A shy skateboarder rides with the big boys.
Jonah Hill’s ode to Los Angeles skater culture is more than a period piece—it’s a time capsule, said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Shot on 16 mm film and packed with pop-culture touchstones, this “loose, episodic” coming-of-age story follows a 13-year-old who escapes his abusive older brother and beleaguered single mom by latching on to a group of bigger kids who hang out at a skateboard shop. Soon, Sunny Suljic’s Stevie is racking up rites of passage as the gang skates, smokes, chases girls, and runs from the cops. “You might find yourself worrying about Stevie even as you revel, vicariously, in his newfound pleasures.” Yes, the arc of the story is so familiar “it’s practically over before it begins,” said Eric Kohn in IndieWire.com. But several of the foulmouthed young actors deliver “performances so real, the characters practically fall off the screen.” And in the end, it’s just fun to hang out with this crew, said Elizabeth Weitzman in TheWrap.com. True to their time, these skate punks “banter like Kevin Smith extras, wander like Richard Linklater dreamers, and misbehave like Larry Clark lost boys.” ■