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While Fast Times at Ridgemont High features Sean Penn's legendary performance, the film endures because it accurately captured the small details of school, work, and teenage life. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is a pretty, but inexperienced, teen interested in dating. Given advice by her uninhibited friend, Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates), Stacy gets trapped in a love triangle with nice guy Mark Ratner (Brian Backer) and his more assured buddy Mike Damone (Robert Romanus). Meanwhile, Stacy's classmate Jeff Spicoli (Sean Penn), who lives for surfing and being stoned, faces off against Mr. Hand (Ray Walston), a strict teacher who has no time for the slacker's antics.

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Critic Reviews for Fast Times at Ridgemont High

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (12)

  • What it doesn't have is a clear point of view, something that would make it of more interest than leafing through a high school yearbook.

    August 12, 2015 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Director Amy Heckerling has failed to provide the raunch or poignancy that would interest young moviegoers, all of whom have seen American Graffiti and its 467 imitators. Ridgemont High? A nice place to visit, but who would want to transfer there?

    March 13, 2009 | Full Review…
  • Fast Times will always be remembered for one thing: showing respect for and insight into the members of its core audience, something that was as rare in the 1980s as it is today.

    June 10, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The nice thing is that Crowe and director Amy Heckerling have provided something pleasant to observe in all of these characters though they really are sadly lacking in anything gripping.

    July 18, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Was never all it was cracked up to be.

    July 18, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Lacks the frenzied energy which allowed Porky's to beat all competitors in its field.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Fast Times at Ridgemont High

  • Jul 20, 2016
    A film that I grew up with and had seen thousands of times. It's an amazing look into teenage life during the nineteen-eighties. It has countless memorable scenes and is one of the most quotable films to date. While it is thoroughly entertaining and it does boast a huge all-star cast, it has this issue of not being able to fall into any one genre. The movie hits a ton of places on the emotional spectrum. However, it isn't too much. The movie finds a good balance and plays it really well.
    Brandon S Super Reviewer
  • Feb 05, 2016
    A slightly surreal but extremely appealing look into teenage life in early 1980s America which explores many of the era's teenage issues from sex to working to tediously long food lines and people serving fries before they're fully prepared. Many today could see this as an overtly "nostalgic" film, but if it is, it's a pretty damn good nostalgia flick.
    Kal X. A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 05, 2014
    This flick is a little aged but the humour is still there. So many young stars all ready to meet their potential.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2014
    Fast Times At Ridgemont High is an iconic '80s teen sex comedy with a stellar cast that includes Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Judge Reinhold, and Phoebe Cates. Written by Cameron Crowe, the film follows a group of teenagers as they deal with relationship, work, and school issues. Unfortunately, the script is rather weak and doesn't do a very good job at connecting the characters and the issues that they're struggling with. The film's tone is also problematic; as it wants to address the issues that teenagers struggle with, but gives them no weight. Too fast for its own good, Fast Times At Ridgemont High gets by mostly on the charisma of its cast.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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