Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Witty, wordy '90s indie has sex, cursing, violence.

Movie R 1991 97 minutes
Slacker Poster Image

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Funny and appealingly weird, this was the 1991 breakthrough feature by Richard Linklater (Boyhood), taking a clever, almost experimental approach to a snapshot of disaffected youth of the time. Actors appear and deliver dialogue that's either hilariously banal or hilariously detailed, and then disappear, never to be seen again, while someone in the background suddenly becomes the new main character. Each new character lasts only a few minutes, but the bigger picture is one of the most memorable movies about young people trying to find themselves. They are, for the most part, smart and idealistic, but are unable to figure out how to make all that work in the real world -- a mindset that is instantly identifiable to nearly any big-city college grad.

Linklater shot cheaply, with many long takes and relatively few cuts, and even a scene shot on a Fisher Price PixelVision camera. Some semi-famous musicians and artists were cast for the ultra-hip to identify. Slacker was a mini-phenomenon, highly influential in some circles, inspiring artists ranging from filmmaker Kevin Smith to the band R.E.M. Seen today, it looks pretty ragged, and, in truth, it looks a bit old, but not so much that some of today's disaffected youth wouldn't get something worthwhile out of it.

Movie Details

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