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Paranoid Park

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France, United States
·
2007

Rated R · 1h 25m

Director Gus Van Sant
Starring Taylor Momsen, Gabe Nevins, Jake Miller, Daniel Liu

Genre Mystery, Crime, Drama

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Hopping freight trains one night with his friends, teenage skateboarder Alex is caught in a scuffle with a security guard that ends in his accidental death. Alex hopes to put this trauma behind him, but after his skateboard is recovered from the river and linked to the scene of the crime, he and his friends are brought in for questioning.

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60

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

If Paranoid Park is mainly an accumulation of the signs and symbols and images inside Van Sant's own head, that's artistically legitimate. When he makes a feeble effort to connect Alex's plight to the Iraq war and the cultural climate of Bush-era America, I just don't buy it.
100

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

The pleasing circularity of Gus Van Sant's masterful Paranoid Park is not only a function of the film's narrative structure but reflects the arc of its maker's career. Few directors have revisited their earliest concerns with such vigor.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

In Paranoid Park, Gus Van Sant enters the world of high school kids just as he did in "Elephant," achieving this time a much sharper, more focused portrait of how these rapidly maturing young people act, think, speak and behave.
88

Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

The film's sound design, sampling Beethoven and Nino Rota, among others, links up with visual miracles performed by Rain Kathy Li and Wong Kar-Wai's noted cinematographer, Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love), to take us inside Alex's head. The result, a defiant slap at slick Hollywood formula, is mesmerizing.
90

Variety by Todd McCarthy

Through immaculate use of picture, sound and time, the director adds another panel to his series of pictures about disaffected, disconnected youth.

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