Dare (2009)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

In high school, what kind of person did you dare to be: risk-taking and lustful, melancholy and confused or simply safe and over-achieving? "Dare" follows three very different teenagers through the last semester of high school. There are Alexa, the overachieving good girl who longs to break out of her shell; Ben, the melancholy outsider confused about his sexuality; and Johnny, the rich kid who has everything, including good looks, but hides behind his bad boy persona. This unlikely trio fall … More

Rating: R (for sexual content, language and alcohol use - all involving teens)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: David Brind
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 9, 2010
Image Entertainment - Official Site


as Alexa Walker

as Johnny Drake

as Ben Berger

as Ruth Berger

as Grant Matson

as Dr. Serena Mohr

as Courtney

as Dr. Kolton

as Alan Berger

as School Principal

as Ms. Davis

as Deirdre Walker

as Mel Drake

as Grant's Friend

as Detention Teacher

as Coffe Shop Twin

as Coffe Shop Twin

as School Secretary
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Dare

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (7)

Brind's screenplay is pregnant with fascinating questions of identity and social anxiety. And Salky knows how to create a mood.

Full Review… | December 3, 2009
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

The film lacks the comedic charm of American Pie, but with its dark, hyper-sexualization of teens, it offers an engrossing if not soap opera-esque tale of self-discovery.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Dare feels a bit unfinished, at once overreaching and underrealized. But there is a lot of intelligence, and considerable daring, in the basic conceit.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
New York Times
Top Critic

Dare is a high school coming-of-age film that dares to push the envelope. It doesn't always succeed, but that's not for lack of trying.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
New York Post
Top Critic

The actors, all great camera subjects, help give director Adam Salky's overly pat movie a trace of confessional conviction.

Full Review… | November 11, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Adam Salky's high-school soap offers a virtual Spumoni of caricatured adolescent hand-wringing. When subtlety equals a drama-class performance of A Streetcar Named Desire's rape scene, expect a bumpy ride.

Full Review… | November 11, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Dare


What a surprise! I knew nothing about this movie and watched based on my Netflix recommendation. For this movie, it was right on. It seems to be a typical teen drama but new twists are added that are interesting and make the movie unique and enjoyable.

Thomas Johnston

Super Reviewer

Cast: Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Ashley Springer, Rooney Mara, Ana Gasteyer, Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard, Michael Cassidy, Cady Huffman, Brianne Berkson, Adam Fleming, Chris Riggi

Director: Adam Salky

Summary: In their final semester before graduation from an affluent suburban high school, good girl Alexa (Emmy Rossum), outcast Ben (Ashley Springer) and bad boy Johnny (Zach Gilford) decide to shed their youthful inhibitions and take some very grown-up risks.

My Thoughts: "Although the story is interesting, the story doesn't leave you feeling like it's finished. I found Johnny Drake's character to be the much more interesting one of the three. He seems to be having some major issues and I'd liked to have known more of his story. I love Zach Gilford. I first saw him on 'Friday Night Lights'. He is a great actor and was great in the role of Johnny Drake. I feel like Alexa and Ben use Johnny to find out who they are. He is more of an experiment for them then a human being. When he becomes vulnerable in front of them, it seems it humanized him and they didn't know how to handle it. He was no longer seen as an object for their own needs anymore. It was interesting, and a different kind of teen angst film I thought I was in for. The film is sad, twisted, and unique considering it's not your average teen flick. Worth the watch."


Super Reviewer

Dare really has a lot of potential genuis, but ultimately it falls flat. The film is incredibly scattered and really does not have any focus, and to top it off, all the characters and situations seemed really far fetched. In the begining we have good girl Alexa trying to "Do Something You're Afraid Of", but then that fliight gets lost in midair. Then, in the middle, we have Ben, and his story makes absolutely no sense at all, so we are not even going to discuss it. And I do not really remember it. Finally, we end with Zach Gilford's character (I'm sure he had a name, but I have also forgotten it) who, consequently, is sleeping with both Ben and Alexa. Lovely, isn't it? Idk, in closing, the film left me confused. There are many interesting ideas presented throughout the whole duration, but none of them are really expanded on. I have no idea what Adam Salky was actually trying to say. Is the film about breaking out of one's shell? Trying to find one's in the world? Or something simple, like everyone is essentially messed up, or three-way sex is not a good idea. In the hands of someone like Sam Mendes, I think Dare could be absolutely amazing, but as it is, it just is not that great. Still, I enjoy watching it enough, and it tries so very hard, and you've got to give it credit for that.

One final note: It makes me so happy that Bon Voage's song "Monster" was used. I realize that is completely shallow and irrelevant, but I love the song. Seriously, now? "I wish I was a monster/ I would hide under your stairs / I wish I was a nightmare / I'd give you a scare"

Jake ....

Super Reviewer

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