• Studio:
  • Release Date: Apr 12, 2013
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Apr 9, 2013
    100
    This Ain't California is a masterful lie that illuminates a little-known reality.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Apr 11, 2013
    90
    Smartly incorporating Sasa Zivkovic’s sweet and simple animation, as well as an exhilarating, punk-infused soundtrack, Mr. Persiel extends the film’s appeal beyond hard-core skaters.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Apr 11, 2013
    83
    Ultimately, This Ain't California is a movie powered by nostalgia, a propulsive kind of dreamy reflection to a time and place that may not have existed with events that might not have actually happened, but have all the reality of a life that was truly lived.
  4. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Apr 17, 2013
    80
    “Dogtown and Z-Boys” meets “The Lives of Others” in This Ain’t California, a spirited not-quite-documentary portrait of the skateboarding subculture that flourished in East Germany in the early 1980s.
  5. Reviewed by: Drew Hunt
    Apr 8, 2013
    75
    While the film is deeply romantic and nostalgic, possessing a genuine reverence for youth and rebellion, it's also something of a tragedy.
  6. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Apr 11, 2013
    63
    A trove of home videos, vintage commercial and propaganda footage and black-and-white animation dress up this energetic if somewhat unfocused look at the birth of skateboarding in the German Democratic Republic.
  7. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Dec 2, 2013
    60
    A fun and frothy mock-doc with a message buried in its axle.
  8. Reviewed by: Emma Simmonds
    Nov 3, 2013
    60
    Though set in a divided country, it’s an effervescent period piece, edited with verve: Persiel combines recreations with archive footage, animation and home videos.
  9. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Apr 9, 2013
    60
    It ain’t bad, though all that detritus detracts from a far more interesting history lesson on repression and rebellion that’s left on the periphery.

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