Three O'Clock High - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Three O'Clock High Reviews

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June 20, 2016
School dork must confront bully after school in this comedic look at the imagination of a teenager.
April 30, 2016
Funny and good camera action. Worth watching again.

New kid comes to school with stories circulating about how bad he is and when a school journalist gets picked to do a story on him he gets challenged to a fight after school with him for the attempt.
March 23, 2016
Funny as well as uniquely entertaining, Three O'Clock High delivers notable performances from Casey Siemaszko and Richard Tyson in an enjoyable flick that successfully puts itself in the same league as other beloved 80s teen comedies.
February 19, 2016
very good movie I'm surprised not that popular.
February 12, 2016
Such a great movie from the 80's! Who else saw this back in the day?
½ February 6, 2016
"This Movie Is On My List Of 10 Movies That Should Never Be Remade"

***** 1/4

Looking Back On It I Feel That This Movie Is Like A Stupide Funny
"Saved By The Bell"
Teen Comedy With More Of An Edge Of Drama & Violence Added On To It.

For Me The Film Was Definitely Entertaining & On My List Top 10 List Of Movies That Should Never Be Remade.

~

I Give This Film An A - (Amazing)
October 18, 2015
I always tell whoever is about to watch this movie the same thing... If you can make it through the first 4 minutes you will be just fine. See the 80's was a confusing time full of confusing and terrible ideas. Especially when it came to music and clothes, so I guess the director thought that 4 minute song in the intro was going to be a big hit. Well it wasn't, in fact it was fucking awful. With that being said the movie only sky rockets up from there. The main protagonist is from a breed of teenage actors that no longer exists anymore sadly. He is convincing and likable. The bully may be a 34 year old psychopath but fuck it, he works, it works, and the movie is fucking awesome. Even the 80's music nearing the end is way better than expected and ALMOST makes up for the 4 minute nightmare in the beginning. Three O'Clock High shows me two things: the first that simplicity works, and second, you don't need young shit for brain models for actors.
July 17, 2015
Said to be a 1980's high school version of the Western classic High Noon, Three O'Clock High sounded like a fun twist on genres.

The intro scene of Three O'Clock High essentially dictates how the entire film will end up playing out. It all happens in the style of a stereotypical 1980's problem solving montage against the backdrop of a nostalgic soundtrack, and this ends up happening consistently over the course of the film. Considering that the film takes a style over substance approach, its rather good that Phil Joanou found a distinctive style to settle on.
The story itself is a very simple one. In keeping with its 80's roots, Three O'Clock High is full of thin character archetypes and simplistic plot dynamics The protagonist is a very geeky character whose natural attitude drags him down with the wrong crowd, and it does't take much for it to happen. The course of the story changes in the matter of once scene where things become suddenly intense from there and the pace speeds up even faster. The story remains simplistic the entire time and is structured to unfold as a series of conventional dynamics all in a quick rush. The success of the film ends up predicated all on how much the viewer takes joy in 1980's movie tropes. For me, I found that the way that Phil Joanou put them to use in Three O'Clock High was very original, if shallow and a quite silly.
The tone of the film is interesting. As a film very heavy on its 80's style, there is a genuine charm in the film which is full of nostalgic value and atmosphere. Running at such a fast pace, Three O'Clock High is essentially a fast journey through countless 80's movie tropes with a sense that it is taking them seriously and yet pointing fun at them at the same time, effectively giving the film a comedic mood with a touch of drama. Frankly, the general charming mood of the film and overall style of it all transcends the thin nature of the story and ensures that the experience is a fun one. Even though I got lost in the energy of the film I will admit that it was a little too silly at some moments as well as being predictable at heart, but there is just a genuine sense of 80's charm from this film which comes partially from the fact that the lack of recognition that the film or the cast have makes it an underrated high school comedy cult classic.
In terms of genuine film style, Three O'Clock High does a surprisingly good job for a film with such a low budget. The entire film is a convincing one which uses a lot of colourful scenery from its high school setting which it captures with an innovative style of cinematography. Intending on creating an intense atmosphere, the cinematography in Three O'Clock High makes strong use of zoom techniques which give the film the feel of one from the classical era, effectively bringing along the western elements implied by the presence of a story based on High Noon. There are many moments in the film which feature the quick editing of a music video, and this is key in consistently keeping the film quick-moving. And when this combines with the close up cinematography of the film, it effectively packs Three O'Clock High with a lot of stylish imagery.
And on top of all that, the thin characters of the film are made into charming tropes by the performances of the cast.
Casey Siemaszko proves to be the ideal lead for Three O'Clock High. Casey Siemaszko is the living embodiment of the the stereotypical high school geek. Though he is not a stereotypical nerd, Casey Siemaszko captures a neurotic and overbearing persona which fits the role with ideal energy. He has a restrained persona about him which progressively becomes more charismatic as the story progresses and gets more intense. This effectively gives the film a protagonist who actively develops with the story, and the entire time Casey Siemaszko is able to keep up with all the cliches by matching them with an appropriately stereotypical persona and a genuinely likable charm. His line delivery is subtle at first, but it becomes progressively more involved and brings the audience closer to the character. By keeping his awkward persona active throughout all the plot dynamics, Casey Siemaszko keeps the comedic nature of the film alive. He really ensures that the film surrounds him well by actively keeping up with the energetic pacing with plenty of physical involvement in everything going on around him. Casey Siemaszko proves an effective lead for Three O'Clock High for such a largely unknown actor, and his low proflile status adds to the everyman nature of the part.
Buddy Revell is an underdeveloped supporting character. Keeping with the trope nature of the film, Buddy Revell is a stereotypical high school bully. Yet there are times in the film where Three O'Clock High makes a genuine effort to add something more to the character, perhaps to add a sense of genuine drama to the film. Unfortunately, the shallow nature of the film buries the potential beneath a heavily conventional archetype. But considering that the film is full of these in every way imaginable, it can't be considered too much of a problem. And even then, the performance of Richard Tyson is an effective one. His screen time is limited, but the amount of emphasis that the other characters put behind the antagonistic nature of the character is lived up to whenever he's on screen. He essentially establishes a combination of Michael Deluise and a young Harrison Ford, standing with an intimidating stature and delivering his linese with as sense of cleverly articulated anger. The role doesn't demand much from him, but he easily delivers on his promises with an intense line delivery and a genuine threatening demeanour. Richard Tyson is a powerful touch.
The presence of Jeffrey Tambor and Phillip Baker Hall is also welcome.

