It's possible for a movie to confirm the innate filmmaking gifts of its helmer while still not quite succeeding as a standalone film. Such is the case with this artful yet frustrating coming-of-age drama, which values tone over incident.
This lyrical drama announces the arrival of a talented young director with a keen grasp of youth; a man who presents a truthful vision of how death impacts soon-to-be men differently depending on their ages.
[It] focuses on unspoken adolescent feelings instead of familiar puerile events, with clichés held at arm's length. Unfortunately, Hide Your Smiling Faces is so slow it could use a few action sequences to speed things up.