Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. 75
    You could think of Larry Clark's Wassup Rockers as "Ferris Velasquez's Day Off."
  2. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    75
    Very different than "Kids." Where the earlier film was exhausting in its nihilism, the latest retains a good-natured charm.
  3. Somehow, this rollicking day in the life of a band of skateboarding Latino punk-rockers doesn't exude the voyeuristic smarm of previous Clark forays.
  4. Throughout the film, music is used to define character and place. Two metal bands, Moral Decay and South Central Riot Squad, dominate the soundtrack whenever the gang is on the move.
  5. 70
    Shifting his focus away from white kids seems to have done Clark good, because Wassup Rockers is the least sensationalistic, and hence the least moralistic, of his films. It's an enjoyable if haphazard picaresque.
  6. 70
    If "Crash" grew a pair of cojones, it might look something like Larry Clark’s cheerfully defiant Wassup Rockers.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    70
    A thoroughly winning and unexpectedly observant lark about the antics of seven Latino skateboarding pals in South-Central Los Angeles.
  8. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    63
    Could have been a spiky culture clash. When it tries to shock us with its alleged realism, though, it is entirely a bore.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    The main characters may be refreshingly cliché-free, but almost everyone they meet in Beverly Hills is a stilted cartoon.
  10. At a certain point, Wassup Rockers transforms from a relatively naturalistic slice-of-life portrait into a surrealistic funhouse trap.
  11. However you respond to Wassup Rockers, it is completely alive, unlike any number of teenage Hollywood movies with their stale formulas and second-hand puerility. And that's mostly to the good.
  12. 60
    What might have been a fascinating, intimate portrait turns into something much less compelling when Clark tries to impose a sex-and-action-packed narrative on the proceedings.
  13. The sexy, scruffy, neo-Warriors pageantry of ghetto teen hunger would have been a lot more vital if Clark didn't have such a class-war chip on his shoulder.
  14. 58
    It may be truer to the lives of his amateur cast to watch them engage in mumbly, inarticulate conversations between rounds of failed skate tricks, but it isn't especially cinematic.
  15. Ultimately more laughable than illuminating, at times approaching a level of camp commensurate with John Waters.
  16. Some moments of off-the-cuff beauty aren't enough to mask the creepy heart of Larry Clark's latest look at outcast kids.
  17. 50
    Wassup Rockers is amateurish, but without the redeeming qualities found in "Kids" and "Bully."
  18. As a filmmaker, Clark still seems more beholden to his roots as a still photographer: Images are sometimes worth a thousand words, but, ultimately, they will always be skin-deep.
  19. In drama, tone, character and examination of the social issues tormenting these kids, Wassup Rockers is . . . taxing.
  20. 50
    Larry Clark's latest finds the grizzled shock-meister in a thoughtful mode and a mellow mood.
  21. 50
    The stilted performances are especially unfortunate when one considers what a fine documentary Clark might have gotten out of the same material.
  22. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    38
    It's hard to believe this shoddy, dishonest mess is Clark's sixth feature film, and not the unpromising debut of a rank amateur.
  23. The result is a well-intentioned mess -- a dishonest fantasy that begins with promise and gets more frustrating with every scene.
User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. ChadS.
    Dec 1, 2006
    8
    With every new film by Larry Clarke, there's an audience divided, perhaps unevenly; three-quarters are pervs, and one-quarter are cineastes(there might be a quarter who are both, so the new math is one-half perv, one-half perverted cineastes). In "Wassup Rockers", there is no trollop(that trollop would be Bijou Phillips in "Bully") dripping wax on her nipples, and no nubile(that nubile would be Chloe Sevigny in "Kids") being raped in her sleep. All the sex, and all the nudity are implied this time, because the last time(that last time would be "Ken Park"), there was no American distribution(thanks a lot Christian evangelicals) for this fearless(some say, incendiary) filmmaker. "Wassup Rockers" is a sequel of sorts to "Kids", the frank sex-talk is still there, but this time, " the kids are" likable(they're "alright"). Remember that scene in "Crash", in which Ludacris ran over a "China man", and kept referring to him as such? That same sort of incidental homicide occurs in "Wassup Rockers" when the ghetto boys enter the Californian suburbs, and even though this switch from realism to surrealism mucks up the tone, the social commentary is priceless and worth the imperfection. The murders are a metaphor for how some viewers indict these young boys as a menace to these sheltered suburbanites based on race alone. Their(audience) assumptions are the murder weapons. That's the only way I can explain it. Clarke is doing something extraordinary here. It's as if he's blaming the audience for the deaths, like some kind of frame job. What happens doesn't meet the audience's expectations of how a group of non-white kids would behave, so they finish the job for them. Like the boys said, "We just came here to skate." "Wassup Rockers" is a very interesting film, and I hope this made sense. Full Review »