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10/10
Almost a Documentary...
goodwynn191914 July 2005
There are spoilers in this review...

What a great, great movie. If you want to know what being in High School in the mid 70's was like, rent this film. I grew up in the metro Manhattan area. We didn't have the freshman hazing, and few of us could afford the cars (although we sure knew about them and lusted after them), but the rest of this movie is so dead on about my experience of High School in the 70's that it's scary. Every character in the film corresponds with someone that I knew during that time. Yes, there was a lot of pot smoking, yes, obtaining beer was quite easy for underage kids...I used to buy it in bars when I was 16. We made pipes in shop class. We hung out and had parties at night, drove the streets drinking beers and smoking joints listening to the same music. There were no youth centers though. The girls that I knew were as beautiful, and also struggled to get into their jeans. They used pliers too, but they also put them on while they were wet to further get that skintight look. There was no HIV virus to worry about, Herpes was not a big thing then, the biggest worry was getting pregnant. Everyone was having sex... All of these facts also were no big deal. Most of my peers grew up just fine, and now are upstanding pillars of the community. Many today would like you to believe that this is an example of the road to ruin. It was an incredible great time. The film has interesting character development, with the same types I remember. Philosophers, heads (now called stoners), bullies and waifs. This is my American Graffiti and it is perfect. Waxing nostalgic? Perhaps, but anyone that didn't live through that time will sill love the dialog in this film, as it deals with the universal experience of that point in one's life. This is high school in the 70's. Check it out.
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10/10
A Time Machine Trip Back To The Texas Summer Of 1976
Mike Wells4 February 2005
I graduated in 1976 from a high school in North Dallas and this entire movie is so spot on it's scary. It is my favorite film. I've seen it hundred's of times and every time it's like watching it for the first time. Only someone that was there and lived through those days could have directed such a movie. I drove a 70 dark blue Chevelle SS 454 with a 4-speed, over 400 HP and all of the goodies Wooderson described. Starting that car up, listening to the roar of that engine and burning out in 1st gear while in a thick cloud of blue smoke in front of the high school at 3PM while wasted......doing over 80MPH in 2nd gear....oh yea! I feel sorry for the teenagers today that drive the limp wrist fluffs of metal that pass themselves off as cars these days.

I was a stoner like Pickford smoking weed non-stop. Some mentioned that the heavy drug use was not too common. Well, at our school it was beyond common. Before school, during school (in the bathroom and football field) and after school. Our school had a smoking area outside the cafeteria where everyone went to light up.

The opening scene with Aerosmith "Sweet Emotion" slowly building up and Pickford driving his Goat and girlfriend in the school parking lot kills me every time. I cannot imagine a better opening scene for the movie. That was pure genius. The funny thing is Linklater did not show getting licks from the coach or the principal. For all the "uninitiated" back then all a coach or an asst. principal had to say was "Smith, I want to see you back at my office now". Our coach had a paddle he personally made that he kept on his wall over his desk. It had about 30 holes drilled in it and it was covered in black electrical tape! When that one came down you knew it! Now with all the PC people coach would go to jail for "assaulting the poor boy" Hell, back then it was called character building. As I remember from the 7th grade on licks were given out.

The soundtrack. Best ever. Might as well be back at White Rock Lake or Lake Ray Hubbard on a Friday night getting wasted. Head East was a nice touch. Every time I listen to that soundtrack I remember things I have not thought about in 25 years. The man that portrayed Pickford's dad was dead on. Accent, demeanor along with the big caddy and the tennis playing wife in the mini-skirt and puffed up hair.

Some of the reviewers mentioned they did not think it was too realistic showing/mixing a lot of sexual activity among the freshman girls. That is another point I must dispute. Maybe at their school in their town of 500 or their strict upbringing but at our junior high and high school the freshman and younger girls were pretty wild. I mean really "wild"! This is coming from someone who "lost it" at 12. So insinuating things about a 15 or 16 year old freshman is pretty tame. 15 and 16 year old's were the "world travelers" to us 13 or 14 year old guys.

There is something about this movie that pulls me back over and over again. It's hard to describe. I'm not sure what it is. Am I a Wooderson that enjoys reminiscing? Am I someone that prefers simpler times? Am I someone that is so sick of PC people that a movie like D&C is like a breath of fresh air? Was there something magical in the air back in 1976? The country was celebrating 200 years of freedom. Now within the last 30 years it seems that most of those freedoms have been slowly whittled away with and all that is left is a former shell of the old. Especially after 2001.

The best scene? To me it's a toss-up between the opening "Sweet Emotion" GTO in the school parking lot and the Emporium scene with "Hurricane" playing in the background while (The Past) Wooderson, (The Present) Pink and (The Future) Mitch walk into the Emporium while the camera films every little nuance in slow motion. The cockiness of Woods, the mellow Pink and the innocence of Mitch. Put that scene on slow motion and study their faces and the reaction shots of their peer's faces as they acknowledge their presence.

Your own personal time machine if only for an hour and a half. Slip the DVD in, turn the lights down low, take a couple good strong hits and wash them down with a few Tallboys. Use your imagination and for the briefest of time you are back in 1976. I wish they made more movies like this instead of the sugar coated pablum coming out of Hollywood nowadays.

Remember this?

