Paranoid Park - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Paranoid Park Reviews

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½ August 28, 2016
Gus Van Sant goes surprisingly deep into the thoughts of a confused teenager and directs a complete study on guilt with absolute realism. The thriller part isn't fascinating, but overall "Paranoid Park" is a rewarding experience thanks to the gradual unveiling of the truth, the great editing, the interesting performance of Gabe Nevins and the unadorned ending.
February 2, 2016
A psychologic movie that marks you forever
December 6, 2015
Not brilliant, but too intriguing to dismiss or ignore. Wants to be some sort of middle-class, modern-day cautionary fairytale, but won't be pigeonholed. Definitely frustrating and disappointing at times, but so well observed that you quickly find yourself forgetting those moments and becoming engrossed again.
November 7, 2015
Joder y es que ser adolescente no es fácil y Van Sant logra meternos en la cabeza de un adolescente en una película de maravillosas imágenes, sonidos y una música apabullante.
September 19, 2015
Paranoid Park has some good ideas and portrays its teenage characters fairly accurately with a nice Indie feel to it but when the central plot point is such an underdeveloped McGuffin and all other surrounding actions in the film seem pointless, one has to wonder if the film had any real purpose.
½ March 18, 2015
Some people compared this film to Margaret. Only the guilt theme is common, the films are completely different. The characters are dealing with it very differently. This film is short and moody, slow moving. I take it more as a vignette on the theme. The adolescent might as well have killed a neighbour's dog by accident and given the same response. The adolescent world is well rendered and I was again transported back in time. Definitely good for tv.
March 17, 2015
I know that's it quality work, I just really hate teenagers.
Super Reviewer
January 2, 2015
Not as interested and excited as the plot seemed like. Quite slow and boring with something missing i felt through the movie. Could have been alot better.. Others may find more value in it tho then me..
September 12, 2014
Good film, you can see that Gus Van Sant has a knack of taking a short story and making it into a full length feature by putting montages together and long awkward scenes where very little happens. It's not too bad though, I mean it's not Bela Tarr levels. A decent little indie flick.
August 4, 2014
(First and only viewing - 4/6/2013)
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
½ May 30, 2014
The title of and, by extension, name of the skate park featured in this film sounds like a punk rock band, or a punk rock song, or a cheesy horror film... or a film about skateboarders. I knew that if we waited long enough, then we'd get an abstractionist Gus Van Sant drama whose title is actually relevant to the film itself, and I'm surprised that such a time came at the point in which Van Sant went full-blown French with his art films. Well, I don't know how much influence this film takes from its French roots anyways, because it's set in America, is by an American filmmaker, is English-language, and about skateboarding, which I didn't think France was cool enough to have. Shoot, I don't even believe that Portland, Oregon, is cool enough for skateboarding, even though that's kind of its thing, and I don't think that this film helped with that stereotype, because for whatever reason, this dorky little film about skateboarding is kind of abstract and intentionally unfocused. Oh, it's not like it's that much less exciting than "Lords of Dogtown"... or "Street Dreams", or "Tilva Ro", or "Gleaming the Cube", and so on and so forth. Well, it's amazing how many films about skateboarding are kind of dull, - ostensibly because a lot of them take place in Portland, Oregon - but at least plenty of them aren't so dull that you can't enjoy them, admittedly including this film, which, alas, doesn't see Van Sant completely doing away with his stylistic overambitions, at least not all the way.

What saves the film from falling to the mediocrity that claimed each installment in the "Death Trilogy" is largely its featuring a fair deal of more grounded storytelling attributes, and perhaps partly its being a little more realized with its overt artistic liberties, yet when it comes to the transitions between these two extremes in narrative stylization, it's as unrealized as ever, awkwardly jarring you between traditional and abstractionist storytelling styles, and making matters all the more awkward by not being as unique as it wants to be with either style extremes. No matter what the storytelling style is, it typically descends into tropes, breaking up genuinely refreshing dramatic and thematic elements with conventions that betray a potentially unique film, and make familiar issues all the more glaring. Again, when the film abandons a traditionalist style for abstractionism or experimentation, the artistic license usually isn't carried too far away, but when it does, it goes way out there, with ethereal visuals and atmospherics, and an intentionally draggy and disjointed narrative focus which, before too long, doesn't so much get to be uneven as much as it goes abandoned. One would expect to eventually get a grip on a film which follows a nonlinear narrative, and I suppose you can here, but it's just so difficult, and it's not long before, if anything, you have trouble feeling as though it's worth it to place investment in this unfocused, maybe even paceless opus. It doesn't help that Gus Van Sant's direction, while at the liveliest it had been in years with this project, often slips into dry spells, deriving from a thoughtfulness that, upon running out of material to soak up, drives momentum to a crawl that ranges from bland to, well, borderline tedious. All of these issues ruined Van Sant's preceding three films, and whether it be because he's trying to distinguish this artistic endeavor from the "Death Trilogy", or simply because he's starting to get a more comfortable understanding of experimental filmmaking, they're not as prominent, while strengths found in the other Van Sant films of this type feel brought more to light, thus, the final product is saved, but just barely, as it's still too uneven, overblown and, well, dull for its own good. Nonetheless, the film doesn't fall so often that it can't get back enough momentum to endear, at least as dramatically decent and, of course, stylistic solid.

