Thirteen Reviews

Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
September 12, 2008
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
June 24, 2006
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Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
August 7, 2004
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Megan Lehmann
New York Post
September 25, 2003
Hunter and Reed are excellent, but it's the scarily talented 15-year-old Wood whose scorching, star-making performance drives Thirteen.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 19, 2003
It's a Kids for a new generation of the too-young -to-be-this -messed up.
| Original Score: 5/5
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
September 12, 2003
Although it borders on exploitation in several places, Thirteen packs an emotional wallop.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
September 11, 2003
It's a pretentious piece of Valley Girl vileness masquerading as social commentary.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
September 5, 2003
A raw, disturbing look at a world adults would much rather not know about.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
September 5, 2003
Thirteen, a disturbing look at rebellious teens, is galvanized by emotional extremes and wrenching performances. But this gritty indie film also presumes a profundity that its edgy shocks and drama-queen histrionics don't deliver.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
September 5, 2003
Thirteen is something of a cross between the sincere if heavily varnished family drama Once and Again and in-your-face teenage movies like Larry Clark's Kids, the stuff of which parental nightmares are made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 5, 2003
This piercingly strong movie puts the 'hell' in the Hello Kitty generation.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 5, 2003
[A] jarring and beautiful movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 5, 2003
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
September 5, 2003
Stands as an agonizing look at the giddy energies and terrible pains of characters whose lives have grown beyond their resources to cope.
| Original Score: B+
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
September 5, 2003
Gritty indie After School Special.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
September 4, 2003
Burns with emotional truth.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 4, 2003
The movie is a descendant of 1950s juvenile- delinquent melodramas, but it has a chilling emotional authenticity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 29, 2003
It feels like real life unfolding before your eyes.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
August 29, 2003
The creation of teen-girl culture seems almost pitch-perfect.
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 29, 2003
Thirteen is not a pleasant experience, but it resonates with truth in all of its details.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
August 29, 2003
The year's most harrowing film.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
August 29, 2003
Wood is superb at delineating Tracy's slide into desperate incoherence, but equally impressive is Reed, who has to conceal her writer's intelligence in playing a character who's entirely instinctive and unreflective.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 29, 2003
Sets a technical problem that seems insoluble, and meets it brilliantly, finding convincing performances from its teenage stars. showing a parent who is clueless but not uncaring, and a world outside that bedroom window that has big bad wolves.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 29, 2003
A worst-case scenario that preys on parental fears of the monster movie lurking within every teenage rebellion, and it's fed by memories of what we got away with when we were young.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
August 28, 2003
A potent picture.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
August 28, 2003
The film moves you, angers you and tears apart your preconceptions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 27, 2003
With an authenticity that is tender and merciless, the movie shows you what it looks like when youth rebellion becomes a form of fascism.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
August 22, 2003
Only people who have forgotten their own adolescence, or who are terrified of relinquishing it, could find it startling to discover that teenagers do things to shock their parents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
August 22, 2003
Warning: This movie may have uncomfortable similarities to events in your life.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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August 22, 2003
Thirteen is a provocative peek into the raw world of modern urban adolescence -- but it's a peek with lots of thought, and some fine filmmaking, behind it.
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August 22, 2003
Thirteen has a way of smashing through your defenses.
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
August 21, 2003
Many cuts above most big-screen soap operas.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Ernest Hardy
L.A. Weekly
August 20, 2003
The film doesn't negate or sidestep the land mines of modern teen life and parenting, but it often veers into Reefer Madness cautionary territory.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
August 20, 2003
It's just the latest in the long and proud tradition of pictures that exclaim, with a great deal of hand-wringing, 'Kids today!' If only it brought us closer to understanding them.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
August 20, 2003
It's tough to recall the last such drama that packed as much emotional clout.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
August 20, 2003
Well paced and inventively shot.
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Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
August 20, 2003
The panic in the eyes of Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood), the barely teenage protagonist of Thirteen, will stay with you for a very long time.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
August 20, 2003
One of the most honest and harrowing depictions of female adolescence ever put to film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 20, 2003
A smart movie that does not simplify or candy-coat the rigors of the teenage years.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Laura Sinagra
Village Voice
August 19, 2003
Less a damozel- in-distress fetish flick than a bird-flipping plunge into coded girl-cult communication.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 18, 2003
[T]his should be required viewing for anyone who's a parent or even thinking about becoming a parent.
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
August 15, 2003
Everyone in it needs a blood transfusion, and before it's over, so will you.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 8, 2003
Every parent's nightmare about how girls go wrong is packed into this movie.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
February 26, 2003
An engaging, sympathetic portrait of junior high girls who have grown up too fast and way too little.