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Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

tomatometer

79

Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 47
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 10

While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.

29

Average Rating: 3.7/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 5

While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life.

audience

80

liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 168,846

My Rating

Movie Info

Amy Heckerling's adaptation of Cameron Crowe's Fast Times at Ridgemont High is often considered one of the finest films of a disreputable genre (the teen sex comedy), and kick-started the careers of many future stars. The center of this ensemble film is Jennifer Jason Leigh as Stacy Hamilton. She is a young, innocent high-school student who, as the film opens, is asking for advice from her friend, the sexually outspoken Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates). Stacy takes a liking to nebbish Mark Ratner

R,

Drama, Comedy

Cameron Crowe, Jonathan Roberts

Nov 2, 2004

Universal Pictures

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All Critics (47) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (10) | DVD (27)

Director Amy Heckerling has failed to provide the raunch or poignancy that would interest young moviegoers, all of whom have seen American Graffiti and its 467 imitators. Ridgemont High? A nice place to visit, but who would want to transfer there?

March 13, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fast Times will always be remembered for one thing: showing respect for and insight into the members of its core audience, something that was as rare in the 1980s as it is today.

June 10, 2008 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The nice thing is that Crowe and director Amy Heckerling have provided something pleasant to observe in all of these characters though they really are sadly lacking in anything gripping.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Was never all it was cracked up to be.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (2)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lacks the frenzied energy which allowed Porky's to beat all competitors in its field.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

How could they do this to Jennifer Jason Leigh? How could they put such a fresh and cheerful person into such a scuz-pit of a movie?

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comments (12)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'll take something like The Breakfast Club or many of John Hughes films over Crowe's characters any day.

September 5, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Fast Times is a brilliant, funny and often challenging examination of teenage life in the early 1980s.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Teen movie is full of sex, drugs, and misbehavior.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A cult classic.

March 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Great fun if not quite the great teen pic some believe it to be.

August 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

A brashly funny yet sensitive comedy that has become a cult favorite.

July 18, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Director Amy Heckerling almost encourages the film's shapelessness, letting the individual moments speak for themselves, rather than molding a cohesive whole.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

[Penn] sets the tone of fun for the whole movie.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

This R-rated comedy captured the natural humor of high school life, while also addressing serious topics.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

Sean Penn's calling never left Mr. Hand's classroom.

June 13, 2005
MovieCrypt.com

overrated

May 28, 2005 | Comments (6)
Classic Film and Television

The great high-school comedy that spawned a thousand rip-offs.

April 3, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

The comedy captured the brutal realism of post-sexual-revolution high school life and has been imitated often, rarely equaled, and surpassed only once.

March 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Comment (1)
Arizona Daily Star

The filmmakers' attempts to capture the "real" high school experience run hot and cold, while the comedy quotient just doesn't cut it.

November 9, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Comment (1)
Creative Loafing

Audience Reviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

It's certainly flawed, however, Sean Penn gives a bravura performance and the film has ample nostalgic charm and humor to entertain. It is, however, nowhere as near touching or deep as John Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Pretty Pink which manage to capture the essence of high school not just through classic clichés, but through atmospheric cinematography and messages that transcend the basic "growing up is tough." The film ultimately, despite being relatable, doesn't accomplish a whole lot.
December 9, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

LOL funny but not terribly memorable. I find young Jennifer Jason Leigh's moonface utterly forgettable (unlike her adult jagged little pill face), but she does well when she tells Damone, "No. Take that back," after he accuses her of wanting sex more than he did. My favorite character would have to be Brad, played by the Honorable Judge Reinhold. He's a doofy but supportive older brother who gets some great dad-ish lines, "Learn it. Know it. Live it."
September 16, 2012
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

Spicoli is great and some of the scenes are funny, yet I found it difficult to get into this film. Maybe it's because it lacks a story. Instead it studies the life of high school kids, and for that it's entertaining. It's similar to "Dazed and Confused", just a different era.
August 3, 2012
Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

One of the key teen comedies of the 80's is a definite must see for fans of 80's cinema. Although not as knee slapping hilarious as other teen comedy films, this film is still a terrific comedic gem of the 1980's. This film has set the standard for many Teen comedies that would follow in the subsequent years. There's some good gags on-screen, the cast is terrific and though at time the film shows its imperfections, for the most part it succeeds at being an entertaining film. Although not as memorable as many John Hughes comedies, this is nonetheless a very good film that has some very funny moments. Fast Times At Ridgemont High is a film that is in the same category as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, it's a film that brought the Teen comedy into the public eye, and was the first of its kind to really be a memorable viewing experience for its viewers. Sure the film isn't perfect, but it manages to be funny, dramatic and lot of fun that its faults are minimal. The film is lots of fun from start to finish and is one of those timeless teen comedies that still stands the test of time after all these years. If you're looking for a memorable comedy that will bring out the teen in you, then this is your film. Fast Times At Ridgemont High is a classic film that is among the best teen oriented comedy films of the 1980's. A very enjoyable film that is pure fun and a must see for fans of classic 80's teen comedies.
April 12, 2012
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Jeff Spicoli: Alright Hamilton!
    – Submitted by Jacob M (11 months ago)
    1. Jeff Spicoli: Alright Hamilton!
    – Submitted by Michael B (16 months ago)
    1. Brad Hamilton: Hey, you guys had shirts on when you came in here.
    2. Jeff Spicoli: Well, somethin' happened to 'em, man.
    – Submitted by Mark H (23 months ago)
    1. Jeff Spicoli: Hey, I know that dude.
    – Submitted by David F (2 years ago)
    1. Jeff Spicoli: Hey, Bud, let's party!
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (DE)
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High (UK)
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