Three O'Clock High - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Three O'Clock High Reviews

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½ December 28, 2017
Three O'Clock High is a movie about toxic masculinity. It may not have been seen that way in 1987 when the film arrived in theaters, but today there is no denying it. Toxic Masculinity is defined in modern social science as traditionally male behaviors in relation to the expression of dominance. Such behaviors are detrimental to mental health and often times are expressed in actions or behaviors that are sexist, misogynistic, racist, or homophobic. Three O'Clock High ticks almost all of those hateful behaviors in just over 90 minutes of screen time.
July 16, 2017
Great classic 80's movie. I can't believe Ebert gave it a one star and a thumbs down...was he watching the same movie?!?
Definitely a cult classic.
You have to take these types of movies for what they are...and this is another 80's comedy movie like Just one of the Guys, Can't Buy Me Love, ect.
½ July 10, 2017
Really awesome, overly directed, teen comedy
May 19, 2017
It's no Ferris Bueller, but it has its moments.

½ May 17, 2017
So neat, So careful. As unbelievable as it is, it's still an entertaining Classic. This was Amazing in every shot. No wonder this got ripped off so much nowadays, they took the formula and make this film a "Clean Kill". And this film has an Amazing film Score! Well done.
February 20, 2017
It is exactly what it's supposed to be, funny. You suspend disbelief and enjoy. There are some classic scenes that stand the test of time and make this one of the best 80's movies, that for some reason, doesn't get its due.
February 9, 2017
4.0/5.0 stars Underrated as hell
Super Reviewer
½ December 31, 2016
Looks like the run of movies released post-84 continues with this one. I don't think I'd ever actually heard of this movie before. I probably have heard of it before, but it's not one of the classic high school movies from the 80s, like Pretty In Pink or The Breakfast Club. And it's not one of those movies that became such a huge cult hit in the 30 years after its release that you know of it simply by reputation, like a Big Lebowski-type, though that film made three times its budget when it was first released. I don't know how this one fared in comparison when it was released. But time has certainly been kinder than the mixed reviews it got when it came out and it has somewhat of a cult following. Obviously it's not as big of a following as a The Big Lebowski, but at least it's something. I think perhaps one of the few things this movie has over anything else is that, at the very least, in spite of all the silliness going on here, this movie has a believable plot. Jerry Mitchell pisses off the newcomer in school, a student with a violent past. This pushes Buddy, the student in question, to tell Jerry that they are going to fight at 3 pm when school lets out. He also lets Jerry know that he will find him no matter what Jerry tries to do to get out of the situation. So, essentially, the movie is about Jerry trying to find several ways, without any success, to get himself either thrown out of school or in detention to avoid being murdered by Buddy. Again, there's a lot of silliness, but I can buy that someone in this same situation, someone who doesn't have any experience in fighting or anything, doing what is necessary in order to escape with his or her life. Maybe they wouldn't take it as far as Jerry did in the movie, that's for damn sure, but I can sort of buy into Jerry's attempts. He even goes as far as to make out with one of his teachers, in front of the entire class, in order to get himself thrown in detention. It obviously doesn't work, and unsurprisingly enough, the teacher ends up falling in lust with him. The scene where Jerry causes a ruckus in his book report before making out with the teacher is by far the best scene in the entire film. The problems come in the fact that I, for the most part, didn't think this movie was actually that funny in the slightest. There's a few chuckles here and there. One of Jerry's love interests, Franny, is a sort of new-age hippie type who speaks to a spirit that tells her that she and Jerry are meant to 'bond'. She's probably one of the few interesting characters in the film, along with Buddy. Jerry, our protagonist, on the other hand is kind of a little bland if you want me to be honest. Casey Siemaszko, who portrays Jerry, was good here, but the characterization was a little dull. Jerry isn't at all an interesting character. I like how he eventually overcomes his fear of having his ass kicked and decides to stand up for himself in spite of everything he's gone through during the day in the lead up to the fight. But, other than that, he's not particularly interesting character and it makes getting into him a little difficult. I never had to deal with bullies here, so I don't know, maybe Jerry is more of an everyman and he was purposely left without a real personality so everyone who has gone through a similar situation with a bully can relate to him more. They can claim that, but it'd feel so much like an excuse. The movie isn't bad, in the slightest. I liked the fact that it was actually focused on something. There was very little in the way of distractions or needless subplots. It all served to make Jerry's day just a little bit worse, so he's a little more desperate to escape this situation. So I can appreciate the fact that the movie, while not a consistently funny movie, made an effort to focus on where they wanted to go with its narrative. And, really, I do believe that there's a good movie buried in here somewhere, I just think it needed a more consistent tone than it had. And, more importantly, it needed a main character with a little more personality than Jerry Mitchell. This isn't saying anything about Casey Siemaszko's performance which, I mentioned, was pretty good. But the actual character and his personality do leave a lot to be desired. With that out of the way, like I said, this isn't a bad movie. It's painfully average at best, but it's got a ton of flaws that keep it from being truly good. So watch at your own risk.
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.
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