Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
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  1. Mr. Bogosian's venomously funny play, which he adapted himself for the screen, is given warmth and generosity by Mr. Linklater, whose elegantly fluid direction and great skill with actors are accentuated by the play's spareness.
  2. 88
    The fierce and funny film version has been directed by Texan Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) with rare grace and compassion.
  3. 88
    The movie is dark, intense and disturbing.
  4. Nevertheless, the cast of mainly unknowns is so good, and Linklater is so adept at playing them off one another, that the two-hour running time never seems overextended.
  5. Reviewed by: Godfrey Cheshire
    Writer-director teamings seldom mesh as smoothly or suggest so many creative affinities as does the one at the heart of subUrbia, a brooding, incisive comedy that blends the talents of helmer Richard Linklater and playwright Eric Bogosian.
  6. SubUrbia is depressing comedy -- the more so because director Richard Linklater's satirical picture of youthful alienation rings painfully true.
  7. Driven by Bogosian's finger-snapping dialogue and theatrical structure, subUrbia doesn't allow for much pleasurably Linklaterish lounging; each character has got some serious orating to do before the night is over.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Rosenberg
    Linklater gets great performances from his young cast, and you'll find yourself thinking about the characters and their travails well after the movie's finish.
  9. Perhaps the most interesting thing about Linklater's (and Bogosian's) running commentary on disaffected suburban youth is that it doesn't bore you half as much as it should.
  10. 63
    SubUrbia is about 95% dialogue, some of which is clever, but much of which is pointless.
  11. 60
    What's weird about subUrbia is that Linklater's zoned-out technique is wedded to Bogosian's in-your-face power-rant oratory. The result is like local anesthesia--you can see the incisions, but you can't feel them.
  12. Reviewed by: Trevor Lewis
    It has a tendency to drift aimlessly and, having said all there is to say on the subject long before the two hours are up, loiters around when it really ought to have gone to bed.
  13. Reviewed by: Barry Walters
    Then there are times when the humor and the pathos of these losers catch you off-guard. Those moments are nearly profound, and elevate the film above the slacker cliches in which it wallows.
  14. The picture often rambles as aimlessly as its characters, but its vivid depiction of alienation and self-destructiveness among suburban youth has much cautionary value.
  15. Reviewed by: Sarah Kerr
    subUrbia is a letdown, but at least it reminds us of how innovative Richard Linklater has been until now.
  16. 50
    Linklater, who introduced the blithe, but bemused slacker subculture to America in 1991, gets bogged down not only in Bogosian's for-stage structure, but especially his middle-aged perspective.
  17. Reviewed by: Jack Mathews
    With each succeeding picture, Linklater seemed to grow as a filmmaker, just as his characters became more defined and developed. But with his fourth picture, subUrbia, he takes two giant steps backward.
  18. 40
    This adaptation of Eric Bogosian's 1994 play-- which revolves around several post-high-school drifters hanging around a convenience store while awaiting the return of their rock-star classmate -- doesn't hold up to Linklater's previous work, and the problem is Bogosian's script.
  19. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    Onstage, trapped in the mini-wasteland of the parking lot, the creeped-out kids crackled like lightning in a bottle. Linklater's meager attempts to open up the movie drain its energy.
  20. 40
    A long, dark night o' slacker despair, courtesy of Richard Linklater and self-important blowhard Eric Bogosian.

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