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Once, 'Teenagers' didn't exist. But then, they were invented. With a changing tide the world over and a struggle erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape. Whether in America, England, or Germany, whether party-crazed Flappers or hip Swing Kids, zealous Nazi Youth or frenzied Sub-Debs, it didn't matter - they were all a new idea of youth. They were all 'Teenagers.' TEENAGE is a living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and voices (provided by Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, Julia Hummer, Jessie Usher) lifted from early… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A roughly chronological jumble of archival footage, unconvincing period reenactments, gauzy voice-overs, and half-baked ideas that makes one yearn for the stolid dullness of a History Channel documentary."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Wolf's sympathy for youth movements compensates for the distraction of the new scenes, and the fascinating old footage seals the deal."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"More well-crafted experience than historical chronicle, Teenage is an illustrative portrait of adolescence from the attempted point-of-view of those who first made sense of it"
‑ Landon Palmer, Nonfics
"Granted, the film's title is taken from Savage's book, but for a documentary which concludes that the teenager is all about the future, it spends too much of its time covering WWII. "Teenage" is a niche historical document."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Both informative and entertaining [though] less a straightforward cinematic argument than a dreamlike, multilevel evocation."
‑ Frank Swietek, One Guy's Opinion
"Deftly weaves together various media in a way that breathes its own youthful, stream-of-conscious life into the documentary genre."
‑ Jen Chaney, Washington Post
"If Teenage delivers a sweeping generalization or two (or three) ... Wolf's documentary makes up for it with footage that's just too good to be ignored."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's a terrific distraction, but it ultimately leaves you unfulfilled."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"Has moments that are quite intriguing, but, like a teenager, it can't seem to decide what it wants to be when it grows up."
‑ Brad Keefe, Columbus Alive
"We were expecting a light-hearted, fact-filled look at the phenomenon of the "youth market" Western pop culture, but Matt Wolf's documentary is much more than that."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"There's no "there" there in "Teenage," a meandering mess of a documentary that has the feel of a bloated, inchoate term paper."
‑ Tom Keogh, Seattle Times
"Director Matt Wolf uses startling archival footage to capture the rise of pre-Elvis youth culture as the defining surge of the 20th century."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
""Teenage" does what a good documentary should: educate and entertain."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"If by the end, a clear definition of the teenager hasn't emerged, that's cool. Teenagers don't know what they are either."
‑ Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Toronto
"A stereotypical response to Teenage from today's attention span-deprived youth would be, "Ugh, whatever." They'd be right."
‑ Matt Pais, RedEye
More reviews for Teenage on Rotten Tomatoes