66 user 118 critic

Palo Alto (2013)

R | | Drama | 9 May 2014 (USA)
1:47 | Trailer

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The life and struggles of a group of adolescents living in Palo Alto.


Gia Coppola


Gia Coppola, James Franco (book)
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Kilmer ... Teddy
Nat Wolff ... Fred
Emma Roberts ... April
Olivia Crocicchia ... Chrissy
Claudia Levy ... Shauna
James Franco ... Mr. B
Val Kilmer ... Stewart
Jacqui Getty Jacqui Getty ... Jane
Andrew Lutheran ... Ivan
Bo Mitchell ... Jack O
Bailey Coppola Bailey Coppola ... Seth
Zoe Levin ... Emily
Brennen Taylor ... Luke (as Brenden Taylor)
Atlanta Decadenet Atlanta Decadenet ... Girl at Party (as Atlanta Decadenet Taylor)
Colleen Camp ... Sally


Shy, sensitive April is the class virgin, torn between an illicit flirtation with her soccer coach Mr. B and an unrequited crush on sweet stoner Teddy. Emily, meanwhile, offers sexual favors to every boy to cross her path - including both Teddy and his best friend Fred, a life wire without filters or boundaries. As one high school party bleeds into the next - and April and Teddy struggle to admit their mutual affection - Fred's escalating recklessness starts to spiral into chaos.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


In every city some seek love, some look for trouble, others look for both.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and pervasive language - all involving teens | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

9 May 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Пало Алто See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$63,461, 11 May 2014, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$750,100, 29 June 2014
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RabbitBandini Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


After her grandfather Francis Ford Coppola and her aunt Sofia Coppola, Gia Coppola is the third generation of her family to direct a film. See more »


When April is babysitting Michael, he is playing Mortal Kombat. The buttons show on screen are the buttons on the Playstation controllers, while in the actual scene we see Michael and April playing with Xbox 360 controllers. The Xbox 360 is also the video game sitting besides the TV. See more »


April: You want to cry and smile, but instead you just stare and you can't do anything.
See more »


References The Virgin Suicides (1999) See more »


Palo Alto
Written by Blood Orange
Performed by Blood Orange
See more »

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User Reviews

My All-Time Favorite High School Drama
9 November 2015 | by lexyblairSee all my reviews

Palo Alto is one of my all-time favorite movies. It touches my heart unlike most dramas, and is more realistic than any other high school movie. It touches on important subject, and brings to life an atmosphere of what real high school is. It is powerful, and incredibly emotional at times. It doesn't try to be something it's not, doesn't try to make high school look better than it is. It's the most honest movie I have truly ever watched, and I go back to it again and again. Gia Coppola did an excellent job telling the original story of what James Franco had written. I thought I would go ahead and list some criteria (from least important, to most important: Filmography, and setting: The setting takes place exactly where the title says it does, Palo Alto, California. Most of the time the lighting in the film is somewhat dreary and gloomy. I would definitely categorize this as an "art film" because it's the actiong that brings this to life, the setting is merely a backdrop. Much of the filming has wide shots, and shots from down below, showing lots of shadows and emotion on the characters faces. Acting: I would give the acting an A, Emma Roberts being the one who did the best job portraying her character, although Jack Kilmer comes a close second. He really makes us believe he's s teenage guy in a small town, messing around to have some fun. Everybody in the film is extremely believable, they reminded me of people I know. Even myself-- I can relate to all of it. The small town boredom, and partying every weekend to try to bring some life back into our eyes. Theme: This is my most important criteria. We all know that the main plot of the story is what ties it all together. But with Palo Alto, the only major plot is teenagers dealing with everyday struggles, and how to maneuver around new relationships. Dealing with things like hook-ups, drinking, community service, friendship, and sports.It is so incredibly well done and believable. I have gone through high school myself, and first watched this back when I was actually in high school. It was a breath of fresh air from all of the other high school dramas portraying high school to be something it's not. I would highly recommend any high school-er watching this, or anyone really. We sympathize with the characters, and cry and laugh at the same time. It's a great film.

On the other hand, I could see why people wouldn't like this movie. It doesn't sugar coat anything. It shows underage kids having sex, using vulgar language, and doing things such as drinking and smoking weed. It's not for everyone. I assume that older generations wouldn't approve... if only they knew that this is exactly what their kids are actually doing. It can be a hard movie to watch at times, one scene being especially fragile where a young girl is taken advantage of time and time again, and we can only watch as she makes one mistake after another. But that's truly what high school is about, learning and growing.

Some of my favorite quotes from the movie: "You don't care about anything.""I wish I didn't care about anything."

"there are girls looking for love, boys looking for trouble, and men looking for both."

"I'm shivering because you're beautiful."

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