American Teen
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"American Teen" follows the lives of five teenagers--a jock, a popular girl, a heartthrob, an artsy girl and a geek--in one small town in Indiana through their senior year of high school. We see the insecurities, the cliques, the jealousies, the first loves and heartbreaks, and the struggle to make profound decisions about the future. Filming daily for 10 months, filmmaker Nanette Burstein developed a deep understanding of her subjects. The result is a film that goes beyond the enduring stereotypes of high school to render complex young people trying to find their way into adulthood.… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a lightly amusing film but it's also an unchallenging one which reinforces presumptions about kids rather than surprising with new insights. It floats in the shallow end of filmmaking."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"They all have their stories tell, some more complicated than others."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"The presence of a film crew may have encouraged drama."
‑ Ben Kenigsberg, Time Out Chicago
"American Teen follows the zeitgeist of documentary filmmaking, where truth is manipulated in order to create an entertaining film, which it no doubt is. Yet the question of its authenticity will linger in the minds of some viewers."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"An addictive documentary that'll have you cheering and crying, then waiting for the director to jump out from behind your sofa and say it was all a big joke."
‑ Holly Grigg-Spall, Film4
"My only gripe is that the relentless pressure to be a winner in American culture is exhausting to watch."
‑ Ruth Hessey, MovieTime, ABC Radio National
"American Teen finds the truth in the trite and the cliched: It's a wonderful look at why growing up is so hard to do."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"It keeps assuring us that all is basically well."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"An intriguing look -- alternately funny and heartbreaking -- inside the heads of today's teens."
‑ Mike Scott, Times-Picayune
"Funny and fresh, it won't break boundaries but it will make anyone thankful for growing up."
‑ Limara Salt, Little White Lies
"The whirl of hormones, high hopes and hysterical drama that is high school earns its close-up in American Teen, a smart and revealing look at the Class of 2006 in Warsaw, Indiana."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"A moving and engrossing slice-of-life documentary about teen life in small-town Warsaw, Ind."
‑ Bruce Demara, Toronto Star
"It pains me to say it, but as far as I can see it's an extended and slightly better crafted example of those fake 'reality TV' shows."
‑ Mike Edwards, What Culture
"In contrast to other recent documentaries about coming of age in America, American Teen seems somewhat simplistic, perhaps naive."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
"Anyone who doesn't like it can stay behind after class."
‑ Charles Gant, Heat Magazine
More reviews for American Teen on Rotten Tomatoes

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