Critic Reviews

83

Metascore

Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
But I'm making Welcome to the Dollhouse sound like some sort of grim sociological study, and in fact it's a funny, intensely entertaining film.
100
Todd Solondz's grand prize winner at this year's Sundance Film Festival lapses into satire, but its parodistic slant only exaggerates what is truthful, making the unpleasantness of that awkward age all the more disturbing and hilarious. It's a horror film starring reality in the monster role.
90
With a fine vengeance along with flashes of great, unexpected tenderness, Mr. Solondz lethally evokes every petty humiliation that his seventh-grade heroine can't wait to forget.
89
Austin Chronicle
As Dawn, Matarazzo isn't afraid to evoke the horrors of puberty with a straightforward charmlessness: She's gawky, unhappy, and confused, while her tingling of sexual desire downright gives you the shivers.
80
It scores its comic points with dire one-liners, an astringent dearth of sentimentality and only-in-America developments.
80
Empire
It may not be to everybody's taste, but this is a daring antidote to its more saccharine cousins.
75
ReelViews
In this impressive debut, Solonz doesn't pull any punches in conveying the side of junior high that "The Wonder Years" never depicted: the naked cruelty that some boys and girls suffer at the hands of their classmates, their teachers, and even members of their own family.
75
Solondz ("Fear, Anxiety and Depression") is almost unrelenting in his quirky fixation with the adolescent outsider and he pursues visions of everyday human injury nearly to the point of caricature. But he stops just short, and this amusingly twisted film mixes humor and heart-tugging sadness with a disturbing vitality.
75
Christian Science Monitor
Todd Solondz's movie begins like a suburban ugly-duckling tale with many comic overtones, but it grows darker as it goes along, evoking dangers that youngsters must be alert to in today's world - from drugs to child abuse - and showing how cruel children can be to one another when grownups aren't around.
60
Chicago Reader
This obsessive movie, awarded the grand jury prize at the Sundance festival, may not quite live up to its advance billing; the subject is powerful, but the filmmaking often seems slapdash, and the final half hour dithers.

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