Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: NR Length: 78 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 12+. The film traces the development of the teenager through history, so there’s a focus on the rebellious nature of adolescence. Discussions of teenagers being sent to war, of gangs of hooligans committing crimes in the early 20th century, and of teenagers experimenting with smoking, drinking, and sex, along with archival video footage and photos showing some of these things.
‘Teenage’ is a confusing film, one that describes itself as a ‘living collage’ but comes off as pretentious and underdeveloped. The movie wants to explore the development of the teenager, but it never goes deep—instead, it’s a superficial checklist.
By Roxana Hadadi
How to even begin to describe director Matt Wolf’s film, “Teenage”? Press materials describe it as a “living collage” and “mesmerizing trip into the past,” but it’s never that compelling. A mish-mash of photo stills, archival video footage, and newly shot scenes gives the film a weird broadcast news vibe, and its use of different narrators supposedly reading teens’ diaries never gels, either. For a film that is meant to be truly genuine, “Teenage” feels surprisingly manufactured.