American Teen Synopsis
Four teenagers navigate through their senior year at an Indiana high school.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Shows how a documentary can be as moving and suspenseful as the best narrative feature.
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Entertainment Weekly

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
The players are timelessly familiar in American Teen, too. But filmmaker Nanette Burstein tells their stories with a distinctly...
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TV Guide

By Ken Fox
The kids are real and their stories enthralling: When it comes to drama, there's nothing quite like high school.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
So authentic are the subjects, so raw their emotions.
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Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
Parents are another matter. Almost to a man and woman they lay expectations on their children that ignore who those children are.
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Reality tv, welcome to the multiplex. If "The Hills" went back to high school and developed wit, perception and a conscience, it might play...
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Though it could work as effectively as a television vehicle, American Teen is revealing, funny and involving.
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The Hollywood Reporter

By James Greenberg
For all of its access and exposure, American Teen seems skin-deep. It's well shot, with good production values and lots of cool music. But...
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New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
The kids here do come across as genuine people, struggling with issues everyone can understand.
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By Bob Mondello
The students all say and do more than they should in the filmmaker's presence, which certainly makes them watchable -- sort of a...
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By hiker_25
What a great movie! I laughed a lot, cried a little and found myself routing for these kids and truly praying that life is kind to them. It's the first movie I've seen that truly represents middle...

Reality TV meets The Breakfast Club

By RandytheMovieFan
Alternately realistic and staged, hard hitting and irrelevant, slick and amateurish, the movie will probably play best among high schoolers, a demographic I left behind decades ago. But I was...


By gothamgator
An accurate depiction of high school life. Although I graduated 13 years ago, the memories came flooding back. American Teen is an excellent portrayal of the awkward, exciting and...

“AMERICAN TEEN” (documentary) = The Truth Shall Set You Reminiscing =

By jimchudnow
This won a Best Director award at the Sundance Festival for Nanette Burstein. She's been able to get very open and natural performances from a bunch of graduating High School seniors in a small...

Adolescence Brought Back...

By norm_the_moviegoer
This movie brought back so many of the feelings of high school and adolescence. I am much (much, much) older now, but the empathy I felt for the characters with whom I identified was undeniable....

American Teen

By rrbpmm
I was skeptical about seeing the movie at first, but it turned out to be not so bad. If you liked the Breakfast Club and are into "documentary type" movies, then go and see it. The movie will...

American Teen

By inpsectormontalbano
One of the funniest films I have seen in a while. An interesting view at stereotypical high school seniors....

American Teen is AMAZING

By laralevin
I've seen it twice now and it really is a very honest and touching documentary that makes you reflect on your own high school experience. Anyone and everyone who has ever been a teenager can either...

my favorite documentary

By lduderino123
I liked this movie. It had the best parts of both a documentary and a story. Enough happens to keep it interesting, but not so much that it's unbelievable. Every character is portrayed in a fair...

Best movie of the year

By i-love-movies123
I walked into the movie expecting nothing much but was blown away, this movie is the best movie out right know even better then the dark night. It is a movie you will remember forever....

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For some strong language, sexual material, some drinking and brief smoking-all involving teens
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says Riveting documentary is bound to get kids talking.
Read the Common Sense Media Review