American Teen Reviews

  • Jan 28, 2017

    An interesting and through provoking story of adolescence and how it is dealt with on different terms. This drama-documentary does have a touch of Hollywood to it, but it was well done in the sense of showing the audience how different kids work

    An interesting and through provoking story of adolescence and how it is dealt with on different terms. This drama-documentary does have a touch of Hollywood to it, but it was well done in the sense of showing the audience how different kids work

  • Dec 30, 2014

    Memories of my youth come back... wanted and unwanted thoughts are wrapped up in them. Good thing it seems like such a blimp on the life radar.

    Memories of my youth come back... wanted and unwanted thoughts are wrapped up in them. Good thing it seems like such a blimp on the life radar.

  • Oct 25, 2013

    This is a documentary, dealing in facts. It showed the common issues that teens deal with, like insecurities, stresses of growing up, and finding one's identity in the world. On the negative side, there were parts of American Teen that seemed too staged and contrived to feel spontaneous.

    This is a documentary, dealing in facts. It showed the common issues that teens deal with, like insecurities, stresses of growing up, and finding one's identity in the world. On the negative side, there were parts of American Teen that seemed too staged and contrived to feel spontaneous.

  • May 15, 2013

    This is a fascinating documentary which captures so much of the pain, heartbreak, meanness, and anxiety of high school, and teenage life in America. The filmmaker followed several high school students in Warsaw Indiana during their senior year, in school, at home, and hanging out. It presents them as they see themselves, and as they are seen by others. Even though it consists entirely of these kids daily lives, there is surprising drama and psychological depth, from the loner desperate for a girlfriend, to the stereotypical mean girl whose teasing and cruelty cover up deep pain and crushing parental pressure. All of the kids are sympathetic and multidimensional but I was surprised at just how unsupportive and frankly mean some of their parents could be to them. There's also seemingly limitless insights to be gleaned about family life, class issues, school bureaucracy and adolescence from these ordinary midwestern teens. If I had to criticize anything about this film it would be it's length, I would have loved another hour and a half of this and the DVD does include some extra scenes that were cut that are very much worth watching. This film won an award at Sundance for direction and it is indeed a very worthy film which vividly portrays the social, educational, and family lives of teenagers and their sad but hopeful young lives.

    This is a fascinating documentary which captures so much of the pain, heartbreak, meanness, and anxiety of high school, and teenage life in America. The filmmaker followed several high school students in Warsaw Indiana during their senior year, in school, at home, and hanging out. It presents them as they see themselves, and as they are seen by others. Even though it consists entirely of these kids daily lives, there is surprising drama and psychological depth, from the loner desperate for a girlfriend, to the stereotypical mean girl whose teasing and cruelty cover up deep pain and crushing parental pressure. All of the kids are sympathetic and multidimensional but I was surprised at just how unsupportive and frankly mean some of their parents could be to them. There's also seemingly limitless insights to be gleaned about family life, class issues, school bureaucracy and adolescence from these ordinary midwestern teens. If I had to criticize anything about this film it would be it's length, I would have loved another hour and a half of this and the DVD does include some extra scenes that were cut that are very much worth watching. This film won an award at Sundance for direction and it is indeed a very worthy film which vividly portrays the social, educational, and family lives of teenagers and their sad but hopeful young lives.

  • Feb 06, 2013

    There's no doubting director Nanette Burstein has taken some creative liberties along the way here; some scenes are just way too staged. That said I enjoyed the hour and a half spent with these cliched teens; I didn't learn anything and my image of the "youth of today" has been re cemented but by the end I found myself sympathising and even dare I say caring about some of these teens.

    There's no doubting director Nanette Burstein has taken some creative liberties along the way here; some scenes are just way too staged. That said I enjoyed the hour and a half spent with these cliched teens; I didn't learn anything and my image of the "youth of today" has been re cemented but by the end I found myself sympathising and even dare I say caring about some of these teens.

  • Feb 05, 2013

    If you have teenagers or ever will you should watch this movie...

    If you have teenagers or ever will you should watch this movie...

  • Jan 14, 2013

    It's a concern while watching American Teen whether it's really fly-on-the-wall or not, but it can be said with some certainty these are real high schoolers facing real choices and issues in their lives, and their anxiety over future plans feels real. American Teen doesn't overly sentimentalise its material, and even with its pre-credits wrap-up of what the teens ended up doing, it shows that not everybody succeeds in their endeavours, and high school isn't always the best time of everybody's lives.

    It's a concern while watching American Teen whether it's really fly-on-the-wall or not, but it can be said with some certainty these are real high schoolers facing real choices and issues in their lives, and their anxiety over future plans feels real. American Teen doesn't overly sentimentalise its material, and even with its pre-credits wrap-up of what the teens ended up doing, it shows that not everybody succeeds in their endeavours, and high school isn't always the best time of everybody's lives.

  • Jan 05, 2013

    An excellent slice of life documentary. These kids are infinitely more interesting than anyone you'd see on Laguna Beach or The Hills because you can identify with some of the experiences of these teens. It might be a little too black and white, but you can only shape so much narrative in under 2 hours. Bottom line: we all have to deal with the same crap growing up.

    An excellent slice of life documentary. These kids are infinitely more interesting than anyone you'd see on Laguna Beach or The Hills because you can identify with some of the experiences of these teens. It might be a little too black and white, but you can only shape so much narrative in under 2 hours. Bottom line: we all have to deal with the same crap growing up.

  • Dec 18, 2012

    A revealing #documentary looking into the pivotal world of 5 midwestern high school seniors trying to find their way

    A revealing #documentary looking into the pivotal world of 5 midwestern high school seniors trying to find their way

  • Oct 11, 2012

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