The first film actor Jonah Hill has ever written and directed seems more like a documentary of a life all too common on poor neighborhoods. The main character Stevie played extremely well by actor Sunny Suljic is a 13 year old kid who lives in a poor LA suburb in the mid 1990’s; raised by a single mother and living with an 18 year old brother who constantly beats him up. His entire survival, mainly because he a poor small kid in a very tough neighborhood is contingent on becoming friends with other lowlife poor kids in the neighborhood – and all they do all day long is drugs, drinking and skateboarding. I cannot remember any movie that has this much of non stop foul language – almost to the point where it is overkill or an over the top example of how young hoods like this talk in real life. However, to this degree of foul language I thought it was too much and mostly unnecessary.
Throughout this entire story you cannot help but feel very sorry for the likable 13 year old who desperately tries to fit in with this older and much taller friends even to the point of risking his own life several times. Most of this film was extremely difficult to watch, most especially during a scene where they all climb into an SUV when the driver was so extremely drop dead drunk. The dangerous and stupid things poor desperate kids this age will do to not look weak in front of their peers costs more lives than just about anything else they do that is life threatening.
For poor people with no hope or future in this country, ultimately it is all about what other people might think about you, never about doing the right thing – or even thinking about breaking out of your bleak existence with no future.
I thought the acting in this movie/documentary was never noticeable and the story while simple was well told, despite its short depressing message. I would recommend this movie to be nominated for best documentary, rather than best movie, but despite this it has a shot for one of the 10 nominations for best picture this year, including Jonah Hill for best director. I do recommend Mid90s.