Permanent Record

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,692
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Movie Info

High school student Alan Boyce has it all: looks, charm, popularity, excellent grades, a promising future. So why does Boyce abruptly commit suicide? As the shock waves of the boy's death reverberate through the halls of his school, the other students--particularly Boyce's best friend Keanu Reeves--ask themselves if they, too, are capable of self-destruction. As for the adults, Boyce's suicide is one more of a myriad of mysteries concerning "Generation X" (though it was not yet so labelled in 1988). While the film offers no easy answers, either for the characters or the audience, Permanent Record ultimately demonstrates that there are ways to cope with the pressures of life other than taking one's own life. An added bonus: the teenagers in the film act like genuine teenagers, not like TV sitcom wisecrackers or oversexed cretins.

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Alan Boyce
as David Sinclair
Keanu Reeves
as Chris Townsend
Richard Bradford
as Leo Verdell, Principal
Dakin Matthews
as Mr. McBain, Drama Teacher
Barry Corbin
as Jim Sinclair
Kathy Baker
as Martha Sinclair
Joshua Taylor
as Lee Sinclair
Sam Vlahos
as Mr. Townsend
David Selberg
as Dr. Moss, School Superintendent
Ron Jaxon
as Woody
Phil Diskin
as Security Guard
Mark Springer
as Sailors Audition
Lou Reed
as Himself
Carolyn Tomei
as Chemistry Teacher
Jan Merlin
as Minister
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Critic Reviews for Permanent Record

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (7)

  • Pic is populated by profoundly unrewarding characters doing and saying utterly uninteresting things.

    Mar 26, 2009 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • A well-intentioned study of high-school kids coping (and not coping) with the pressures of adolescence, its naturalistic style only makes the more overt dramatic elements look forced and clichéd.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Tom Charity

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The implacable earnestness laid on by the script, which it took three people to put together, is not relieved by the nonstop songs, from rock-and-roll to Gilbert and Sullivan.

    May 21, 2003 | Full Review…
  • To describe the opening scenes makes them seem routine, and yet they captured my attention with an intensity that I still do not understand.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Good intentions and seriousness aside, it's not much of anything -- not terrible, but not terribly engaging or illuminating either.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…
  • A lot of talented people, ranging from Eraserhead's cinematographer (Frederick Elmes) to Choose Me's costume designer (Tracy Tynan), contributed to this muck.

    Jan 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Permanent Record

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