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Chain Camera (2001)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

15

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 403

My Rating

Movie Info

Wanting to make a film about American teenagers in the year 2000, filmmaker Kirby Dick took a novel approach; he went to John Marshall High School, a Los Angeles-area school with a racially and economically diverse student body, and gave ten portable video cameras to ten students, asking them to document their lives however they pleased for one week. Then each student passed his or her camera on to another student, who was to film his or herself in the same manner. This process continued

Unrated,

Documentary, Drama, Special Interest

Jul 26, 2005

FilmBuff

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All Critics (18) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (4) | DVD (2)

Absorbing in places, but considering the large and diverse pool the filmmakers had to draw from, it's a surprisingly repetitive and predictable collection of big-city sagas.

August 29, 2002 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A candid, compelling documentary.

February 7, 2002
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... fresh and revealing ...

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chain Camera may not provide a demographer's perfect cross-section of society, but it does provide a pungent, provocative slice of Americana.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Chain Camera is, at the very least, unfailingly candid.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kirby Dick isn't in the habit of making his presence felt on camera, and his newest documentary allows his subjects to strictly speak for themselves.

December 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Dick unearths some meaningful, disturbing and disarming material.

March 8, 2002 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

On the whole, Chain Camera surprises in how it manages to mix entertainment and personal journeys.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Kirby's egalitarian impulses get the best of him as he devotes time pretty evenly to each student regardless of how interesting they are individually.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: culturevulture.net
culturevulture.net

... a riveting, hopeful and heartbreaking film.

September 6, 2001 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

A series of brief snapshots of frustratingly varied quality...it doesn't get much beneath the surface.

September 4, 2001 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Audience Reviews for Chain Camera

While I thought this was an interesting look into the lives of high schoolers in LA I didn't think it was a great flick.
It is disturbing to see most of these kids acting the way they were knowing that people would be viewing these videos. Candid talk about sex, drugs, and crime shocked me as none of these kids were even 18.
We even see two of the folks doing drugs in the film. To me it seems as if most of the kids have already given up and resigned themselves to live out life with the idea that they can do no better than where they find themselves now.
I really hope my kids don't fall into that trap as well.
May 20, 2009
superclerk25

Super Reviewer

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