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This Ain't California Image
Metascore
76

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: This Ain't California is a celebration of the lust for life, a contemporary documentary trip into the world of skateboarding in the German Democratic Republic. The film follows its three heroes from their childhood in the seventies through their teenage rebellion in the eighties to the summer 1989 when their life changed forever. Collapse
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: 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: David Parkinson
    Dec 2, 2013
    60
    A fun and frothy mock-doc with a message buried in its axle.

See all 9 Critic Reviews