Howard Hughes died, Robin Trower-Bridge of Sighs, Jeff Beck, Kawasaki Z1, Kawasaki 750 triple 2-stroke, 45 cents a gallon gas, 104 octane gas, Frampton Comes Alive, Bad Company - Shooting Star, Elvin Bishop - Fooled Around and Fell In Love, Jimmy Carter, Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry, 1969 Dodge Charger 440, 2 Lane Blacktop, 3 finger lids, windowpane, Diamond Dogs, J. Geils, Midnight Special, Wings Over America tour, Bad Company - Movin' On, Mott The Hoople - All The Young Dudes, SD 455 with the Big Bird on the hood, Marshall Tucker Band - Heard It In A Love Song, Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery, Edelbrock Tunnel Ram with Holley Double Pumpers, getting high at dusk while listening to Pink Floyd's "Time" and looking at the Dallas skyscraper skyline against the setting sun.

If you do then Dazed and Confused is right up your alley. If you don't then still watch it, the characters in D&C cover all generations, just the cars and clothing have changed.
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10/10
a breeding ground for talent
the-jerk7 May 2005
"Dazed and Confused", which takes place during the 70s, was one of the best movies of the 90s. It really is phenomenal how much talent was in this ensemble; if you want to see Adam Goldberg, Matthew Mcconaughey, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Parker Posey, or an almost completely unrecognizable Ben Affleck (playing the sort of role he would almost never play again, an a**hole) before they were stars, look no further. And of course this was an early movie for director Richard Linklater, who had made the relatively unknown "Slackers" previously and who would go on to make "School of Rock", which was almost as good as "Dazed and Confused".

Taking place on the last day of school in a small suburban town, "Dazed and Confused" is a brilliant ensemble piece rivaling anything done by Robert Altman that covers the broadest spectrum of teenagers imaginable. We see the nerds, the potheads, the jocks, and the cheerleaders, as well as the incoming freshmen, as they celebrate the beginning of summer. Some celebrate less than others, of course; freshman hazing is a big part of the movie, both male and female. The dialogue is fresh and unexpected; lines about George Washington's proclivity for marijuana, why you just gotta love high school girls ("I get older, they stay the same age", as McConaughey's character says), and the herd mentality when a fight breaks out demonstrate how all-over-the-map the dialogue can be, and it's always affecting and usually quite funny.

Of course, it's the acting and the characters that really steal the movie, and it really is amazing how many people in this movie went on to bigger things. As I said before, Affleck was the most surprising, but Mcconaughey had the most memorable role as an older dude who can't seem to let go of his youth, a slick slimeball who chases after under-age jail bait. And he has never been funnier or better than he was in this. Eventually, his character will wake up and the kids aren't going to want to hang out with him and the girls aren't going to want to sleep with him anymore, and he's going to have a rude awakening. But for the time being, he's all macho cool swagger, and Mcconaughey pulled off the part perfectly. Parker Posey is also excellent, playing a senior bitch (but only because she's "supposed" to be) unleashing a humiliating hazing on the incoming freshman girls.

You have to give props to the writing. It's not a long movie, but it covers so much ground that it feels big. At one point, a character says that the 70s obviously suck. That may have been, but it's never looked cooler than it did in "Dazed and Confused". And the soundtrack must be mentioned too. The 70s was a decade full of musical highs and lows, and thankfully the soundtrack highlights the highs while ignoring the lows, and we have songs by Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Dr. John, War, and other seminal 70s rock figures (curiously missing: "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin, but that's forgivable). Brilliant; there's not a single clunker, and it adds to the free, easygoing atmosphere of the movie. "Dazed and Confused" is quite possibly the best "teen movie" ever made, and, from the point of view of someone who grew up in the 80s anyway, the best movie about the 70s ever made.
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8/10
The last day of school in 1976
Wuchak24 July 2011
"Dazed and Confused" details the last day of high school for the typical youths of America in 1976. Shot in and around Austin, Texas, the film failed at the box office in 1993-94, but has gone on to achieve a well-deserved cult status. I never even heard of the film until this year when I saw most of it on TV and promptly decided to pick it up the DVD when I got the chance.

To my mind, "Dazed and Confused" is one of the best high school comedy-dramas, along with 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." The difference between these two films is that "Fast Times" contains more goofy antics whereas "Dazed" is more of a docudrama with amusing flashes. In other words, although "Fast Times is generally realistic, excepting the over-the-top parts with Spicoli, "Dazed and Confused" is more like a slice from real life.

What makes "Dazed" work so well is that it gets the LOOK of the mid-to-late 70s just right, particularly the hair & clothing styles. Secondly, the actors pull off the material expertly. In fact, a large part of the film's success is the excellent casting choices. Both are no easy feat. Speaking of the actors, you get a few up-and-comers here: Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck and one or two of lesser note (as far as future popularity goes).

All the standard school archetypes are here: the jock who parties on the side, the bullies, the hot sister and her little long-haired brother, the black dude, the hot (feminist) teacher, the streetfighter, the cool guys, the geekier crowd, the babes, the guy who graduated years ago but still hangs around, the mentors & mentees, etc.

And then you have the standard school experiences like parties at friend's houses, keg parties, fleeing bullies, dealing with coaches & teachers, flirting, the possibility of sex, hanging out, meaningless conversations, fights, smoking pot at school or in your friend's bedroom, etc.

Like "Fast Times," "Dazed and Confused" is a joy to watch -- whatever your age -- because it successfully takes you back to the high school years with all its joys & agonies.

Some don't like it because it's more of a slice-of-life film than a plot-driven, contrived story. The plot here is simple: It's the last day of school and the youths want to celebrate. If they can't party at their friend's house (because the dad catches wind of their plans) they'll have a party at the park or wherever, but they WILL party. The rest of the film involves their interactions within this context.

I've heard some complain that the film conveys a terrible message. What message? There is no message. The message is that school's out and it's time to celebrate! Besides, there are a few positive points that can be mined from the proceedings: the arrogant bully gets what's coming, make a stand and fight when you have to (even if you get beat up), ultra-tight pants must be put on with pliers & the help of a friend, be true to yourself, etc. But -- really -- this isn't a movie to look for deep messages, its simple purpose is to take you back to the school years -- in this case, 1976 -- and all the fun & painful experiences thereof.

No review of "Dazed and Confused" would be complete without noting the excellent soundtrack. You get some great rock/metal of the 70s like "Sweet Emotion," "School's Out," "Stranglehold," "Do You Feel Like We Do," "Love Hurts," "Paranoid," "Rock & Roll Hootchie Coo," "Rock & Roll All Nite," "Slow Ride," "Cherry Bomb," "Tuesday's Gone" and many more.

GRADE: A
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9/10
If you like "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", you'll like this film!
barrwell19 October 2010
Dazed and Confused has a lot in common with Fast Times at Ridgemont High; both movies contain a lot of future stars playing teenagers, both have lots of terrific Rock tunes on the soundtrack, and both derive laughs from their characters and situations and not through jokes, pratfalls and other typical Hollywood clichés. One difference between the two films is that Dazed and Confused is a period-piece, filmed in 1993 it takes place in 1976, and directer Richard Linklater does a marvelous job capturing the habits, the styles and the attitudes of the era. In that regard maybe this movie is more inspired by "American Graffiti" than Fast Times at Ridgemont. But it doesn't matter because to me D&C is the best of them all.

This movie seems to be as personal to Linklater as it is to me, and its not so much about plot or big scenes as it is about realism and the overall flow...and it flows beautifully. The movie follows a group of high school juniors and another group of 8th graders (next years seniors and freshmen)through the events surrounding the last day of school in Austin, Texas in 1976 (the whole film takes place in approximately 24 hours). We observe the hazing, the partying, some introspective banter and many familiar rituals as the characters prepare not just for the summer, but for the next school year and beyond. This was the same general time period I was in high school, so this movie had a special impact on me.

At this point I need to mention Wooderson (McConaughey,in his film debut), a key character, he's that 20-something dude that still hangs with the high school crowd. Did every town in America have a guy like this or what? Wood, Dawson, Slater, Pickford; these guys all remind me of guys I grew up with in my hometown.

The greatness of this film is that it rings so true...the way the "jocks" party with the "freaks" (or "grits' as they were also called where I grew up), the way they just aimlessly cruise around in muscle cars until they find out where the party's at, or the mailbox bashing (here it was beer bottles thrown at signs), or even the bottle cap flipping...we did that all the time! The only thing i didn't see was a bong. (besides the one Slater was making in shop class..HEY, we did that too!) Yeah thats right -joints are better for cruising anyway.

This is the kind of movie to rent on one of those Friday nights where you have to work early the next day. I first rented this movie on one of those very nights. Its a great Friday night movie and why not? No heavy handed plot, lots of partying and good music, and it makes you feel good. Speaking of the soundtrack...Linklater makes great use of period music; We get the gamut of 70s pop/rock including Aerosmith, Ted Nugent, ZZ Top, War, Dylan and even Black oak Arkansas (remember them?)....Jim dandy to the rescue! This movie really took me back.

Dazed and Confused is also a bit of a curio because of all the young actors (who were all unknown at the time) who went on to star in other movies. You will see Matthew McConaughey (his best performance ever), Ben Affleck, Parker Posey (she's a riot), Adam Goldberg, Joey Lauren Adams and Milla Jovavich (ok,i'm reaching now), among others. My only complaint involving the cast is that Wiley Wiggins' (as Mitch Kramer) mannerisms are a bit irritating, but other than that everyone does a tremendous job.

This movie has become like a fascinating time capsule about that post-revolutionary decade of the 70s, a decade filled with great music, movies and television (seriously, what the heck has happened to entertainment in this country?)... so its worth viewing for historical and social aspects as well as its entertainment value.

But anyway, I hope you enjoy one of my personal favorites...a really cool, funny and realistic look at what teenage life was like in so many towns in America in the mid-70s.

It may be set in Texas, but it could just as easily be Ohio.
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7/10
A postcard from the 70s.
TOMASBBloodhound18 July 2005
Dazed and Confused is a lot like the time in which it takes place. The film doesn't have much of note to say, but you get the sense that it has a good time just being there. By 1976, Vietnam was in the rear-view mirror, as were much of the struggles of the previous decades. It was almost like people were sick and tired of caring about things and just wanted to get wasted. Notice how nobody seemed to care when their teacher was trying to tell them about the 1968 Democratic Convention or our "aristocratic" forefathers. There is a certain innocence about the period that our up-tight and violent world of today could use right now.

Our film shows us the trials and tribulations of kids just looking to get high, drunk, or just save their butts from being paddled on the last day of school. Not much of note happens in this film. We just see kids doing what kids are still doing. They are all just out to have a good time. There are plenty of familiar faces in this cast, but nobody really outshines anyone else. The film is paced in a manner that doesn't let us get to know too much about the characters. We spend a minute or two with one group of friends, then we see what another group is up to. The most memorable scenes in the film are more painful than funny. We see next year's freshman class (girls and guys) get pummeled by the seniors. We see the destruction of property. We see a fight or two break out. Plenty of beer and pot are consumed by all. And there really isn't much else to it.

Linklater films the action from a completely neutral vantage point. There is nothing at all pretentious or preachy about any of the subject matter. We see some cool cars, tight jeans, long hair, and just about anything you would associate with this time frame. The film lacks the humor of Porky's or The Hollywood Knights. It also lacks the tragic desperation of The Last Picture Show. That said, this film is still worth taking a look at. Especially if you were in high school at the time. I was just a toddler in 1976, but I could still relate to these characters, and their need to party.

7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.
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Best Teen Movie of the 1990's.
MovieGuy907 November 2004
Dazed and Confused (1993)

Cast: Jason London, Rory Cochrane, Sasha Jenson, Wiley Wiggins, Michelle Burke, Matthew McConaughey, Adam Goldberg, Anthony Rapp, Marissa Ribisi, Shawn Andrews, Cole Hauser, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason O. Smith, Ben Affleck, Christin Hinjosa, Parker Posey, Nicky Katt.

Directed by Richard Linklater.

"Dazed and Confused" is one of the best teen films ever made, and for many reasons. It stands the test of it's time, along with George Lucas' "American Graffiti" and John Landis' "Animal House". It shows the highs and lows of partying, friendship, and drugs. The plot is about upcoming seniors and freshmen in a Texas town on the full last day of School in 1976. The characters are very likable in this, well, at least most of them. Richard Linklater gives a great independent direction. This isn't a film that encourages kids to do drugs, but it shows a true portrayal of teenagers in a America, in a very fun way. "Dazed and Confused" is one of my all-time favorite films, and one that I can watch over and over again. Well done.

5/5 stars.
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10/10
A laugh a minute
Snoopymichele23 March 2005
This became my all-time favorite comedy the first time I saw it. I was a small child in the 70's, but I do remember that era somewhat, and the characters in this movie reminded me so much of my teen-aged neighbors. The music is right on-one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard, a must-have for any 70's classic rock fans (in fact, it is so comprehensive, there are two volumes). Superb performances by Jason London, Sasha Jenson, Rory Cochrane, Milla Jovovich, Adam Goldberg, Parker Posey and Matthew McConaughey highlight this film, but the rest of the cast is just as great. It is no wonder that a majority of them went on to become major stars-everyone shines with this hysterically funny and nostalgic script written and directed by the amazing Richard Linklater. The movie flows beautifully, every scene is funny, and the chemistry of the characters is just amazing. Party at the moon tower!
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5/10
Guess this one wasn't for me
bowmanblue29 January 2015
Sometimes I write reviews and I can see people reading them, cursing my words and saying that I don't know what I'm on about. I'm well aware at how well Dazed and Confused was received, getting 5/5 ratings from the majority of viewers. I guess that means I just missed something about it and it didn't work for me.

It's about the last day of school in an American High School, back in 1976. The older students are looking forward to generally beating up the younger kids (as is tradition... apparently - all I can say is that this didn't happen to me at school in Britain during the eighties and nineties and I'm glad it didn't!).

I found most of the characters either unlikeable or boring. I found it hard to root for someone who enjoys bullying people smaller than them (which is most of the older kids), just as I found it harder to identify with the younger ones who just sort of spent most of the film running away or waiting to take a hiding. Plus there's no real story. What you have here is a collection of scenes with numerous different characters all doing their own things on the last day of school. There's also too many characters. Many don't really have much impact and aren't really fleshed out enough to be believed in. I think it would have benefited with a smaller cast. Although, the cast is pretty impressive - maybe not when this movie was made, but, in retrospect, there are a fair few Hollywood A-listers all here in the younger (pre-fame) days.

However, as much as I didn't really like it, I had to give it credit for getting the 'look' of the period right on. It really could have been filmed in the seventies for the way it was presented. Plus the soundtrack was right up my street. For once a film set in the seventies didn't have a single Abba track involved and there was far more use of some 'classic rock anthems' such as Alice Cooper (hooray!).

I didn't hate it, I just didn't like it as much as everyone else apparently did.
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10/10
Everything I Did When I was a Teenager
whpratt120 September 2005
This has to be one of the best teenager, high school flicks which tops most of the many other films i have viewed. It depicts male and female struggles with all the temptations that face youth and will continue for generations to come. (maybe even worse). The beginning of the film cautions the public that drug use is going to be viewed and it sure is clearly displayed through out the entire picture. Beer drinking is being digested like it is water on tap and bottoms up appears in more ways than in bottles. The classic act is destroying mail boxes and also a bowling ball being thrown into the back window of a car. One of the teenagers talks himself into getting a six pack of beer from a liquor store like it was taking candy from a baby. Lots of hot looking gals in tight pants being zipped up with pliers in order to get their nice forms skin tight. Very entertaining film and extremely realistic and down to earth. All the actors gave outstanding performances. Enjoy
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9/10
Dazed and Confused
Coxer993 September 1999
Intelligent comedy-drama about the last days of a bunch of high school seniors having a big bash in 1976. Excellent film all around with a well written script by director Linklater and a superb cast that features McConaghey, plus one of the finest compilations of classic rock ever.
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5/10
An "American Graffiti" for the '70s
cwoliver-112 January 2007
I can see the appeal of this movie. It is very much an "American Graffiti" for the '70s. If you look just a little you can find many of the same caricatures used by Lucas. DC is viewed by the youth of today much as we viewed AG in our day.

Contrary to many of the other reviewers I saw little humor in the hazing and the wide-spread drinking and smoking weed. That is not to say that there were not funny moments and lines, because there were quite a few; Slater's "knowledge" of history particularly hilarious. Who knew that Martha Washington grew weed - apparently by the bushel!

I also found it interesting the number of reviewers that have watched this movie and assert that this "exactly" their experience during the '70s. Mine was far from it. Growing up in a small N. California town (not far from AG's inspiration - Modesto) much of what was depicted did not occur or at least not to the extreme shown. Parents cared what time their children came home, what they'd been up to and if they'd been drinking/smoking. That is not to say that there wasn't any drinking/smoking - it was just on lower level and not nearly as wide-spread as depicted.

And many of the "pranks" shown in the movie occurred but were easily remedied in the real world. My father's mail box was hit only once. It's concrete-filled replacement collected broken bats for years afterward. And our equivalent of paddling was promptly discontinued when a freshman stabbed his assaulting senior with a knife. Problem solved.

But this is the way with movies. A narrow reality is shown often with few if any consequences for actions. Those not having lived in the time view it and get nostalgic over what they "missed out on." In reality the only thing they missed out on was a figment of someone's imagination.

One thing particularly note worthy of this movie is the quality of acting. I don't think that there was a bad performance in the lot. Perhaps some could have been better but none were bad. And others have noted, the music selections were great. Now there is a reality that is sorely missed today - the great wealth of artistic talent that was the '70s. The youth of today have no idea what a vast waste land of music they're living through; it's a veritable desert compared to the '70s.
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4/10
Not very realistic
mwright-1310 October 2006
I am wondering about all the other reviews that say this is exactly like real life in the 70's. I found this movie to be very unlike real life in 1976, to a severe extent. I graduated high school in 1973 so it should be almost exactly my time but there are many things wrong here. The movie has stoners wearing polyester print shirts which were actually the costumes of the disco set. In real life they would all be wearing blue denim jackets with DISCO SU**S buttons on them, and never disco clothes themselves. The movie has them smoking bongs in a convertible in plain view of cops, something never done in the 70's when people still went to jail for 2 joints and always smoked dope where the cops couldn't see us. It shows stoners always getting into fights. Not like real life, only greasers and jocks got into fights, stoners were too stoned to fight at all. They never talk about music in this movie, the most you hear about music in this movie is the one guy who talks about getting Aerosmith tickets, but in real life, all us stoners talked about was music. That was like 80% of our conversation. Jethro Tull, Deep Purple, Captain Beyond. I think most of the people in this movie were the lower intelligence set, the smart stoners didn't knock over garbage cans or go around paddling people in the posterior with wood paddles. It never happened. In real life, the football players were dumb jocks with short hair, big muscles, dated the dumb straight cheerleaders who made money at the bake sale to buy uniforms. Jocks were straight and never smoked dope or even cigarettes. They were scared of the stoners because they didn't have any idea what we were doing. Once in a while a stoner got on the football team but never fit in with the jocks, and when the stoners found out he was on the team we thought he was maybe a jock-hippie which was a rare thing. But this movie has skinny little hippies playing football!! Never happened, ever. And it shows hippies with late-60's Camaros with 454 engines in them and Dodge Chargers with a 440 and a 6-pack. Bzzzzzt!! Those were the greasers! Hippies drove beat up Volkswagens and Chevy Novas with 6 cylinders. This movie is not realistic at all. I think this movie is ABOUT the 70's but it lampoons them, and it seems the people who made the movie were not really there.
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8/10
I was there, it was awesome
mrsastor29 February 2008
I must concur with the other reviewers who have commented on the eerie accuracy of this film. I too attended high school in Texas in the 1970's, and this film is so flawless in recreating this time and place it lends the impression you were being documented without your knowledge. If you are of an age and background that permits you to relate to Dazed & Confused on this level, it will give you an unusual affinity for the film. This is exactly how we dressed and wore our hair, those are the cars we drove, the music we loved, that looks exactly like my high school (with only slight variations in paint colors), those seemed to be my teachers, and all of these people were the people I knew then. There is no question but that the author of this piece had to have been one of us.

As someone who was there, I hope I can clear up or offer some insight into a few of the points people have raised about the film. The drug use; well, it was the 70's. In my high school, really hardcore drugs such as heroin were virtually unknown, we talked about it but never saw it, but both marijuana and LSD were as common and available as sand in your shoes. My generation had a very permissive attitude toward these substances. My own clique would never have had the brass ones required to actually partake on campus, as getting caught would not have meant a detention but a trip to jail; on the other hand it was not infrequent to find us stoned in class. But we did leave campus to blow a joint, absolutely, (usually in either the home of one of us who lived nearby or a van that belonged to another of our group, parking at the shopping center down the street). In D&C we see Slater and some of his friends smoking weed right in the schoolyard, that didn't happen in my school. There wasn't a single teacher at my high school who would not have immediately recognized the odor of marijuana and sought out the source. With the clarity of thirty years hindsight, I remain of the opinion that we frankly had a healthier attitude on this subject than do so-called role models of today. Bad drug problems are bad drug problems, but the recreational use of marijuana is substantially less detrimental than either alcohol or tobacco, which both get a free pass because they're legal. Marijuana also failed to serve as a "gateway" drug in our clique, none of us were led by it into harsher substances. I'm glad I'm not in high school today.

One point of particular discussion I have noticed here on D&C's IMDb page is the movie's rather brutal depiction of hazing, "busting the freshmen". Several have reported that this did not occur at their school. You were lucky, and be glad of it. I attended high school in Dallas in the 1970's and this absolutely was a part of our life. I, like all girls, was spared the brutal whippings that Mitch and his friends have inflicted upon them by the seniors, but it absolutely happened to incoming freshmen boys and was generally sanctioned, or at least overlooked, by the adults in charge. For the record, YES IT IS ASSUALT AND BATTERY. Dang! What else do you call violently beating someone with a board until they cry? Battery, plain and simple. Outrageous, mean spirited and cruel, and frankly the homoerotic ass-fixated nature of this hazing paints a far more unflattering psychological portrait of those dealing out the punishment than of those receiving it. As girls we were at least not physically assaulted, but we did undergo some nasty initiation rituals, but usually only those of us trying to get into an organized club, not just all of us en masse simply because of our age (this is also depicted quite accurately in the film, what those poor girls endure from that bitch to get on the cheerleading squad, God love 'em). And it is likewise plainly obvious in the film just as it was in real life, the senior boys learned this bizarre monkey-like behavior from those bastions of simian progress, their "coaches", roles universally filled by academic failures who represent the Wooderson's of the future.

As disturbing as the hazing is, it belongs in the film because it was there, it was real, it was a part of our lives in that time and place, and I felt a delicious satisfaction when that one kid's mom met O'Bannion at the front porch cocking a shotgun. "I don't think so, creep!" You go girl! As both Mitch and Sabrina deal with the initiation rituals in a manner that is respected by their older peers and grants them access to the cool clique, it is too intrinsic to the storyline to be removed or whitewashed. I might add this is the only movie I have ever seen that captures this.

In summation, this is a movie directed at a rather specific audience. My friends who are of dramatically different age or grew up in a different part of the country do not generally relate to this movie nor enjoy it on the same level, although they often find it entertaining. But if you, like the filmmaker, were a Texas high school student in those amazingly permissive 1970's, and didn't particularly hate your life at the time, I think you'll absolutely love it. Highly recommended.
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2/10
About as realistic as "Melrose Place" and as funny as "Platoon"
rooprect27 July 2014
On the few occasions when I bash the snot out of a movie, I usually try to have fun with it. I won't even bother this time. So get set for a review as brutal, dry and miserable as the movie we're talking about.

Contrary to everything they tell you, "Dazed & Confused" isn't a comedy. At least I sincerely hope not. The only people who could possibly find humor in the disturbing paedophiliac rape scenes which compose much of this movie's vapid "plot" are probably the same people who laugh at images of prisoner abuse at Abu Gharib. Let me describe one of these "funny" scenes. A high school freshman, played by an actor who looks like he's 12, flees in mortal terror from 6 ham-faced seniors, played by actors who look like they're 28 and on steroids. They catch him. Hootin' and hollerin' they bend him over the hood of a car doggy style. The camera angle gives us a close up of the kid's contorted face grimacing while, from behind in slow motion, the ham-faces howl and laugh as they violate the prepubescent kid in the posterior with a paddle. If you were too dense to miss the rape symbolism, at one point they tell the kid to squeal like a pig, bringing to mind Ned Beatty's somewhat uncomfortable anal experience in "Deliverance". Gee, funny stuff. In the 1st hour the same scene is repeated two more times with two more kids. At one point a car of girls pulls up and one girl shouts "hey, take it easy on the kid" to which ham-face #5 cockily opens up the trunk of his car to reveal 200 beers, to which the girls suddenly start oohing and begging like trained seals. Are you laughing? I wasn't, nor was my date, nor was the entire theater. Good thing because I probably would've punched anyone who was.

The sick feeling I got when watching "Dazed & Confused" was a lot like the sick feeling I got when watching Stanley Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange", except that Clockwork is a powerful, intentionally unsettling film with a purpose while D&C is just a mess. Clockwork was a brilliant dark satire of society--we're never supposed to believe or even expect that the story would ever be remotely true because it's so nightmarish.

To those reviewers who are raving about how "spot on" this movie is, I don't know what Archie comic book world you crawled out of, but it certainly wasn't mine. In what alternate universe does every 17-year-old high school senior own a Pontiac GTO (which cost $4500 in 1976, roughly $8000 by today's standards), have the cash to buy 200 beers and 6 kegs, have no job other than hootin', hollerin' and smashing windows and basically walking around stoned & drunk 24 hours a day? While, yes, these things were known to happen in the 70s, it was only about as frequent as you'd expect today, generally describing the 0.05% bored rich kids whose mommies & daddies were buying them cars while the rest of us were schlepping around in our rusty Dodge Darts because that's all our part-time jobs would cover (minimum wage: $2.35/hr in 1976).

It quickly becomes obvious that this movie wasn't trying to give us an accurate portrayal of the 70s so much as it was a series of gratuitous 70s clichés. Aging baby boomers could feel like their existence was validated while younger Gen-Xers could feel like they're getting a cultural education. Wrong on both counts. What "Dazed & Confused" amounts to is simply a bunch of idealized nostalgia, the same way the 50's was idealized by the creators of "Happy Days". At least Happy Days was funny & entertaining, so we accept it. But "Dazed & Confused" failed because it took itself too seriously and had an inherently bland script, leaving with us with nothing but phony, contrived situations to entertain us. Contrast this against "Napoleon Dynamite" which was similarly set in a high school 20 years in the past but featured not only a funny self-deprecating approach but a memorable script full of great one-liners. In the case of "Napoleon", we accept the nostalgia because it's such a great satire of itself.

