The Young Unknowns

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Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics What's this?

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The story of how fierce consumption of alcohol and drugs causes an aspiring filmmaker (Gummersall) to fight with his best friend (Bailey) over the course of a drunken day lounging about at the home of his famous TV commercial director father.


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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 15
  2. Negative: 5 out of 15
  1. There's a shocking, casual quality to the self-destructive narcissism of the pretty, petty kids squandering their lives in the L.A. sunshine of The Young Unknowns.
  2. 80
    It isn't a masterpiece; there are occasional clunkers in Jelski's dialogue (adapted from a play by Wolfgang Bauer) and the acting, although superior to maybe 85 percent of Hollywood movies, is a little uneven.
  3. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    Numbing but effective debut.
  4. 42
    The Young Unknowns flails about, sometimes realistically, but the cumulative effect is "so what?" These characters may be young and unknown, but they feel old and in the way.
  5. Jelski's screenplay, a finalist in the fiercely competitive Walt Disney Screenwriting Fellowship competition, is repetitive and stagy.
  6. 40
    Held back throughout by the self-conscious, overly explicit dialogue and the judgmental, moralistic undertone that throbs throughout.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    A strident, painfully repetitive and hopelessly stage-bound drama about self-indulgent twentysomethings on the fringes of the L.A. film scene.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. ChadS.
    May 8, 2007
    Paloma(Arly Jover) knows whenever Charlie(Devon Gummersall) is on the phone with Joe(Eion Bailey), he inexplicably starts talking like a Paloma(Arly Jover) knows whenever Charlie(Devon Gummersall) is on the phone with Joe(Eion Bailey), he inexplicably starts talking like a black man; and if the two friends are in the same room together, their hip-hop posturing includes an arsenal of swaggering gesticulations to help massage some street cred out of their Beverly Hills accents. They sound both, ridiculous and earnest, when they start into their gangsta-rap-inspired repartee, so it's debatable if the allusion you draw from this bit of minstrelsy is intentional or not. For Devon, being off-color and misogynistic helps offset his home alone pangs(daddy is a world-trotting television director and mommy is an alcoholic runaway). For Joe, well, see for yourself what he does after snorting too much crystal meth. "The Young Unknowns" should be insufferable to sit through, but Gummersall is fun to watch if you remember his stint as Brian Krakow on the defunct ABC series "My So-Called Life". It's like watching David Morse(who was soft-spoken Dr. Morrison on the hospital drama "St. Elsewhere) when you saw him play a real ass**** for the first time. Charlie would call Angela Chase a "ho"; as he does his patient girlfriend, Jover, who is skilled at both dragging on a cigarette with practiced ennui, and being maternal when the situation calls for a soft side. Unlike Richard Linklater's "Tape", the acting and the writing doesn't quite transcend its one-location setting, but "The Young Unknowns" is surprisingly effective in showing the unique problems that plague a quartet of upper class-twentysomethings. Drugs are the great equalizer; drugs makes people from all walks/stations of/in life miserable. Expand

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