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American Teen

3.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

American Teen begins with the echoing, bouncy guitar riffs from the Black Kids' I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You leading most of the public to think that this is yet another vapid movie about teenagers and the predictable storylines that usually accompany them. However, despite its Breakfast Club mock-up poster, there's something different about American Teen. Even though it's a documentary, the movie's advertising and beginning make it appear more as fiction rather than non-fiction. This documentary, brought to us by Nanette Burstein - who directed The Kid Stays in the Picture, a documentary bio about producer/actor Robert Evans - is shot in an attractive, contemporary style that brings a usually-dreaded genre (documentaries) to an audience (teenagers) that label them as such. With animated sequences and a stellar soundtrack, Burstein delivers a fun, truthful look into the lives of four high school seniors during their final school year.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jake Tusing, Megan Krizmanich, Colin Clemens, Mitch Reinholt, Hannah Bailey
  • Directors: Nanette Burstein
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001OAOJUW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #104,920 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
American Teen is a wonderful documentary about five Seniors, two girls and three boys, and how they deal with the rigors of academia at Warsaw (Indiana) Community High School in Warsaw, Indiana, a conservative Midwestern community. It follows them as they deal with such issues as getting scholarships, sexting, and relating to one another and the adults in their lives. I do find it difficult to believe that they would be entirely themselves with cameras following them around constantly. Still, their stories are interesting even heartbreaking like when "Queen Bee" Megan weeps over her sister who died a couple of years earlier; or, as we follow Hannah in her struggle with depression. While some of it may seem contrived to some, I would recommend this movie to anyone who wants to see what high school life is like for a middle-American teen.
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Format: DVD
American Teen begins with the echoing, bouncy guitar riffs from the Black Kids' I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You leading most of the public to think that this is yet another vapid movie about teenagers and the predictable storylines that usually accompany them. However, despite its Breakfast Club mock-up poster, there's something different about American Teen. Even though it's a documentary, the movie's advertising and beginning make it appear more as fiction rather than non-fiction. This documentary, brought to us by Nanette Burstein - who directed The Kid Stays in the Picture, a documentary bio about producer/actor Robert Evans - is shot in an attractive, contemporary style that brings a usually-dreaded genre (documentaries) to an audience (teenagers) that label them as such. With animated sequences and a stellar soundtrack, Burstein delivers a fun, truthful look into the lives of four high school seniors during their final school year.

Taking a cue from the classic generation-defining 1985 John Hughes teen movie The Breakfast Club, the teaser poster already sets up the tone for the "characters," featuring the students in the same poses and clothes as the characters from Hughes' cult classic.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Seemed like an honest portrayal of American teenagers at a specific point in their lives. I was disappointed that others teens who played major roles in the movie, while not the focus if the movie, were not filled up with. Specifically, I'd like to know what happened with the best friend and with the topless photo girl. They played significant roles in the movie but didn't get the same follow up as the main players.
Over all it was a great portrayal of the everyday stories of teenagers from a white middle America, middle class perspective. What it neglects, however is the other at least 60% of American teenagers of different race and/or socioeconomic standing.
A snapshot at best, but a very well done one.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
What I thought was cool about this movie is the fact that it was taped in Warsaw, IN...where I'm writting this review. For a reality movie, this was really cool how much this was actually like high school was for me. (Maybe not quite as much drama.) But, there is one character that everyone can relate to....or maybe a couple. :)
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Showed this to a group of teens and they enjoyed watching and discussing the similarities to their life experiences. There is a lot of profanity, but no more than you would here when observing teens. There is also some sexual content that pushes the limit for PG-13 but overall it is a great look into the reality of being a teenager in America.
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Format: Amazon Video
I bought the DVD to this movie immediately after seeing it. It was really good. It was one of the best documentaries I saw in 2008. I first heard about it from the film blog [...] who said something like it was the best documentary they'd ever seen. It certainly did not disappoint.
I really fell in love with the characters. The DVD extras with Hannah's hilarious blogs are great too.

I definitely recommend this movie.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
It's a little horrifying watching this and wondering how much of the drama was created by the documentary filmmakers. There have been accusations they used cue cards and that pressured one of the teens that he had to get a girlfriend or he'd be out of the doc. I can't recommend this in good conscience.
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Format: DVD
This movie is an honest look at a teenagers life in high school. It shows how the different clicks are the gears that make the social machine work in that setting. The movie follows the lives of five students in a school year. It is easy to see the student that the documentarian most closely associates with and why. I was hooked from the start and really cared about the outcome of all the kids as the movie progressed. It was a surprisingly good movie. If you get the chance to see it, make the time to do so.
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