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Using a smartly assembled blend of archival footage and well-made re-enactments, Teenage surveys the rise of adolescent culture with tenderness and wit. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Early 20th century diaries provide a glimpse into the birth of youth culture.

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Critic Reviews for Teenage

All Critics (66) | Top Critics (30) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (15)

  • A roughly chronological jumble of archival footage, unconvincing period reenactments, gauzy voice-overs, and half-baked ideas that makes one yearn for the stolid dullness of a History Channel documentary.

    May 22, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Deftly weaves together various media in a way that breathes its own youthful, stream-of-conscious life into the documentary genre.

    May 22, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There's no "there" there in "Teenage," a meandering mess of a documentary that has the feel of a bloated, inchoate term paper.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4
  • If by the end, a clear definition of the teenager hasn't emerged, that's cool. Teenagers don't know what they are either.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 3/5
  • Wolf's sympathy for youth movements compensates for the distraction of the new scenes, and the fascinating old footage seals the deal.

    April 24, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • If Teenage delivers a sweeping generalization or two (or three) ... Wolf's documentary makes up for it with footage that's just too good to be ignored.

    April 18, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A roughly chronological jumble of archival footage, unconvincing period reenactments, gauzy voice-overs, and half-baked ideas that makes one yearn for the stolid dullness of a History Channel documentary.

    May 22, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Deftly weaves together various media in a way that breathes its own youthful, stream-of-conscious life into the documentary genre.

    May 22, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There's no "there" there in "Teenage," a meandering mess of a documentary that has the feel of a bloated, inchoate term paper.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 1.5/4
  • If by the end, a clear definition of the teenager hasn't emerged, that's cool. Teenagers don't know what they are either.

    May 8, 2014 | Rating: 3/5
  • Teenage casts an intoxicating spell, but in the haze of war and underground dance parties, it doesn't have the time to help us understand what the hell it all means.

    March 28, 2019 | Rating: 7/1 | Full Review…
  • It is [an] extremely accomplished and suggestive work, but it also lacks the clarity and insight into the subject matter that is present in the book. It is a film that bewitches in the screening but lingers less in the aftermath.

    March 7, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Teenage

  • Mar 25, 2014
    A companion piece to the book Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, 1875-1945. As the title states we're exploring the development of youth culture from 1875 to 1945. So, this film does not venture into teen culture of the 1950s, 1960s, or beyond. This was the most disappointing part, that the doc did not draw any connections between this time period and the decades to come. The young actors styled to look like teens of various times and places with journal entries narrated to tell their specific stories worked well. However, it is all the archival materials that bring the formation of the term teenagers to life.
    Byron B Super Reviewer

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