So though Three O'Clock High is a shallow film packed with 1980's cliches, it embraces that notion with a fast pace and a lot of comedic energy which gives it a charming nostalgic mood.
June 27, 2015
Cute and corny. It's worth a casual watch...really brings back the 80's but not in kind of "cool" way. The camera work is really the only thing notable about the whole movie.
½ January 15, 2015
This was one of the 'classic' '80s films that's eluded me over the years, so I was happy to finally cross it off the list of shame. The wife and I were both kind of struck by how ahead of its time the film felt, and how well it still holds together even all these years later.

Well worth a rental!
½ December 1, 2014
Better then many of the more famous 80's high school comedies. It still feels dated and it meant for a younger audience but there is enough uniqueness to make it unpredictable. Some good characters on top of that make this a film you don't have to see but you wont regret seeing.
October 16, 2014
Really cool obscure high school movie from the '80s. A nerdy guy named Jerry gets threatened by the new student who is a psycho named Buddy Revell and a fight is set up for after school at Three O'Clock. The music and the camera work are great and it's awesome seeing all the crazy ways Jerry tries to get out of the fight. The whole movie completely delivers and more people should check it out.
½ September 13, 2014
Who didn't grow up with that 'wait till after school'dread at the least once.Funny and schlocky with just enough soul.
July 29, 2014
(First and only viewing - 12/23/2010)
TheDudeLebowski65
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2014
When you think of classic 80's teen films, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink and all other John Hughes films quickly come to mind. But like the horror genre, there has been other great films overshadowed by the more popular films. I think that this is the case with Three O'clock High. This is a superb Teen comedy that has had the misfortunate of being a forgotten gem of the genre. This is a well acted film, one that has impressive performances from its lead actors, and the film also some well written characters as well. Three O'clock High is a real treat, and everything about the film is very well done in such a way that it capture the feel of high school, along with its dilemmas. The film features an astounding soundtrack by Tangerine Dream, whose music greatly enhances some key scenes, which is only perfected by Cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld. Sonnefeld's camerawork is terrific here, and the way that he has lensed the film adds something quite unique to the atmosphere of the film. Three O'clock High is a terrific picture, one that deserves to be rediscovered. I think it's a great shame that the film got overshadowed by other genre film, but hopefully you can rediscover this hidden gem. This is a very funny film, one that uses its cast quite well, and if you enjoy this genre, you're definitely going to love this film. With some wonderful performances by Casey Siemaszko and Richard Tyson, you have a highly entertaining comedy that is never boring, and even if it's not perfect, you can forget its flaws, and enjoy this film for what it is, a forgotten teen comedy that is well worth a second look. If you've enjoyed all of the films by John Hughes, but want a film of the same decade, that has effective comedy, teen angst and other issues, Three O'clock High is well worth seeing, and is is one of the best forgotten 80's comedies that I have seen.
July 4, 2014
High Noon set in a high school. This slipped passed me for some reason. Liked it. Quality ending.
April 22, 2014
To me, this movie is an all time classic. It's a High School Bully film taking place in the 1980s. A Goliath vs. David fight. Jerry, the nerdy kid in the movie, accidentally upsets a bully/criminal and does everything he can to avoid fighting him. The setups are perfect, and hilarious.
September 5, 2013
One of those movies you happen to catch on cable and love forever. So many little moments in the movie, I still remember. Maybe one of the greatest lines in 3 O'clock comes at the end, in the gym. It could be used in sports, work and in life. A true gem, and I own it.
½ August 8, 2013
I remember loving this movie at age 8.
July 4, 2013
Who would have thought the kid wearing the 3D glasses in Back to the Future, some virtually unknown director and Mitch Pileggi would make the best high school movie of the 80's. Look for Philip Baker Hall as the inspector.
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