Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982) - Rotten Tomatoes

Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)

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Critic Consensus: 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.

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Movie Info

Based on 22-year-old Cameron Crowe's undercover exposé on life in a Southern California public high school, this groundbreaking effort presents alternately poignant and funny looks at episodes from the lives of some of the students as they prepare themselves for life in the outside world. Many popular stars made their debuts in the film, including Anthony Edwards, Nicolas Cage and Eric Stolz. It is also the film that made Sean Penn a star for his portrayal of the dopey passive/aggressive surfer Jeff Spicoli.

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Cast

Sean Penn
as Jeff Spicoli
Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Stacy Hamilton
Judge Reinhold
as Brad Hamilton
Robert Romanus
as Mike Damone
Brian Backer
as Mark `Rat' Ratner
Phoebe Cates
as Linda Barrett
Ray Walston
as Mr. Hand
D.W. Brown
as Ron Johnson
Forest Whitaker
as Charles Jefferson
Tom Nolan
as Dennis Taylor
Blair Ashleigh
as Pat Bernardo
Eric Stoltz
as Stoner Bud
Stanley Davis Jr.
as Jefferson's Brother
Nicolas Cage
as Brad's Bud
Reginald H. Farmer
as Vice Principal
Anthony Edwards
as Stoner Bud
Pamela Springsteen
as Dina Phillips
Stuart Cornfield
as Pirate King
Stuart Cornfeld
as Pirate King
Sonny Carl Davis
as Businessman
Michael Wyle
as Brad's Bud
Patrick Brennan
as Curtis Spicoli
Julie Guilmette
as Pizza Waitress
Shelly O'Neill
as Pizza Waitress
Stu Nahan
as Himself
Duane Tucker
as Dr. Brandt
Martin Brest
as Dr. Miller
Taylor Negron
as Pizza Guy
Ricky Redlich
as Customer
Nancy Wilson
as Girl in Car
Lois Brandt
as Mrs. O'Rourke
Ellen Fenwick
as Stacy's Mom
Lana Clarkson
as Mrs. Vargas
Roy Holmer Wallack
as Santa Claus
Ava Lazar
as Playmate
Lori Sutton
as Playmate
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News & Interviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Critic Reviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (8)

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…
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Literally time captured in a bottle, this look at generic high school kids living their lives catches the feel of the times pretty well, and without the inclusion of without-a-clue parents to distract. In fact, the main older people are the teachers simply trying to do their jobs. The soundtrack is as good as the kids' hunger for acceptance, and the language of the script doesn't strain itself like in so many other coming-of-age masterpieces. A good bet.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

½

It's certainly flawed, however, Sean Penn gives a bravura performance and the film has ample nostalgic charm and humor to entertain. It is, however, nowhere as near touching or deep as John Hughes' The Breakfast Club and Pretty Pink which manage to capture the essence of high school not just through classic clichés, but through atmospheric cinematography and messages that transcend the basic "growing up is tough." The film ultimately, despite being relatable, doesn't accomplish a whole lot.

Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

LOL funny but not terribly memorable. I find young Jennifer Jason Leigh's moonface utterly forgettable (unlike her adult jagged little pill face), but she does well when she tells Damone, "No. Take that back," after he accuses her of wanting sex more than he did. My favorite character would have to be Brad, played by the Honorable Judge Reinhold. He's a doofy but supportive older brother who gets some great dad-ish lines, "Learn it. Know it. Live it."

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

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