love SLC punk its an amazing movie. i live in salt lake city and it was kinda cool to see a movie about living in it. for those of you whoI love SLC punk its an amazing movie. i live in salt lake city and it was kinda cool to see a movie about living in it. for those of you who dont like this movie i pitty you. Full Review »
  2. MattA.
    Dec 1, 2005
    1
    I can't even imagine the type of people that are giving this film high ratings. Some critics have said that the redeeming factor of the I can't even imagine the type of people that are giving this film high ratings. Some critics have said that the redeeming factor of the movie is Lillard's perfomance. I couldn't disagree more. Lillard is just as annoying and over the top here as he is any of the movies in his pathetic catalogue. An altogether awful film, in the same territory as any Nora Ephron effort. Avoid unless you are a seriously depressed person who dyes your hair blue and worships punk music. Full Review »
  3. LeviC.
    Sep 19, 2005
    10
    This is one of the greatest movies of all time. It blends comedy with drama.