Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. The rare footage of '50s and '60s L.A. alone is a treasure; the City of Angels has rarely looked so hip. Bonus: cool music from the likes of Charles Mingus and the Velvet Underground.
  2. Reviewed by: Kenneth Baker
    75
    Takes its title from an early Artforum article that described the sleek aesthetic of the then-new Southern California art.
  3. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    75
    Happily, many of the figures spoken about throughout the film are still with us -- Neville is even able to reproduce Patricia Foure's famous group photo with most of its original subjects.
  4. Documentarian Morgan Neville has fashioned a spirited riposte to the groundless cliche that Los Angeles is a cultural wasteland.
  5. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    70
    All told, and well told, this is essential history.
  6. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    70
    What The Cool School does so well, through its color accents and black-and-white photography, through the kinetic music that propels Jeff Bridges' narration by and the unorthodox attitude that reflects the artists themselves, is impart a sense of discovery.
  7. 63
    Filmed largely in black and white, The Cool School includes interviews with one of the gallery's founders, Ed Kienholz, as well as with Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell and architect Frank Gehry.
  8. The Cool School, is, well, cool, but it’s also fairly parochial.
  9. 60
    The cultural cock-strutting gets to be a bit much, but Neville handily captures the excitement of an art scene percolating, breaking wide open, and finally burning itself out.

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