Even the film's soundtrack is aesthetically sound, getting to be a little too diverse for its own good, to the point of incorporating a lame hip-hop tune and punishing hardcore punk tune, but generally delivering on plenty of respectable tunes which liven things up, as surely as a very French, unoriginal soundscape, if not classical score capture the abstractionist feel for this drama with haunting taste. The visual style further adds to the more effective artistic flavors of this effort, with Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li delivering on cinematography that is often simple, and just as often breathtaking, with crisply well-defined emphasis on certain distinguished areas in lighting, if not color that, when met with such intriguing images as grainy tracking shots of skateboarding, proves to be hypnotic. The film is sometimes captivatingly beautiful, musically and visually, I'm not going to lie, and that most reflects the stylistic inspiration which sets this endeavor a fair ways away from something like the "Death Trilogy", and it helps that, this time around, Gus Van Sant has a bit of a better idea on how to play with both the style and the substance. Mind you, there are times in which Van Sant goes right back to being misguided in a manner that threatens to ruin the final product with artistic bloatings, but on the whole, you really can see Van Sant both returning to his roots as an effective traditionalist dramatic filmmaker, and making solid progress as a minimal artistic filmmaker, to where style and atmosphere are utilized in a thoughtful way that is often genuinely immersive and sometimes subtly powerful in doing justice to worthy subject matter. This film's story concept is a little obscured by an artistically overblown and intentionally disjointed, if not unfocused interpretation, but not as much as the narratives of the near-totally abstractly structured "Death Trilogy" installments, for Van Sant opens enough room for you to get a grip on themes regarding a teen's awkwardness being exacerbated by a terrible secret whose heart is kept pumping by aforementioned heights in dramatic storytelling, and by consistent heights in acting. Well, maybe the acting heights aren't too recurrent, considering sparsity's limiting material for the performers to work with, but if nothing else in this film is consistently compelling, it's the efforts of 16-year-old newcomer Gabe Nevins, who nails the awkward teen traits with a certain charm, in addition to a subtlety that, on top of feeling nuanced in its naturalism, graces emoting highlights with a piercing grace which anchors the dramatic heights of this very intimate character study. The film may let itself down time and again, but the very young and very talented Nevins is never less than endearing, which isn't to say that there aren't enough other elements which endear you to the final product as a reasonably intriguing drama, with solid highlights, limited though they may be by artistic flimsiness.

Overall, storytelling style sees an inconsistency in groundedness and a consistency in conventions, and is often overblown in a disjointed, if not unfocused fashion, often made all the more distancing by dull atmospheric dry spells, thus, the final product is threatened, but saved by the solid soundtrack, breathtaking visual style, and intriguing subject matter - whose dramatic core is often done justice by directorial highlights and a compelling lead performance by Gabe Nevins - that make Gus Van Sant's "Paranoid Park" a generally engaging and often effective experimental drama on the struggles of a youth with dark secrets, despite its bloatings and shortcomings.

2.5/5 - Fair
April 24, 2014
En mi opinión, lo único memorable de esta película es su soundtrack. Y soy skater.
March 18, 2014
Un film de esos para el recuerdo, y una obra maestra más de Van Sant.
January 9, 2014
A great visual film about a confused teenager skater, a tragedy, a disturbing film.
October 16, 2013
It's not as emotionally stimulating as it tries to make out to be, with too many scenes of slow motion that manage to crop up every so often taking you out of the story, but Gus Van Sant utilizes lead Nevins by giving a performance that makes you feel the guilt and shame he feels for what he's done. The film does do well in show casing the life of skateboarding to almost near perfection as well as capturing the problems teen adolescents deal with on a day to day basis.
October 12, 2013
A simple, but interesting story that's told like memories from the protagonist. It has a stylish direction and good cinematography, but despite being a relatively short movie it feels longer than it is. I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't see it again.
September 20, 2013
Gracias a esta peli, tengo ganas de ver más películas de Gus Van Sant.
September 5, 2013
One of Van Sant's best.
½ August 13, 2013
Very interesting and well done flick from the mind of Gus Van Sant.
Despite the flaws, it's a pretty good loss of innocence flick.
½ July 15, 2013
estuvo buena, lástima ese penoso final
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