100

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
This story of a 12-year-old boy who drops through the net of middle-class life invites us-in each shimmering frame-to gaze upon the world with a child's freshly awakening vision.
Full Review
100

Variety

By Todd McCarthy
King of the Hill has all the rich satisfactions of a fine novel.
Full Review
100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
King of the Hill could have been a family picture, or a heartwarming TV docudrama, or a comedy. Soderbergh must have seen more deeply into the Hotchner memoir, however, because his movie is not simply about what happens to the kid. It's about how the kid learns and grows through his experiences.
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90

The Dissolve

By Noel Murray
Part period piece and part coming-of-age story, King Of The Hill balances an incident-packed script with muted tones, painting a rich, absorbing picture of one boy’s struggle to live by his wits.
Full Review
90

Washington Post

By Desson Thomson
It's his best work by far.
Full Review
90

The New York Times

By Janet Maslin
With warmth, wit and none of the usual overlay of nostalgia, King of the Hill presents the scary yet liberating precariousness of life on the edge.
Full Review
88

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

There are no false Hollywood dramatics, no musical cues telling us how we should feel about this boy's battle for dignity and a place in the world. The director lets complex emotions flow naturally out of believable action and dialogue in this very faithful adaptation of a fascinating memoir. [20 August 1993, p.3F]
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
The narrative is presented in a straightforward manner; Soderbergh doesn't employ any unusual chronologies. His style is frank, not quirky, and lends itself to a number of powerful images.
Full Review
88

USA Today

By Mike Clark
Fury, I Am a Fugitive, Wild Boys of the Road and Emperor of the North come immediately to mind as definitive Depression movies. This little gem, which may get overlooked, deserves to be on the same list. [20 August 1993, p.5D]
Full Review
78

Austin Chronicle

By Marc Savlov
A far cry from his earlier films sex, lies, and videotape and Kafka, Soderbergh skillfully pulls off what could have ended up as a sappy glob of treacly nostalgia. Instead, the director populates his young hero's chaotic world with genuinely disturbing people, images, and events.
Full Review
86 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.