12 O'clock Boys Reviews

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Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope
January 2, 2015
This defiance of the law, combined with the skill, speed and excitement, is part of the romance that draws Pug and other kids into the biker life. It is like the wild west.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Todd Jorgenson
March 21, 2014
The result is evocative and compelling, even if it doesn't offer much context or socioeconomic insight into its broader subject.
Brian Orndorf
March 5, 2014
There's no balance of perspective, but what the feature lacks in fullness it makes up for in pure energy, extracting a sense of life in motion as its influence by a false sense of security.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 13, 2014
A short, pungent, ambiguous portrait of the poorer sections of Baltimore and the young men who get their kicks riding dirt bikes through the streets en masse, popping wheelies and dodging the police.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tricia Olszewski
Washington City Paper
February 10, 2014
For a first-time filmmaker, Nathan achieves a remarkable balance, presenting each side with very little bias.
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
February 10, 2014
Documentary filmmaker Lotfy Nathan explores the outlaw appeal of an inner-city Baltimore dirt-bike gang through the eyes of a 13-year-old wannabe member named Pug.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Dan Schindel
Movie Mezzanine
February 5, 2014
One of the more unique looks at the Other America to come down the line in recent years
Full Review | Original Score: A
Matt Prigge
February 5, 2014
It's the rare film that gets deep into low income inner city life and zeroes in on what motivates those whom society tends to forget.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Brent Simon
Shared Darkness
February 4, 2014
An arresting nonfiction look at a subculture of young African-American dirt-bike enthusiasts who view their hobby as a ride-or-die proposition -- a dangerous way to act out proxy battles with authority.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
February 3, 2014
Well-edited and often thrilling, but leaves you with more questions than answers and feels incomplete.
Full Review | Original Score: 5.95/10
Kimber Myers
The Playlist
January 31, 2014
An exciting, beautifully shot look at a subculture through the eyes of one of its most devoted admirers.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Daniel Walber
Film School Rejects
January 31, 2014
It's important to remember that not every day is a joy ride. 12 O'Clock Boys is also a portrait of a family.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Chris Kaltenbach
Baltimore Sun
January 31, 2014
12 O'Clock Boys shows the culture for what it is: thrilling, compelling and more than a little dangerous.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Robert Levin
January 31, 2014
This slice-of-life effort presents a complicated picture when it comes to the world of urban dirt biking, acknowledging the dangers involved while celebrating its utility as an outlet for the pent-up emotions of a people left behind by society.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Edward Johnson-Ott
NUVO Newsweekly
January 31, 2014
Lotfy Nathan's hand-held camerawork, combined with a snappy hip-hop soundtrack, gives the documentary a sense of immediacy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Cynthia Fuchs
January 31, 2014
It's positive, it's inspiring, it's beautiful.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Ethan Alter
Television Without Pity
January 31, 2014
That Nathan is able to cover so much ground in a mere 76 minutes makes 12 O'Clock Boys all the more remarkable and essential.
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 31, 2014
It could have romanticized its subjects, portraying them as outlaws and folk heroes. Or it could have gone the way of moral panic. To its credit, [it] does neither of these things - or, rather, it does both, in the most subtle and insightful way possible.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 31, 2014
Take a closer look, as Lofty Nathan does in his freewheeling debut feature... and bike gangs like the 12 O'Clock Boys start to differentiate as more than just a dangerous nuisance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
January 31, 2014
[Pug is] a fiercely individual child, but, inevitably, his predicament also symbolizes how poverty can warp a good boy's nature.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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