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Consequence of Sound
As a writer and director, Hill demonstrates an endearing and encouraging empathy for his characters, crafting a portrait of adolescence that allows every emotion and every decision — from the most relatable at any age to the most boneheaded — to exist without irony, judgement, or condescension.
The Hollywood Reporter
A gender-flipped sibling to Crystal Moselle's Skate Kitchen (set in Los Angeles versus that film's NYC), its narrative of sudden belonging and onrushing perils mirrors that Sundance entry. But in emotional punch and shoulda-seen-this-coming skill, it is more like Hill's Lady Bird, a gem that feels simultaneously informed by its author's adolescence and the product of a serious artist's observational distance.
Mid90s, though made by a Hollywood star, isn’t a nostalgic indie “fable” in gritty skate-punk drag. It’s something smaller and purer: a slice of street life made up of skittery moments that achieve a bone-deep reality.
Rafael Motamayor Aguiton
Jonah Hill's impressive directorial debut Mid90s is full of heart, fun and a sense of longing to belong somewhere.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Mid90s doesn't feel like a recreation of an era so much as a lost artifact of the time. There's one predictable and regrettable narrative beat toward the end, but otherwise Hill has crafted a debut that will last a lifetime.
Hill’s story suggests equal parts “Freaks and Geeks,” “Kids,” and the adolescent-focused narratives of British director Shane Meadows, but Hill cribs from these precedents with a confidence that injects this lively snapshot of skateboarding reprobates with fresh confidence.
The Film Stage
It’s as though Hill wrote a much longer script and decided to ultimately pare everything down without realizing just how hollow he was rendering supporting players in the process.
Hill’s basically remaking Larry Clark’s seminal 1995 film “Kids,” a picture inherently more authentic because it was a snapshot taken in that moment. And if you prefer the rose-colored lens of nostalgia, that’s been done too, in Jonathan Levine’s 2008 effort “The Wackness.”
Unfortunately, Mid90s isn’t anything you haven’t already seen numerous times before.
Jonah Hill constantly falls back on providing vague justification for his characters' behaviors, along with spoonfuls of sentiment to let the more dour moments go down easier.
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