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True Adolescents (2009)

Unrated  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  29 July 2011 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 576 users   Metascore: 57/100
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Craig Johnson's poised and poignant first feature follows Sam (Mark Duplass), an, unbeknownst to him, washed-up rocker in the early stages of haggard. Jobless and apartment-less, he crashes... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sam Bryant
Oliver Mitchell
Carr Thompson ...
Sharon Mitchell
Cara (as Emma Noelle Roberts)
Lilly Perreault ...
Snow Keim ...
Dave Hobbs ...
Rufus Tureen ...
Punk Kid #1
Jennifer Perreault ...
Elizabeth Herron ...
Waitress (as Elizabeth Cook Herron)
Erika Mayfield ...
Celia (as Erika June Mayfield)


Craig Johnson's poised and poignant first feature follows Sam (Mark Duplass), an, unbeknownst to him, washed-up rocker in the early stages of haggard. Jobless and apartment-less, he crashes with his aunt (a compassionate Melissa Leo) as a last resort and becomes reluctant camping-trip chaperone to her teenage son and a pal. That the three males are on par, maturity-wise, makes for engaging ensemble juvenilia. But in the stirring Pacific Northwest wilderness a surprising discovery turns dire -- and the distance from boy to man must be covered overnight. Duplass's ballsy and at times balls-out performance is a winner, particularly when Sam at long last takes stock of himself: it ain't pretty. Written by Rebecca Beegle (pasted by Fahad)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Get lost.


Comedy | Drama




Official Sites:




Release Date:

29 July 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Verdaderos adolescentes  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Comic book artist Cliff Chiang (Wonder Woman, Human Target, Neil Young's Greendale) did the poster artwork. See more »


When Sam is teaching Oliver and Jake about about dead rockstars ages of their deaths, he tells them Jimi Hendrix died at 26. Jimi Hendrix died at the age of 27 See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a hidden, funny outtake of Mark Duplass at the very end of the credits. See more »

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User Reviews

Enjoyable little indie film about growing up.
17 September 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've only recently been introduced to 'mumblecore' films. What is 'mumblecore', you ask? Fair enough question. Here's the answer: "An American independent film movement of the early twenty-first century, characterized by low-budget production, focus on personal relationships between twentysomethings, improvised scripts, and non-professional actors." Does that help? Yeah, it didn't help me much, either. If that's the case, then count Clerks as a mumblecore film. Apparently, I watched another mumblecore film (Cold Weather) earlier this year --- well, then it's hit or miss with me, then because I didn't like Cold Weather.

Sam (Duplass) gets dumped by his girlfriend and kicked out, all at the same time. Not having any place to go, he calls his Aunt Sharon (Leo). She lets him crash at her place for free and it's apparent that she is having problems/troubles with her kid's father. He cancelled the big camping trip and so, she asks Sam if he'll take her son (Sam's cousin), Oliver (Loehr) and his best friend, Jake (Thompson). Reluctantly, he agrees and from there, it's a road-trip movie where everyone learns more about each other and everlasting friendships are created.

There's not too much to True Adolescents, story-wise. It's more about the characters (in true mumblecore fashion). What makes this different from the other mumblecore film I seen earlier this year is... it's actually interesting! The characters aren't boring, I was curious as to how things were going to play out once they arrived at their destination and I really wanted to know how everything was going to be wrapped up.

Sam, who really hasn't fully grown-up himself, is more or less, forced, into taking two kids into the wilderness. He's really a big kid himself and to be thrust into a situation like this, makes him start to grow up a little bit and he takes a step back and takes a good, hard look at himself and what he's let himself become.Even after the truth has set in and we realize just who we are... sometimes it's just a little too late.

The situation that happens out in the wilderness is never fully explored (or even discussed but for a few sentences) but... as an audience of a true mumblecore film, we're forced to put together the pieces and come to our own conclusions. I'm not entirely sure why it works, but it just does. Maybe because Sam's such a likable character. Sure, he's a slacker, but he's honest, funny and non-threatening. I do know I laughed several times at Sam's antics/dialog and I was genuinely interested in all of the characters involved and wanted to see how it all played out. We may not have gotten all the answers, but I did still enjoy the ride (somewhat).

More reviews at

Final Grade: B-

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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