• Released
  • July 12, 2002
  • 2 hr 26 min
  • Drama
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Christian Science Monitor

By David Sterritt
Iwai's ambitious drama is strikingly shot, poignantly acted by a splendid young cast, and enriched by surprising use of Debussy classics on the soundtrack.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Gorgeously shot tableaux of random adolescent brutality are interrupted by flashes of computer garble and chat-room talk, backed by ''Lily's'' music, with its blend of Debussy-like arpeggios and Enya-like sighing.
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By Andrew O'Hehir
A sprawling and adventurous tale of teen alienation, might just be the movie that pushes the Japanese new wave out of the film-geek ghetto.
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Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
Awash in strangeness, a poem that details what it's like to be 13 at the end of a millennium.
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Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By Sean Axmaker
Captures the pain and desperation of adolescent powerlessness and humiliation with powerful intimacy, strung out to almost 2 1/2 lazy hours of stories that wander through an ever-widening group of characters.
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San Francisco Chronicle

Requires some patience. Once you get into its rhythm -- including the long flashbacks and intermittent use of the screen as an Internet chat room -- the movie becomes a heady experience.
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TV Guide

By Maitland McDonagh
Shunji Iwae's film began life as an interactive online "novel" and unfolds in a series of achronological vignettes whose cumulative effect is chilling.
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New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
Kicks into high gear in its final 45 minutes, when the singer's fans descend on one of her concerts. It's worth the wait.
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New York Daily News

By Jami Bernard
Although way too long at 146 minutes and extremely confusing in structure, the story of a lonely, picked-on eighth-grader (Hayato Ichihara) who finds refuge in the ethereal music of a Bjork-like pop singer packs a solid punch.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
So enigmatic, oblique and meandering that it's like coded religious texts that requires monks to decipher.
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73 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.