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Dazed and Confused (1993)

tomatometer

94

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Reviews Counted: 52
Fresh: 49 | Rotten: 3

Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.

91

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.

audience

90

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 231,820

My Rating

Movie Info

Like George Lucas' American Graffiti, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is an affectionate look at the youth culture of a bygone era. While Lucas took aim at the conservative 1950's, Linklater jumps ahead a generation to the bicentennial year of 1976 to celebrate the joys of beer blasts, pot smoking and Frampton Comes Alive. Set on the last day of the academic year, the film follows the random activities of a sprawling group of Texas high schoolers as they celebrate the arrival of summer,

R,

Comedy

Richard Linklater

Jun 30, 1998

Gramercy Pictures

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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (3) | DVD (30)

The teenage wasteland, 1976-style, of Dazed and Confused is smack-dab between The Brady Bunch and Children of the Damned , and it's a scary, if sometimes giddily amusing, place to visit.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bet it makes you wanna dance.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seriously funny, and shorn of any hint of nostalgia or wish-fulfilment, this is pretty much where it's at.

August 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A better-than-average teen movie but not much more, at least if you aren't a member of Linklater's generation.

July 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (3)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seriously funny, and shorn of any hint of nostalgia or wish-fulfilment, this is pretty much where it's at.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dazed and Confused has an enjoyably playful spirit, one that amply compensates for its lack of structure.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

glorifies bullying and tries to balance it with pseudo-intellectual contemplation

September 5, 2013 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

Has the look and spirit of the time down pat. Unfortunately it captures only the worst of the typical misogynistic, foul mouthed druggie losers of the period.

July 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah) | Comments (8)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

The film transcends the common barriers and becomes a living spiritual entity, encompassing the essence and tone of an era.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

It may have seemed like a movie that was out of time, but it turned out to be perfectly in sync with the restlessness of the early 90s as well.

November 4, 2011 Full Review Source: Scene-Stealers.com
Scene-Stealers.com

Like the moustache sported by Matthew McCounaughey's character, Dazed And Confused is sleazy, amusing and quite, quite awesome.

August 8, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Despite some gags which use the benefit of hindsight too much for their own good, this is a smart piece of filmmaking which suggests Linklater is already one of the more formidable talents of the 90s.

July 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Plenty of drug use with very little consequence.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

An affectionate but unsentimental recreation of suburban teen culture in the rock -- and pot -- drenched 70s.

July 19, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

A slightly above average plotless teen film filled with nostalgia.

October 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comment (1)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The film is actually like high school, and not a movie about high school. There's a big difference, and that's why the film has quickly become one of the biggest cult classics of the last twenty years.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

Linklater's first masterpiece--possibly his best film--presents an accurate collective portrait of youth circa 1976, which unfolds in a casual, spontaneous, and charming manner as interlaced tales of pranks and adventures.

June 10, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Linklater set out to make a film that was, in its own way, timeless, and the passing of years has only reinforced his against-the-odds success.

June 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Dazed and Confused is a perfect movie. It flawlessly captures the spirit of the '70s while arguing for a clear universality in the high school experience.

May 27, 2006 Full Review Source: DVDTalk.com | Comments (2)
DVDTalk.com

O tom nostálgico, embalado por uma trilha impecável, confere um charme irresistível ao filme.

May 15, 2006
Cinema em Cena

Hysterically Funny and ultimately enriching, "Dazed and Confused" takes some pretty genuine themes - rebelling, the thought of growing up too fast, and life after school - and spices it with a nice blend of wired humour.

May 6, 2005
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Dazed and Confused

Richard Linklater is one of those directors that consistently delivers fresh and original material yet somehow remains a filmmaker with a lower profile. His projects certainly gain the respect they deserve but they never really go over and above that in terms of awards. He's always been innovative and has adopted some daring approaches to filmmaking with the likes of his free-form indie debut "Slacker", the expansive "Before Sunrise" trilogy, the philosophical "Waking Life" and it's rotoscope animated companion piece "A Scanner Darkly". Even his forthcoming "Boyhood" - a 12 year project following a boy's journey from 5 to 18 years old - is a feat that few, if any, directors have tackled. However, one of his most poignant and entertaining escapades happens to be the mosaic "Dazed and Confused". It was largely ignored upon it's release but has since gained a strong cult status. And for very good reason.

The year is 1976 and it's the last day of high school in a small Texan suburbia. Everyone's up for a party and in search of booze and drugs but first, the incoming freshmen must go through some embarrassing initiation rituals organised by the senior students, who take great pleasure in putting the youngsters in their places.

