Billy the Kid
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Filmmaker Jennifer Venditti crafts a cinéma vérité -style coming-of-age story with this portrait of a small-town teen from Maine who struggles to embrace his outsider status while still being shaped by the tragic events of his childhood. It was while casting the Carter Smith film Bugcrush that Venditti first encountered the boy named Billy -- his eccentric wisdom leaving an immediate and lasting impression on the filmmaker. Later, after casting Billy in the film and preparing to craft a documentary about everyday heroes, Venditti and her crew returned to Maine to spend five days with the… More
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© Elephant Eye Films

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The best documentaries take you places you don't normally have access to."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"What you ultimately take from the film is the awareness that this smart, self-aware, uncensored kid has been playing to a camera in his own head since well before Venditti came along."
‑ Ernest Hardy, L.A. Weekly
"Billy, who suffers from Aspergers Syndrome, is sympathetic, but you can easily understand why he's a social outcast. This is a film about Billy, not about his condition."
‑ Jennifer Merin,
"Watching Billy the Kid duplicates -- as much as any movie probably can -- the fascinating process of trying to figure out someone you've just met."
‑ Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press
"What makes Billy the Kid extraordinary is not that it grants seeming access to private moments, but that it makes clear as well the inherently public nature of the filmmaking process."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"A raw, touching, unfiltered look at the teenage angst that Hollywood usually turns into brain-dead comedy."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Billy the Kid, a movie that's as interesting as it is dewy-eyed, may be the rare snapshot of an adolescent 'outcast' who is really the guy made for fame, with a built-in radar for how to present himself in front of the camera."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"The rough and ready filmmaking technique makes it challenging for the viewer at times, and perhaps a stricter editing discipline could have tightened the film"
‑ Andrew L. Urban, Urban Cinefile
"Billy the Kid is an unforgettable, distressing, riveting snapshot of a boy and his world; a high-speed descent into pure impulse that should not be missed."
‑ Brian Orndorf,
"Billy may come off as an odd duck, but he's not mean or too peculiar. Actually, he's pretty likable, which is why you'll probably find yourself rooting for him to get the girl and to be happy for a change."
‑ Jeff Vice, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Billy's resilience, though, is nothing short of amazing. Not to mention part of growing up."
‑ Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times
"Nobody ever said growing up a small-town geek was easy. I know from personal experience, and so does Billy Price, the subject of director Jennifer Venditti's affecting documentary Billy the Kid."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"Opens as a study on a teen with some social/behavioral issues. The film makes sure never to label, then gently tangents from the study into a sweet spontaneous love story."
‑ Ross Anthony, Hollywood Report Card
"Without a hint of irony, he spouts off, I hope the next film I'm in is action. So do I."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"... a window into the world of adolescence, where everything is immediate and intense and important."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
More reviews for Billy the Kid on Rotten Tomatoes