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A Decade Under the Influence (2003)


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 30
Fresh: 23
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 13
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 3,637



Movie Info

In the late '60s, American culture experienced a period of change as the youth movement challenged conventional attitudes about politics, sex, drugs, and gender issues, while the advancement of the Vietnam War found many citizens questioning the actions and wisdom of their government for the first time. As American attitudes continued to evolve, so did the American film industry; as costly big-budget blockbusters nearly brought the major studios to the brink of collapse, smaller and more … More

R (language, and images of sexulality, violence, and drug use)
Documentary , Television , Musical & Performing Arts , Special Interest
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Jan 1, 1998
IFC Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for A Decade Under the Influence

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (7) | DVD (11)

It's as if we're watching the equivalent of a VH1 special edited for an in-flight movie.

Full Review… | June 5, 2003
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Unlike many documentaries about movies, it's neither underfunded nor perfunctory, but thoughtful and bracing.

Full Review… | May 30, 2003
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Leaves us to wonder whether ever again will so many creative free spirits move into the mainstream in such numbers and with such success.

Full Review… | May 29, 2003
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

What's missing is anything resembling a point of view ... or the slightest sense of critical discrimination.

Full Review… | May 29, 2003
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

It's gratifying and exhilarating enough -- the movie's a foolproof greatest-hits clips package. But Christie is its major coup.

Full Review… | May 23, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Here's a fireball documentary about the 1970s, when filmmakers were stoked by sex, drugs, rock and, oh, yeah, social conscience.

May 8, 2003
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

This is a must-see documentary for any film lover.

Full Review… | June 2, 2009

Demme and LaGravenese are just as happy to let the directors bask in their past glories and reminisce about those crazy days.

Full Review… | May 27, 2006

It's illuminating and nostalgic and for anyone who lined up for American movies in that bygone golden age.

Full Review… | August 7, 2003
Christian Science Monitor

...less of a serious, insightful documentary and more of a nostalgic love letter.

Full Review… | June 19, 2003
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

The past is so bright here, co-directors Richard LaGravenese and the late Ted Demme must have worn shades.

Full Review… | June 6, 2003
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

Succeeds as both a primer for newcomers and as eye candy for established film fans.

Full Review… | May 30, 2003
Combustible Celluloid

Fitfully interesting in its own right, but more useful as a device to point you toward checking out the original source material.

Full Review… | May 30, 2003
Los Angeles Daily News

A breezy but incomplete valentine to the most fertile period in American film

Full Review… | May 25, 2003

When Coppola bellyaches you want to ask, Hey buddy, who forced the studios to give up on radical filmmakers by going insanely overbudget and past schedule with Apocalypse Now?

Full Review… | May 22, 2003

an entertaining introduction of the "auteur directors" that emerged from 1968 to 1978

May 19, 2003
Greg's Previews at Yahoo! Movies

The combination of access to so many of the era's players ... plus the entertaining clips and wise commentary into a unique period of cinema history, make Decade a pleasure to experience.

Full Review… | May 5, 2003
Film Journal International

It's an entertaining pastiche, a slice of movie history that's both fun and educational (if slightly myopic about what has come since).

Full Review… | May 5, 2003
Journal News (Westchester, NY)

Audience Reviews for A Decade Under the Influence


A Decade under the Influence is a must watch film for all lovers of cinema. I love 70's cinema, it is what I grew up on and I still enjoy catching up on the ones I've missed now. Here, the people who made those films are all represented and explain how, why and what happened later. It's insightful and thorough. It is also the last time you will have heard it it from many of the Horses mouths as a fair few of the people in this documentary, including the director, sadly died soon after.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

Excellent documentary.

Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer


a fantastic doc about the young filmmakers who stormed hollywood in the seventies, producing a huge number of startlingly original films. directors like altman, hal ashby, scorsese and coppola along with so many others changed the way we watch movies forever in a decade when for once art ruled over commerce; a happy consequence of the breakup of the studio system, the meltdown of the sixties, and the influence of a generation of foreign filmmakers. it's sad we seem to be stuck in a decade of endless remakes and sequels that's all about the box office...

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Its a bit too general for my taste . . . and there are some strangely absent personalities. But if you are patient, there are some amusing anecdotes scattered throughout. Also, its rather fitting (and more than a little moving) that just about everyone acknowledges that Hal Ashby was the real king of the 70s . . his steady hand in the director's chair produced some the decades greatest films.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

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