Critic Reviews



Based on 24 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Minghella’s incredible directorial debut is a technicolor, neon-drenched fever dream. It is told with remarkable visual prowess, jaw-dropping editing, a soundtrack to die for, career-best performances from its central cast, and most importantly, heart. This is not to be missed.
The music and locations are specific so that the characters don’t have to be — viewers can take the movie on its own terms, while also projecting themselves onto it.
Minghella, to his credit, makes it an entertaining ride even when we see where it’s going, and Fanning turns out to be a terrific singer well suited to the alternative-rock playlist she’s given.
Simply put, Elle Fanning is Teen Spirit. This is a performance piece, nothing more and nothing less, and those invested in seeing Fanning soar in her career have every reason to watch.
So while the whole is less than the sum of its parts, there is a lot to like. The cast is unique, the visuals mesmerizing, and the music ready to get your toes tapping in the theater.
Minghella surely knew that what he had here was a familiar story, but despite his gritty and admirable direction it fails to break the traditional formula.
Teen Spirit is too tidy, concocted, and safe. It longs to channel the high of great pop, but as a movie it lacks the ecstatic imagination to do what great pop does. It never soars.
The screenplay seems a little thin, full of frayed threads which are never properly woven into the story.
Sadly, the film doesn’t live up to the depth of the music that seems to have inspired its existence.
This making-of-a-star drama is old-fashioned and corny, and not in a good way.

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