Film Review: Growing Up Fast in the Skateboard Life of ‘Mid90s’

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly versionE-mail page to friendE-mail page to friendPDF versionPDF version
No votes yet

CHICAGO – Character actor Jonah Hill has just scored behind the camera. As writer/director of a authentic look back at the “Mid90s” he went back to his inner source of growing up in that 1990s time, skateboarding with his buds and experiencing the teenage life. The story never blinks, as the teens are authentic and the situations they get in even more so. Oscarman rating: 4.0/5.0
Rating: 4.0/5.0

In a recent interview, Jonah Hill said that this film became his “best friend.” And in that sense we experience his joy in each frame. Hill cast it right, he approached it right and even in the harshest moments in the film were honestly right. The lead boy, portrayed by Sunny Suljic (“The House with the Clock in Its Walls”), amazingly takes on the innocence of desire in wanting to belong, and then growing up through that opportunity. The young actors portraying the skateboard buddies are also naturalistic, with a particular kudo going to Na-kel Smith. He handles a key scene with a perfect sensitivity, totally believable for his age and background in the film. I look forward to seeing more from Jonah Hill.

Stevie (Suljic) is a typical 13-year-old boy, being raised by a single Mom (Katherine Waterson), and tormented by sadistic older brother Ian (Lucas Hedges). He longs for a break out, either through his relationship with Ian or another discovery. As if on cue, he finds a group of skateboarder buds, and buys a board to join up with them.

There are implications to this new life. The boys like their cigarettes, booze and pot, along with introducing Stevie to the temptations of coupling with girls. The young boy starts to lead a double life, innocent pubescent by day, raging skater boi by all other free time. When his mother finds out, everything could change.

“Mid90s” opened in Chicago on October 26th, part of a nationwide release. Featuring Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterson, Lucas Hedges, Na-kel Smith, Olan Precatt, Gio Galicia and Ryder McLaughlin. Written and directed by Jonah Hill. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Mid90s”

Skater Boi-to-Teen: Stevie (Sunny Suljic) in ‘Mid90s’
Photo credit: A24

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “Mid90s”

User Login

Free Giveaway Mailing


  • It's NOT ALL About You John Michael

    CHICAGO – John Michael epitomizes the art of the monologue. The Chicago transplant, by way of Dallas, is moving on (he says temporarily) from the city that inspired his last show, “Meatball Seance,” after notorious and successful runs of his other one-man shows, “John Michael and the Order of the Penix” and “Dementia Me.” His farewell performance is his latest, another laugh riot, “It’s NOT ALL About You John Michael,” and will take place at Mary’s Attic in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood on March 1st, 2019. Click here for details, including ticket information.

  • Soccer Player in the Closet, The 2

    CHICAGO – Connecting to the theater collective Nothing Without a Company means a couple of things. One, you may visit parts of Chicago you’ve never seen before – in this case a plant store in an industrial area south of Humboldt Park – and two, you will see some daring and outside-the-box stagings. “The Soccer Player in the Closet” is their latest production – a World Premiere – and it provides what the title implies and beyond. The play runs through March 17th, 2019. Click here for more details, including ticket information.

Advertisement on Twitter

archive Top Ten Discussions