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  1. Jan 7, 2015
    4
    A crock of cliched tropes that generalizes, rather than fleshes out the 'teenage' experience and the evolution of the term. The films sews together a narrative consisting of archival footage as well as dramatic recreations, all set to a driving dub of narration from 'teenage voices' (Most notably among the mix are Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw, two actors well past this period of youthA crock of cliched tropes that generalizes, rather than fleshes out the 'teenage' experience and the evolution of the term. The films sews together a narrative consisting of archival footage as well as dramatic recreations, all set to a driving dub of narration from 'teenage voices' (Most notably among the mix are Jena Malone and Ben Whishaw, two actors well past this period of youth themselves). The most interesting aspect of 'Teenage' is that the recreations are aesthetically feasible and blend fairly seamlessly into the mix of actual grainy black and white footage. The execution of 'Teenage' gives it a distinctive documentary feel, though it doesn't seem to do much at all with it. We gain no new insight to the experience of being a teenager, just a caricature of how the feelings of the children of the era were exacerbated by the conflicts of the times, forcing them to acquire a voice. The plot becomes repetitive once we adjust to the format. The narration begins to grow irritating. As a failed experiment, the one thing that is a shame above all in 'Teenage' is how strikingly dull and devoid of personality it really is when the veneer of subversive execution is pulled back. Expand
Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16
  1. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    May 22, 2014
    63
    Wolf — who wrote Teenage with Jon Savage, author of “Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture 1875-1945” — deftly weaves together various media in a way that breathes its own youthful, stream-of-conscious life into the documentary genre.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 22, 2014
    38
    Regrettably, it’s terrible poetry: a roughly chronological jumble of archival footage, unconvincing period reenactments, gauzy voice-overs, and half-baked ideas that makes one yearn for the stolid dullness of a History Channel documentary.
  3. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Apr 24, 2014
    75
    The resulting film is a rich mix of movements and cultural phenomena that occurred not only in the United States, but several European countries.