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Paranoid Park


Gus Van Sant

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Plot Summary

An unsolved murder at Portland's infamous Paranoid Park brings detectives to a local high school, propelling a young skater into a moral odyssey where he must not only deal with the pain and disconnect of adolescence but the consequences of his own actions. As director of My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, To Die For and Elephant, Gus Van Sant has created some of the most memorable films about youth ever committed to film. At the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, he was awarded the 60th Anniversary Prize for Paranoid Park which is largely considered on of his finest films. Based on the novel by Blake Nelson and photographed by the incomparable Christopher Doyle (In the Mood for Love), this indie drama from IFC Films has captivated audiences worldwide, becoming a unanimous standout at the Cannes, New York and Toronto Film Festivals.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 114
  • Fresh: 87
  • Rotten: 27
  • Average Rating: 6.9/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Youth and death meet again in Gus Van Sant's Paranoid Park, a gorgeously stark, mesmerizingly elliptical story told in the same lyrical-prosaic style that has characterized his latest films. – Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times, Oct 18, 2008

Fresh: For some of the way, it seems like a kind of skateboard whodunit. Soon enough, we understand it's much more than that. And by then, we know we're in for a ride to remember. – David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle, Jun 24, 2010

Fresh: Paranoid Park, the new Gus Van Sant movie, is slight but fascinating. – Wesley Morris, Boston Globe, Nov 24, 2011

Rotten: Elephant said much more about teenagers and said it better. – Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Lyrical, Poetic and Incredibly Well Done

There are very few people who actually enjoy this movie. It's an incredibly personal film, one you won't get unless you yourself can relate to the protaganist, a young skateboarder named Alex. Many people think the film is slow and pointless; other find the acting to be terrible. It's true that the film may be slow, some of the acting maybe questionable and, for many, the film may seem pointless. But the film is not about anyone other than Alex, and it's slow for a reason. This is a movie about isolation, about not fitting in, about not being able to connect to anyone around you. Alex has a secret that he feels he cannot tlak to anyone about. For many boys, and possibly even girls, this is easy to relate to. This movie may transcends it's own subject matter by showing what it's like inside Alex's head. Review aside, this is my favorite movie. It may not be the absolute greatest film I've ever seen, but on a personal level, nothing has ever hit closer to home. I strongly recomend it.

the slowest movie I ever seen! Painfully so

It was sooooo slow that I had no choice but to fast forward through most of it. Example, there is a scene that you watch a fire for 4 minutes listening to some stupid song. We could get the point in less time than that. The story line was interesting, but if you watch this be prepared to sit through boring songs and painfully slow moving scenes. I didnt think the acting was bad, it just dragged on and on. I think the whole movie could have been done in about 25 minutes if they didnt drag it out. One of the worst movies I ever seen. And I read a comment that you wont like this movie unless you can identify with the main character, I can totally identify with him but wow.... did it have to be this boring? So no, you wont like it even if you can identify. And they never actually answer the one question that you will have.


van sant does a simply excellent job tapping into the mind of a teenager who has just commited an act that changes his life (or does it).

Paranoid Park
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  • $9.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings