40 user 129 critic

American Teen (2008)

PG-13 | | Documentary | 15 August 2008 (USA)
2:49 | Trailer

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A documentary on seniors at a high school in a small Indiana town and their various cliques.


2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
... Himself
... Herself
Colin Clemens ... Himself
Mitch Reinholt ... Himself
... Herself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Geoff Haase ... Himself
Jennifer Lucht ... Herself
Athena Schlitt
Gabriella Schlitt
... Himself
Jennifer Sheopherd ... Herself
Ali Wikalinska ... Herself


A documentary on seniors at a high school in a small Indiana town and their various cliques.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Remember high school? It's gotten worse.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language, sexual material, some drinking and brief smoking-all involving teens | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site | Official site [Japan] |  »



Release Date:

15 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adolescente americano  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$45,589, 27 July 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$940,496, 21 September 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In multiple shots the frame is reversed. At a party framed magazines on a shelf are reversed. During a conversation with his father, the logo on Colin's shirt switches from his left shoulder to his right shoulder (and reversed) and back to his left shoulder. See more »


References Labyrinth (1986) See more »


Sea Ghosts
Written by Nicholas Thorburn, Alden Ginger and Jamie Thompson
Performed by The Unicorns
Courtesy of Alien8 Recordings
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User Reviews

6 August 2008 | by See all my reviews

"In no order of things is adolescence the time of the simple life." Janet Erskine Stuart

As a non-television viewing guy, I may have just been introduced to a reality-show type of documentary, American Teen, directed and scripted by the acclaimed Nanette Burstein. That this look into the life of four typical graduating teens at mid-America's Warsaw Community High in Indiana may look like an episode on Real World I have on good advice. That it frequently seems like a docudrama I have on my own counsel.

American teen covers all the bases with stock characters: the nerd, the queen, the outsider, the jock, but these are real teens with real challenges such as attracting dates, getting accepted to the right college, meeting dad's expectations-- well, you know the drill if you know teens, be they in Indiana or Los Angeles. Burstein was successful in allowing the legendary producer Robert Evans to tell his unique story in The kid Stays in the Picture. "Unique" doesn't generally apply to American Teen.

As I questioned Errol Morris's manipulations in his documentary Standard Operating Procure (2008) (re-enactments, arty images, and sublimating music), so I question Burstein's artful interpretations: animated sequences about the teen's anxieties and dreams and arguably rehearsed or set-up scenes, the most obvious a face-slapping reaction that looks rehearsed if not just plain lucky for the filmmaker to be there to catch it. Similarly, but less dramatically, is a father calmly telling his son to get a basketball scholarship or go into the Army. It's all too pat, or as several critics have said, "slick."

Maybe because I had several children who passed through senior high with similar experiences, I am not feeling enlightened by American Teen. A successful doc usually gives insight; this one gives me reservations about the durability of the real documentary.

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