Slacker (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

One of the key American independent films of the 1990s, Richard Linklater's feature debut is an audacious look at the twentysomething culture in the college town of Austin, Texas. Set over the course of a 24-hour period, the film is a collection of short, unconnected glimpses into the dropout subculture, touching base with a variety of musicians, students, street people and general eccentrics. While there's no real plot to speak of, Linklater's eye for nuance and gift for dialogue are superb, … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Classics, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Richard Linklater
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 14, 2004
The Criterion Collection


as Should Have Stayed a...

as Taxi Driver

as Roadkill

as Jogger

as Running Late

as Hit-and-run Son

as Grocery Grabber of D...

as Officer Bozzio

as Two for One Special

as Street Musician

as Officer Love

as Walking to Coffee Sh...

as Espresso Czar/Masoni...

as Giant Cappuccino

as Dostoyevsky Wannabe

as Looking for Missing ...

as Been on the Moon Sin...

as Tura Santana Look-Al...

as Co-op Guy

as Bush Basher

as Comb Game Player

as Sadistic Comb Game P...

as Ultimate Loser

as Stephanie from Dalla...

as Papsmear Pushover

as T-Shirt Terrorist

as Anti-Traveler

as Wants to Leave Count...

as Sidewalk Psychic

as Devoted Follower

as Happy-Go-Lucky Guy

as Has Change

as Traumatized Yacht Ow...

as Cranky Cook

as Paranoid Paper Reade...

as Recluse in Bathrobe

as Shut-in Girlfriend

as Peeping Kid

as Coke Machine Robber

as Budding Capitalist Y...

as Jilted Boyfriend

as Guy Who Tosses Typew...

as Based on Authoritati...

as Has Faith in Groups

as Street Dweller

as `Conspiracy A-Go-Go'...

as Hitchhiker Awaiting ...

as Video Interviewer

as Video Cameraman

as Sitting at Cafe

as Hit Up for Cigarette...

as Video Playing Store ...

as Old Anarchist

as Anarchist's Daughter

as Get-Away Accomplice

as Cadillac Crook

as Video Backpacker

as Slapping Boyfriend

as Choking Girlfriend

as Disgruntled Grad Stu...

as Having a Breakthroug...

as Teacup Sculpter

as Working on Same Pain...

as Card Playing Waiter

as Cafe Card Player No....

as Cafe Card Player No....

as Scooby Doo Philosoph...

as Papa Smurf

as Questions Happiness

as Has Conquered Fear o...

as Smoking Waiter

as S-T-E-V-E with a Van

as Doorman at Club

as Bike Rider with Nice...

as Cousin from Greece

as Sitting on Ledge

as Handstamping Arm Lic...

as Pixi-Visionary

as To Be Buried By Hist...

as Going to Catch a Sho...

as Band Playing at Club

as Dairy Queen Photogra...

as Anti-Artist

as Late Night Pick-up

as Watching Early Morni...

as Old Man Recording Th...

as Post-Modern Paul Rev...

as Super 8 Cameraman

as Club Owner [uncredit...

as Day Tripper

as All-Night Partier

as Convertible Driver

as Tosses Camera Off Cl...

as Bicyclist (uncredite...

as Choking Girlfriend
Show More Cast

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.


Critic Reviews for Slacker

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (10)

What Linklater has captured is a generation of bristling minds unable to turn their thoughts into action.

May 12, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

This is a work of scatterbrained originality, funny, unexpected and ceaselessly engaging.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

The experience is funny, surreal and weird. Sometimes it's even scary.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

A movie with an appeal almost impossible to describe.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Pretension is kept at bay by the fact that whenever someone is holding court, the others in the scene barely seem to be listening.

Full Review… | March 9, 2015

Audience Reviews for Slacker


A perfect portrait of Austin, Texas in the nineties, this film is full of vignettes of what it is like living out your twenties in that time period. It balances between being a love letter to Austin, and a diatribe about the collective characters that you meet when you're young. Linklater's films have often been heralded as centering on realism in contrast against the absurd. From the "Anti-Artist" in the bar scene to the conspiracy theorist in the book store, we've heard, and listened to, and felt exhausted by many of these same people in our lives. Though this film is nearly twenty-five years old, it feels just as relevant in today's times. Academia is always full of hotheads and passionate centenarians alike. This too is the world of liberal society, happy to philosophize about every aspect of life but intent on not living it. This film is funny, intellectually stimulating, and perversely amazing with its characters and cult following. A definitive piece of Linklater filmmaking and cultural iconoclast in the world of indie filmmaking, this is a must watch, in any case.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

In Richard Linklater's first feature film, there are clear moments of technical mishaps and set issues, however, with such an ambitious project most of that is forgivable for being his first film. There is no linear plot in this film, but it feels more like a relay race/hangout film, as one scene with characters seamlessly leads into another scene with new characters, and so on. "Slacker" is all about the lives of burnout teenagers as they live their lives after college. It was just very interesting to see how alike and how different some people are from each other. This film is brilliantly written, but that is what Richard Linklater's films are (character driven). Aside from some technical issues that may or may not take you out of the film, you should be able to really enjoy this film. It is a fantastic first attempt for director Richard Linklater, who Produced, Directed, Wrote, and appeared in this film. "Slacker" is great!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Even in this early stage of his career, Linklater makes his ambition known. Though the entire thing probably won't resonate with everyone, there may in fact be something for everyone in this weird, meandering narrative experiment that will change the way you think about the strangers you see every day.

Sam Barnett
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

Slacker Quotes

– Submitted by Scott R (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Slacker on our Movie forum!