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Overall Rating
4.28

Awesome60.36%
Worth A Look: 22.52%
Average: 6.31%
Pretty Bad: 6.31%
Total Crap: 4.5%

4 reviews, 87 user ratings


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Dazed and Confused
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by Justin Helmer

"Took me more than one viewing, but I grew to appreciate it."
5 stars

I was born in 1978; consequently I have no meaningful memories of the world that exists in Richard Linklaterís Dazed and Confused. Oh, no, I got to grow up in the 1980ís and witness all of the wonder of one of the most stale, pre-packaged decades in American history. And even though I was never a part of the world, Linklaterís love letter to a summer in 1976 makes me wish I had been there to see it.

Taking place in the twenty-four hours following the last day of school, we follow the lives of a group of kids of various ages as they get into trouble and party on the first day of summer. In a way the format is similar to Linklaterís Slacker, but where that movie used the camera as a way to define the story lines, Dazed and Confused takes a more traditional approach.

The two main characters are at opposite ends of the High School experience. Randall (Pink) Floyd (Jason London) is staring senior year in the face with all of the terrors of the Ďrealí world lurking a mere year away. He is on the cusp of losing something, and in a way he seems to know it. This responsibility follows him around in the form of a pledge to not use drugs in his senior year. The other members of his football team are quick to sign it, and just as quick to leave it behind when they are out of school. None of this for Pink though, the idea of the pledge itself rankles him. He did his slog to the senior year like everyone else and right or wrong feels he is entitled to his fair share of debauchery.

On the other end of the sausage machine that is High School is Mitch Kramer (the unfortunately named Wiley Wiggins) finishing out junior high. He has a whole summer of hell ahead of him. This was back in the days when the brutal treatment of the incoming freshman class was considered the god-given right of the seniors. Iím no fan of hazing as a right of passage, but there is something sweetly nostalgic about teenagers abusing each other without actually using fists or animal feces. Say what you want about the 1970s, it was a more innocent time.

Innocence, and the loss of it that occurs naturally with age is very much at the center of things here. We are given a picture of a school, like a thousand other small schools going along their merry way, all smiley-faces and water bongs. Irony rears its head when the smartest character in the film talks drunkenly about how the sixties were awesome, the seventies sucked, and maybe--just maybe--the eighties will truly rule. I found myself wondering how that poor girl felt when she emerged from the daze and found herself in the era of Reagan.

My anti-eighties bias is showing here, I know, and that is part of the point as well. We all paint the past and the future in colorful tones that our drab and dreary present lives never know. Just like most of us have a love hate relationship with the town we grow up in, we spend hours imagining the life we will have when we get away from that place. When we finally do reach escape velocity, we look back and see the charms of the place that we hated in the sharp focus that only loss of innocence provides.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1030&reviewer=315
originally posted: 07/12/03 11:55:15
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User Comments

