Critics Consensus

Mid90s tells a clear-eyed yet nostalgic coming-of-age tale that might mark the start of an auspicious new career for debuting writer-director Jonah Hill.



Total Count: 216


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,373
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Movie Info

Mid90s follows Stevie, a thirteen-year-old in 90s-era LA who spends his summer navigating between his troubled home life and a group of new friends that he meets at a Motor Avenue skate shop.

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Critic Reviews for Mid90s

All Critics (216) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (175) | Rotten (41)

Audience Reviews for Mid90s

  • Apr 11, 2019
    The interesting thing with this movie is that it's up to you to get something out of it. It doesn't really preach any lessons, it just is. Yeah there are some moments where the boys have some very real conversations, but these feel genuine to them. At it's core it's just a blunt and raw look at a people and a time, that being young skaters in the mid-90s, and honestly it kind of nails it. It's not always pleasant, in fact it's often painfully uncomfortable, but that's genuine to the experience. I guess it's a coming of age story, but I'm not even really sure if the character really comes of age by the end. Landmark moments that would have been romanticized in other films are shown unfiltered here. These people existed, and to a degree these people still do exist. It's not always pleasant, but it's raw and kind of beautiful.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • Feb 18, 2019
    "Relatable" is a word that I see bandied about as praise of various mediums. Well let me tell you, Mid90s was relatable, and it made me very uncomfortable. I like Slice of Life stuff, and I love Coming of Age movies, but I guess Mid90s was not what I needed today. That said, it set out to do a particular thing and it totally did it. And well, you gotta respect that.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 10, 2018
    Honestly, and unfortunately, this might have benefited from being the debut feature of a previously unknown filmmaker rather than that of the writing and directing debut of someone who has worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Bennett Miller. That being said, Jonah Hill's directorial debut is very much his own style, his own thing, which is better than him having tried to ape the style of one of his previous directors. Shot entirely on 16mm and utilizing a 4:3 aspect ratio, one truly feels as if they're experiencing a video made in the era from which the film takes its name. This goes for the spotty ADR in portions as well though I can't tell if this was fully intentional. What is great about Hill's restrained screenplay and promiscuous style of filmmaking though, is that it does ultimately result in this genuine portrait of his subjects which is all Mid90s is really trying to do: provide an authentic representation not only of life two decades ago that feels like yesterday and so long ago simultaneously, but of this time in life in which innocence dissolves into experience. As the father of an almost four-year-old and someone who has a soft spot for nineties nostalgia (I was born in '87) the loss of innocence pains me to a greater extent these days. The ability to capture specific and brutally honest instances that depict this transition is where Hill's film flourishes. The shortcoming of Mid90s is that, while the character work is fantastic and the non-actors Hill has cast generate a true bond between one another, there isn't much else going on. The strained relationship between best friends Ray (Na-kel Smith) and Olan Prenatt's hilariously nicknamed Fuckshit is a highlight as is thirteen-year-old Sunny Suljic's lead performance that carries the feature to some extent. It's near impossible to walk away from Mid90s and not feel the camaraderie between the core group of kids, but at a mere 84-minutes Hill could have had his cake and ate it too by fleshing his characters out further with a little more plotting. Still, the music is great and Mid90s is intriguing enough that I'm anxious to see what Hill does next.
    Philip P Super Reviewer
  • Dec 01, 2018
    This film is like a poor man's Wolf of Wall Street, both in that it is not as great of a film, but also is a smaller scale film about literally poorer characters. Jonah Hill does a good job keeping the feel of film very casual, and the characters, through all of their flaws, end up being likeable. The story feels like it just spins without cause until it comes to stop, but the ride is pretty fun nonetheless.
    Sanjay R Super Reviewer

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