Now let's talk about the soundtrack of "Dazed & Confused". Think of every classic rock cliché that's been played so many times on the radio that even die-hard classic rock fans would switch the station. Now string these songs together almost randomly, with no significance to the story (as if trying to compensate for lack of cinematic content with crowd pleasing candy rock), and there's your wonderful soundtrack. Does anyone on the planet actually like the song "Rock & Roll Hootchie Koo" anyway?

The 70s offered so many better songs (which we actually did listen to back then). It is particularly irritating that the movie would take its title from the great atmospheric Zeppelin song "Dazed & Confused" while not acknowledging it once in the film. Not mainstream enough, I guess.

If you want a cool, nostalgic 70s trip with poignant music (not just the regurgitated radio crap), check out the films of Gabrielle Salvatores with obscure yet awesome songs like Deep Purple "Child in Time" or the movie Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas with Jefferson Airplane's incomparable "White Rabbit" or for you serious 70s rock fans, the movie "Buffalo 66" with great songs by bands like Yes & King Crimson. Leave this "I Love the 70s" radio-happy-rubbish to the posers who think this was what life was like back then.

As a comedy, this movie fails. As a drama, it's just plain disturbing. As a rock & roll movie it's annoying as hell. Watch a documentary about paedophiles in prison for more entertainment value than "Dazed & Confused". And for the love of Pete, if anyone tries to tell you this is a cult classic, please belt them in the chops for me.
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1/10
Dazed and plot less
Joe Que20 September 2008
I was born in 1975 so I sort of understand that people like this film as a travel back in time, but as a story, it sucks. The fact is: there is no story. None whatsoever. Apart from the beating of the freshmen(which I've never experienced), I've been to better and more interesting parties than the one in this film, and I've never thought that those parties where film material. Style over substance all the way. The best thing about is the music, but I find it hard to believe that in 1976, they only played songs that were later to become classics. I guess they also played songs that were forgotten as well.

And it is not a comedy.
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1/10
Bored and Confused
Seth Landers26 September 2013
My mother gave me this movie on DVD as a present, since I love stoner comedies. This had potential, it had an all-star cast, a reputable director, and a catchy title. The first twelve minutes were promising, high school is almost over and the story seemed to be going in a positive direction. After those precious twelve minutes, this movie went completely downhill. There was no plot whatsoever, zero conflict, and undeveloped characters, things you do not want in a classic film. I was disappointed and I had never been so bored in my life watching a "comedy" that felt like an eternity to finish. There is only ONE funny scene worth watching and that's the part where the hippie talks about George Washington smoking weed. Other than that, I cannot believe this project got made in the first place. It doesn't even count as a real movie, but I digress! If you want to watch an overrated movie that is boring and has no redeeming qualities to it, then this is the movie for you. I'm glad I shared my opinion and by the way, I sold the DVD after watching this piece of garbage for the third time.
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Where's the point?
efurrer6 March 2002
This movie had absolutely no point. No plot, no climax.. A buncha kids get out of school and go to a party and do a lot of drinking and drugs. Flat liner from beginning to end. Good depiction of the 70's.
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A group of high school students on the last day of school, 1976
Verona11 August 1998
A groups of seniors, accompanied by miscellaneous characters, explores the last day of school in 1976. Everyone knew the sentimental football player, the stoner/bong mechanic, the popular girls baring midriffs and hazing the new freshman, and the girls who had meaningful conversations about Gilligan's Island. Fun, and with some great music, its a fun flick to watch with friends.
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1/10
Don't bother. Just more cultural filler.
Justafilmwatcher21 November 2007
It's rare that I don't even get through a film. 'Dazed and Confused' is just one of two (the other being 'Fast Sofa'.) For the record, I gave myself THREE ATTEMPTS to get into this picture, and I failed each time.

I couldn't see the point of this film. Having grown up and been in school in 1976, none of the character representations even seemed familiar. I'm sure plenty of teens smoked dope, drank, rated 'Gilligan's Island' and fooled around, but that's not ALL they did. Even the costumes are just phony 1990s nostalgic idealizations of the mid-1970s.

The filmmaker could stand a lesson on how to avoid reduced characters. Awkward and thin representation of personality stereotypes is not conducive to making a strong film. (Coincidentally, I believe it was the young 'filmmakers' of the 90s who ushered us into the era of diluted screen writing. One might call it: "anything I do is good 'cuz *I* did it.") Also, the filming style is poor: colours are washed out, the lighting is wan, and the sound is thin.

I can't recommend this film to anyone as I found it unwatchable. It's not even worth a rainy Saturday afternoon (even with a hangover). 'Dazed and Confused' is just another one of those vanity projects which make you question why a production company would finance it.
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1/10
(-_- ) zzZZzzZZ.... It's sad that it comes as a tired and uninspired FLICK from a good Director....
jonjosejamora23 October 2007
It's bad enough that they ripped off a Led Zep song for the title, and what is worse is that the conversations are tired and boring. If you want to watch a "feel good" or funny movie, check out Clerks or the 40 year old Virgin. I guess that i am just warning you not to see such an overdone flick that really is not worth your time. On the OTHERHAND, if you liked this movie after watching it, good for you; frankly i did not see anything worth ranting about which explains my dread for this flick.

