American Teen Reviews

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April 6, 2015
This is not compelling film making; it just makes you hope that these kids will lighten up and learn to enjoy life.
August 23, 2012
The presence of a film crew may have encouraged drama.
August 15, 2011
It keeps assuring us that all is basically well.
March 13, 2011
It pains me to say it, but as far as I can see it's an extended and slightly better crafted example of those fake 'reality TV' shows.
May 26, 2009
In contrast to other recent documentaries about coming of age in America, American Teen seems somewhat simplistic, perhaps naive.
March 7, 2009
An addictive documentary that'll have you cheering and crying, then waiting for the director to jump out from behind your sofa and say it was all a big joke.
March 7, 2009
The tears and laughter are genuine enough, but Berstein's orchestrations make her less of a fly on the wall than a fly in the ointment.
March 6, 2009
It's a lightly amusing film but it's also an unchallenging one which reinforces presumptions about kids rather than surprising with new insights. It floats in the shallow end of filmmaking.
March 6, 2009
This film was for me marred by the persistent suspicion that the director wasn't being entirely straight with us.
March 6, 2009
She shoehorns their personal details into predictable teen movie narrative arcs, draining any life out of them in the process and turning them into annoying caricatures. narrative arcs, draining any life out of them in the process and turni
January 7, 2009
American Teen presents itself as getting inside the lives of America's current youth culture. But the very idea of individuality is lost because it doesn't go deep enough into the lives of its subjects to fully convey the idea.
December 20, 2008
Doesn't take full advantage of the opportunity offered by a year-long glimpse into young lives. One is left to wonder what Errol Morris would have done with the challenge.
December 7, 2008
...has its heart in the right place, but I don't think it breaks any new ground exploring the teen years.
November 19, 2008
Despite its genuinely seductive veneer, American Teen doesn't have anything to say about the adolescent condition that American Graffiti didn't already cover off in 1973.
October 18, 2008
John Hughes called. He wants his movie back.
September 22, 2008
A blatantly direct pastiche of The Breakfast Club, if not The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2.
August 27, 2008
Burstein's goal was to film an authentic senior year of high school. Instead she showed that it's almost an impossibility.
August 25, 2008
See this film to relive those high school days that you have tried to forget. Or, just talk to your kids.
August 21, 2008
It's diverting if you don't mind the pretense, or if you believe everything you see at the movies.
August 16, 2008
While Nanette Burstein's naturalistic approach is admirable, the results are stereotypical, capturing a feeling of authenticity despite some obvious staging.
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