12 O'clock Boys (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes

12 O'clock Boys (2014)



Critic Consensus: Visually striking and grippingly fast-paced, 12 O'Clock Boys asks thought-provoking questions with admirable subtlety and restraint.

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Movie Info

To Baltimore locals, the 12 O'Clock Boys are hooligans - a group of urban dirt-bikers that perform death-defying stunts at excessive speeds through traffic and impressively evade the hamstrung police, who must adhere to a no-chase policy to maintain public safety. Yet they are heroes to Pug, a bright, young adolescent living in the city's dangerous Westside neighborhood with his charismatic mother Coco, extended family, and a menagerie of animals to which he tends in his long-standing hope to be a veterinarian. Yet as his obsession with the 12 O'Clock Boys grows, his desire to join the bikers begins eclipsing everything else in his life, much to Coco's dismay. Filled with stunningly kinetic footage that puts the viewer on up-close ride-alongs with the bikers, 12 O'CLOCK BOYS provides a compelling and personal story of a young boy and his dangerous, thrilling dream. (c) Oscilloscope
Documentary , Special Interest
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News & Interviews for 12 O'clock Boys

Critic Reviews for 12 O'clock Boys

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (20)

A short, pungent, ambiguous portrait of the poorer sections of Baltimore and the young men who get their kicks riding dirt bikes through the streets en masse, popping wheelies and dodging the police.

Full Review… | February 13, 2014
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Documentary filmmaker Lotfy Nathan explores the outlaw appeal of an inner-city Baltimore dirt-bike gang through the eyes of a 13-year-old wannabe member named Pug.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

It could have romanticized its subjects, portraying them as outlaws and folk heroes. Or it could have gone the way of moral panic. To its credit, [it] does neither of these things - or, rather, it does both, in the most subtle and insightful way possible.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Washington Post
Top Critic

Take a closer look, as Lofty Nathan does in his freewheeling debut feature... and bike gangs like the 12 O'Clock Boys start to differentiate as more than just a dangerous nuisance.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Toronto Star
Top Critic

[Pug is] a fiercely individual child, but, inevitably, his predicament also symbolizes how poverty can warp a good boy's nature.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

[It] spectacularizes black criminality for white middle-class viewers, the primary audience for the festivals and art houses where this film will have its career.

Full Review… | January 31, 2014
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for 12 O'clock Boys


It's so sad to see this. This poor boys future is mapped out in this one documentary. His mother is the worst, she seems like she is also lost in the hood. No guidance in life can be a disaster waiting to happy. I do not pray often but that whole family is in my prayers.

TakeiaD .
TakeiaD .

"Could die any minute" survival of the fittest, piss poor parenting thug lifestyle, the streets of Bmore never change, the uneducated reek havoc in a city that would be better off burning to the ground. Can't feel sorry for these people. Mom's going to let the police have the kid, good idea, you'll be better off, because you can't parent.

Ditzzee Chick
Ditzzee Chick

A good if slightly odd documentary. There is nothing triumphant in the expressions of urban black youth on their dirt bikes in Baltimore. They are being a pain in the ass and yet somehow they have some type of glory in the neighbourhood. The activity clearly should be just stamped out.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

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