Much like his aforementioned and experimental approach to "Slacker", Linklater doesn't have a lot going on narratively. He's fully aware of this, however, and acts only as a mere vessel in allowing his actors the space to breathe and run free in their roles. That being said, there's still a complete focus here and the result is far more solid and entertaining than his debut. It's not often I'll praise a film for it's lack of narrative but in the case of "Dazed and Confused" it's the characterisation that leads the way and each and every one of the actors really shine; Wiley Wiggins is our young guide throughout this turbulent time for teenagers as he falls into a friendship with the senior students on his last day of freshman year and Linklater astutely captures a whole myriad of teenage angst and the carefree emotions of a disaffected youth.

Let's not forget that this was only Linklater's second film and it wasn't just him that was finding his way, but also the impressive cast that he put together. Largely unknown at the time of the film's release, many of the actors would go on to become part of the Hollywood firmament. We get well judged performances from all sorts of high school types; from Jason London and his jock pals Sasha Jenson and Cole Hauser to Rory Cochrane's stoner, Adam Goldberg's nerd and Ben Affleck, playing one of his most unlikeable characters, as the school bully. The most memorable from the entirely great ensemble, though, is a small but dynamic and scene stealing role for Matthew McConaughey as the older guy who refuses to grow up and move on.

Outwith the performances, Linklater also has a keen eye for capturing the 70's setting (in all it's flair and hair) and taps perfectly into the tone of the era. It's a nostalgic look back at daunting initiations, rebellion and the agonising awkwardness of adolescence and it's told with an affectionate wit and charm. I may not have went to an American high school or got involved in tanning some freshman ass with a pre-made baton but the energy and love for this poignant time really shines through and still operates at a level that will appeal to everyone who has any memory at all of their school experiences or peer pressure.

Sharing much in common with George Lucas' "American Graffiti" or Greg Mottola's more contemporary "Superbad", this is a funny and insightful coming-of-age contemplation. Linklater has delivered some wonderful film's over the years and I'm sure he'll continue to do so but, so far, this is his best film to date. It's absolutely superb.

Mark Walker
March 12, 2014
MrMarakai

Super Reviewer

One of 1976's--I mean, 1993's best movies.

Full review coming to themoviefreakblog.com on August 27, 2013.
August 1, 2013
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

One of the best movies concerning teen life ever done. This film basically covers the last, epic day of school for some bored kids in Texas, who elect to cause mayhem and party once night falls. It's a rare feat for a director (in this case, Richard Linklater) to give us a couple stereotypes and get them a little tipsy, yet somehow get his audience completely enamored with what is going on. This is the ultimate nostalgic movie really, one yearns for the last days of high school when viewing this film. I just had a blast watching this movie, and the biggest thing it boasts is that its very re-watchable. There are some scenes in this film that hit home for me, some of the thrills these characters encounter certainly take me back to some of the best moments I had in my younger life, and I can say with confidence that this is a top movie for me, and one that everyone should watch if they desire to return to their younger years from time to time.
July 23, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

    1. Slater: Are you cool, man?
    2. Mitch Kramer: Like how?
    3. Slater: Okay.
    – Submitted by David E (3 months ago)
    1. O'Bannion: Oh you didn't hear? I got a shotgun pulled on my ass!
    – Submitted by Oliverr & (11 months ago)
    1. Kevin Pickford: Walkin' down the hall, by myself, smokin' a jay with fifty elves.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (14 months ago)
    1. Kevin Pickford: Don, give the beer back, man!
    2. Don Dawson: I paid for the beer, man.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (14 months ago)
    1. Simone: What a bitch she called me a slut. I'm gonna kick her ass.
    2. Darla: You said you wouldn't get mad.
    3. Simone: I'm not mad!
    – Submitted by Kelly E (14 months ago)
    1. Darla: We know you they talk about us, what do they say?
    2. Shavonne: No they don't.
    3. Darla: You're lying you bitch. When you do that I know you're lying.
    4. Simone: Come on you can tell us.
    5. Shavonne: Don't get mad.
    6. Simone: I'm not gonna get mad I'm just curious.
    7. Shavonne: Ok she called you a bitch and you a slut. [laughs]
    8. Darla: She called me a bitch! Thats funny! What a riot.
    – Submitted by Kelly E (14 months ago)
View all quotes (93)

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Latest News on Dazed and Confused

May 22, 2013:
Richard Linklater Plans "Spiritual Sequel" to Dazed and Confused
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