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Fall. Get back up.

Stevie is a sweet 13-year-old about to explode. His mom is loving and attentive, but a little too forthcoming about her romantic life. His big brother is a taciturn and violent bully. So Stevie searches his working-class Los Angeles suburb for somewhere to belong. He finds it at the Motor Avenue skate shop.

"Not a lot happens in “Mid90s” but as a slice of teenage life, it feels almost like a documentary from that time, full of well-observed — if foul-mouthed and sometimes dangerous — moments that ring true. That perception is fueled not just by Hill’s knowledge of the subject — he has said the film is based on his pre-stardom, skateboarding days in L.A., even if the details of his life differ from Stevie’s — or his casting of mostly non-professional actors but by how he chose to shoot it.

Filmed in 16mm with a 4:3 aspect ratio (meaning the image is a square instead of the usual rectangle), “Mid90s” has the purposely washed-out look of a video shot during that time. It’s no coincidence that one of the guys in the skate-shop crew, nicknamed Fourth Grade (real-life skater Ryder McLaughlin), wants to be a filmmaker whose work, as the movie shows, is not so markedly different from Hill’s.

With such a slight family-is-where-you-find-it story, Hill is wise enough not to let “Mid90s,” clocking in at a breezy 84 minutes, overstay its welcome. He’s also clued-in enough to include a killer soundtrack. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross provide the score but tunes from the era — ranging the elegant wail of Morrissey to the jazzy, backpack-rap sway of The Pharcyde — ring with the authenticity of someone who was there."

Courtesy - Cary Darling, Houston Chronicle

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Directed by: 
Jonah Hill
Running Time: 
Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterston, Lucas Hedges
Screenplay by: 
Jonah Hill
14A - Disturbing Content
Coarse Language
Substance Abuse

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