8/07/14 David Hollingsworth underrated film with moments of real relevance 5 stars
5/03/10 PAUL SHORTT CLEVER, NOSTALGIC COMEDY WITH A GOOD CAST 4 stars
10/09/09 Jeff Wilder Greatest High School movie ever. Great comedy with a melancholy undercurrent. 5 stars
9/13/08 kyle alright alright alright. awesome 5 stars
2/13/08 chris very well made to represent the kids of today and yesterday. dont like the movie screw off 5 stars
1/12/08 Dave Wiley Wiggins over acted his role as the nervous/trying-to-be cool teen 4 stars
8/13/07 jg Terrible. Pretentious, acts like its making some big point. But goes nowhere. 2 stars
3/01/07 Charles Tatum One of the most overrated films in history 2 stars
1/28/07 David Pollastrini best viewed while stoned 3 stars
5/05/06 dionwr Boring wankfest 2 stars
5/04/06 William Goss That's what I love about these high school films, man. I get older, they stay the same age. 4 stars
5/03/06 David Cornelius sweet emotion 5 stars
5/02/06 Ryan_A WILEY WIGGINS~! (also: can't wait for the Criterion DVD) 4 stars
5/02/06 HBS-SH SH PAUSE 4 stars
4/06/06 OVERRATED. Wiley Wiggins' AWFUL acting is unforgivable. othwerwise very good movie! 3 stars
7/04/05 Tash Omg its one of my absolute favourites. The best high teenage movie with sex, drugs and booz 5 stars
2/21/05 Ahnold Possibly the best highschool flick ever. Each type of character is dead on true. 5 stars
1/20/05 Jeff Anderson Not bad, the characters are fun, and the 70s music is cool, but THE STONED AGE WAS BETTER!! 3 stars
9/25/04 Agent Sands What a classic. Finally, a movie that realistically portrays teenage life. 5 stars
8/10/04 woody this movie is the best it is one of my favirots. that adam goldberg and rory cochrane dont 5 stars
7/21/04 Sarah I fell in love the first time i saw it! It still makes me laugh every time i see it! 5 stars
6/26/04 Daveman Full of teenage stereotypes and predictable melodrama, but still very entertaining 3 stars
6/11/04 Sara this movie is the fuckin best ever! 5 stars
4/27/04 4x4 Matthew McConanughey great as 20 something HS dropout. 5 stars
4/05/04 nikki f*ckin awesome! 5 stars
4/01/04 Kyle Great film. Every one can relate to to at least one character 4 stars
3/29/04 Alan '70s grad. I swear I kew every person in the movie. Dragged at times, though. 4 stars
11/17/03 Samuel One of the greatest films of all time!! 5 stars
10/23/03 igor troha my favourite movie ever ; great music 5 stars
10/06/03 Daniel Cult Classic with a killer 70's rock soundtrack! 5 stars
9/21/03 Darryl Greatest teen movie ever - with a great ensemble cast! 5 stars
8/04/03 Joman a deserving cult classic 5 stars
7/13/03 Jack Sommersby Overly deliberate and lifeless. See "The Stoned Age" instead. 2 stars
6/02/03 not much has changed best movie ever, the only real teen movie 5 stars
5/23/03 Biff Boffo The only thing this movie was lacking were video cameras at the respective hazings!! 4 stars
2/03/03 poo ita kickass movie 5 stars
2/02/03 paul unbelievably good. If don't love this movie, you don't deserve to live. 5 stars
12/16/02 Film Dude Wow. Incredible. See this movie, right now. 5 stars
11/06/02 Matt wilson This movie changed my life. used to be a nerd now i am the bomb 5 stars
10/12/02 Jess I love it .... you can watch it over and over again! 5 stars
4/30/02 Phoenix Awsome fucking movie. Milla Jovovich is gorgous. 5 stars
4/16/02 ash this movies rocks, i dont know why some people dont like it , i guess they dont get it 5 stars
2/01/02 Geo7654 purposeless, but the soundtrack and Wiley Wiggins keep it moving. 3 stars
1/25/02 Julea Goolia best damn movie i have ever seen in my life 5 stars
1/04/02 daniboy I don't get why everyone likes so much this film. There's really nothing to it. 1 stars
12/05/01 Kale Locke Fucking awesome 5 stars
10/01/01 tempest fahking awesome. two thumbs waaaaaay up 5 stars
8/14/01 790 I knew a guy in the seventies who did drugs. Ruined his life. I hate this film. 1 stars
8/03/01 craig one of the best movies. it gets better each time i watch it. great to watch befor a party 5 stars
4/18/01 cuntphucer ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ... lame and boring!!!!! 1 stars
4/09/01 Gary This movie is great. I love modern movies about the past. 5 stars
4/03/01 michelle great movie 5 stars
2/16/01 Jake Unpleasant and obnoxious. 2 stars
1/25/01 dog this movie makes you want to smoke till you drop. great every time you see it. 5 stars
1/11/01 Slater G.J. It kicked ass, from the first time I saw it, and it gets better every night I watch it 5 stars
12/04/00 Jenny AWESOME 5 stars
12/02/00 RICK pretty damn boring... at least my boyfriend gave my head during it.... 1 stars
8/19/00 Trina M. Barnard Good music. bad movie 2 stars
6/10/00 The Bomb 69 awesome shit, total classic that will stand the test of time 5 stars
5/14/00 Bender The movie is entertaining, but after a while everything bogs down, great soundtrack though. 4 stars
4/24/00 Ryan pointless... really REALLY boring 1 stars
4/13/00 Rita I love it! Soundtrack is great too! 5 stars
3/03/00 Ryan Hate the characters but love the acting 4 stars
1/14/00 halah how many times have i seen this? and it just gets better and better. it makes me happy! 5 stars
1/11/00 jeff couturier this movie was the best thing that discribes my life 5 stars
10/14/99 Hannah This movie rocked! Amazing actors, a good story and excellent music! 5 stars
7/30/99 Dax A movie that's every bit as good as its soundtrack albums. A+ 5 stars
6/14/99 Dylan I love this film. Great clothes, music, acting, camera-work. Best teen movie ever. 5 stars
5/04/99 Big Dog I like to do drugs while I watch this movie 5 stars
4/20/99 Tim Gilles This is a better movie about marijuana than Friday is. This movie is great. 5 stars
4/12/99 Randall We would do just as well if we were in a bad or something 4 stars
4/11/99 Tristynn I have adored this movie for years..great acting.. funny as hell and a kick ass soundtrack. 5 stars
3/28/99 TJwills Any movie that jump started the careers of Matt McConaughey and ben affleck is fine by me 5 stars
3/08/99 MahKayla This movie was great because it was about partying as a senior and smoking weed!!! 5 stars
3/02/99 Rachel Classic high school flick. Could it be the 90s answer to Fast Times at Ridgemont High? 5 stars
1/24/99 caroline You know what that song's about man? It's about aliens. We're the aliens man. 5 stars
1/12/99 TNT Super dominant male monkey mother fucker! 5 stars
11/26/98 Jack Aster marijuana on 1 refer on 2........ 5 stars
11/26/98 poppy great movie. McCounaghey peaked in this one. Parker Posey at her meanest/sexiest . 5 stars
11/18/98 MinxxDaShorty I like the Washington theory< timmyC this is good for bud values but friday is better> 4 stars
11/12/98 Lord Of The Dunce Much ado about nothing. Just not all that interesting, if historically good. 3 stars
10/24/98 Timmy C Maybe the greatest pot movie ever (this or Friday). 5 stars
10/03/98 wind classic comedy...animal house of the 90's 5 stars
9/29/98 Marty in St.Louis Havent seen this flick...I'd be cooler if ya did........ 5 stars
9/24/98 Maegs Found it ridiculous and vapid. Some characters were interesting---but a London brother? 2 stars
9/23/98 {{{OZ}}} Couldn't dig it. Affleck really pissed me off. Some moments were ok. 3 stars
9/23/98 Nate Dogg C'mon man....what else is more appropriate to watch when you're getting fucked up!? 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Jan-1993 (R)
  DVD: 02-Nov-2004

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