Just about the only excuse to watch this movie is if you are a fan of the following: Jason London, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Joey Lauren Adams, and Ben Affleck. I tried to like it since i am a fan of Joey Loren Adams. This is one of those early films for a lot of these rising stars.

I don't know what funny or interesting is according to this film. These are some of the events and themes featured that are supposed to be interesting: "Stoners" that emit a sense of pride as if they were some kind of elite. Fraternity style initiations with paddles, ketchup, and crappy "mean" acting (the initiations are not even believable; i mean who the hell runs around with a colored kiddie looking paddle?!). High school queer looking freshmen trying to be mature by talking about the "babes" of the campus. A football player struggling in terms of submitting to his coach or not (come on as if any hard working varsity players would think of quitting the team for pot sessions...). More of the stupid freshmen trying to fit in (character development for the least important....). With all of the little details that the film could do with out, the entire package just gives a sense of "i-am-running-out-of-ideas-about-where to-go-with-my-characters" kind of feel. I just don't know, the whole flick is trite and cliché that it's really nothing special.

Coming from the acclaimed Richard L. i am utterly disappointed. I know that this director can handle a simple and yet beautiful movie that excels due to the conversations of the characters as seen in "Before Sunset" (2004) and "Before Sunrise" (1995). I know that Before Sunset and the latter is of a totally different genre but its an example of how the dialogue can carry the movie and make it extraordinary. Dazed and Confused relies heavily on what it characters say, which is to say not much and not at all inspired.

Save yourself the time and pass on this one. I guess I also hate this a little bit too much since it has Ben Affleck in it (his acting never got better than this; so haha...). But hey, just to neutralize my last gripe, there is a film that i love with Ben A. directly and indirectly involved......... Yep its "Goodwill Hunting" (thanks to Ben A. for that one!).
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One of the best films about teenage life ever made!
george.schmidt11 February 2002
DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993) ***1/2 Jason London, Rory Cochrane, Wiley Wiggins, Milla Jovovich, Parker Posey, Sasha Jenson, Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams, Anthony Rapp, Adam Goldberg, Marissa Ribisi,Michelle Burke, Nicky Katt, Deena Martin, Christine Harnos, Christin Hinojosa. Fun, crazy and out-there portrayal of teenage anomie, angst and acceptance for the last day of school circa 1976 in all its gaudy and giddy splendor. Fine performances from mostly unknown cast(and on their way to bigger and better things) and great soundtrack makes for an authentic , nostalgic addition to the likes of "American Graffiti" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". Look very sharp for Renee Zellweger in an uncredited blink-and-miss. Fine easy direction by Richard Linklater.
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5/10
A depressing commentary about teen life and bullying
Mat12 February 2006
Reading some of the comments here, you would think that this film painted an idyllic picture about the transition from childhood to adulthood, as represented by the final days of junior high/high school.

Whilst the film does paint a picture of teens frantically trying to have a good time at any expense, the film seems more about bullying, both physical and psychological, and about the sad depths that American teens will go to conform.

Supercially, this appears to be a standard teen movie, but I suspect that what at first appears to be a deliberately blasé approach to ritual beatings, is actually a quite subtle way of drawing attention to the "lives of quiet desperation" endured by many of the characters.

The director is either a lot smarter or a lot less pleasant than you can tell at first glance. If he really thinks that the battering of freshman boys is funny, then he's a real a**hole. I give a low score because even if the director was making a social commentary, the film was moderately unpleasant to watch, from a European's point of view.

There are some here who doubtless empathise with the jocks and the party lifestyle, but then they were probably the same people who, in their school years, made life miserable for those around them.

I don't know if this unpleasant movie really does depict American teen life, then or now, but if it does, it certainly explains a lot...
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1/10
Incredibly boring, not even worth finishing
optwood5 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This film is probably funny if you are stoned. Otherwise it is a very bad mockumentary of high school in the mid 70s. It has no interesting characters, no real story, and certainly nothing draws you in. It appears to be a poor copy of Hollywood Knights. If you are thinking about watching this film, please, for your own sake, watch something else. Anything else. The main characters are boring, and the actors are less believable as high school students than grease 2. Four of us watched this travesty, and three wanted to turn it off before it finished. The last just wanted to find out if it improved. it didn't. It was a relief when it finally stopped.
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3/10
Am I missing something or is this just really dumb?
funkyjuju4 August 2015
I really don't understand the appeal of this movie. What was it genre? It's labelled a comedy but -and I'm not exaggerating- there are no funny moments at all. Is it coming-of-age? Well, no. The characters don't change over the course of the movie and they're pretty one-dimensional to start off with.

I suppose the acting isn't bad. But literally 80% of the characters are the same person -stupid, obnoxious, and completely uninteresting. There are a couple of half-way decent characters in there but I honestly don't care enough to praise them.

The whole hazing thing is so weird to me. I mean, I get that it's the 70s but it's really strange that 17/18 year olds get such a kick out of humiliating 15 year olds. Also, I highly doubt that so many freshmen would take this crap. I don't know if this is like an American tradition but in my country, no one would be into this idiotic rite of passage.

It was very cool to see 70s fashion and music portrayed so authentically. It was probably the only thing that kept me watching up to the end.

The plot is non-existent. Seriously, nothing happens.

Am I missing some kind of deeper meaning? Perhaps I'm being dense but all the movie looks like to me is a bland, confused mess that has only two things going for it - a fairly star-studded cast and a retro vibe.
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