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Thirteen (2002)

Cast: Holly Hunter, Holly Hunter, Evan Rachel Wood, more...
Director: Catherine Hardwicke, Catherine Hardwicke
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Rating:
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Drama, Independent, Coming of Age
Running Time: 99 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish
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Synopsis
Prolific production designer and art director Catherine Hardwicke makes her directorial debut with the coming-of-age drama Thirteen. Los Angeles teenager and overachiever Tracy (Evan Rachel Wood) is an excellent student in her seventh grade class and gets along well with her mother, Melanie (Holly Hunter). She fears that she's not cool enough to be friends with Evie (Nikki Reed), the most popular girl in school. Fueled with genuine adolescent energy, Tracy follows Evie's lead into the harsh realities of sex, drugs, and hard-edged adventure. Consumed with temptations and conflicting desires, Tracy loses her good-girl identity, greatly affecting her relationship with her mom. Partly autobiographical, Thirteen was co-written by Hardwicke and actual 13-year-old Reed, who are close family friends. Originally intending to write a teen comedy, they ended up creating a hard-hitting drama exposing the contemporary teenage experience. Thirteen was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, with Catherine Hardwicke taking home the Director's Award. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • Commentary by the Director, Writers and Actors
  • Deleted Scenes
  • "Making of" featurette


GreenCine Member Reviews

Very film school, if you like that by rleisenberg July 5, 2005 - 12:34 PM PDT
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2 out of 4 members found this review helpful
I didn't attend film school, but I did take one seminar in college, and this film seemed to reference everything that I learned in that 3 hour period. There were times that the color scheme changed from all color to sepia to green to orange to gray and I felt really hit over the head with how I was supposed to be reacting to the characters' frame of mind. I found it distracting.

In terms of the story, I am a huge connessuer of teen flicks, which probably distinguishes me from the more arty sophisticated crowd that flocked to this film. I can say in my teen flick experience that I honestly believe that "Fast Times at Richmond High" showed more genuine insight into the pain of innocence-to-experience than this coming-of-age film did. The lead character became corrupted, but I didn't feel her pain, like I did in movies like Fast Times and even, for crying out loud, any good Amy Hecklering or old John Hughes film. I even felt it more in "Can't Hardly Wait," an underrated teen comedy. Perhaps they should have gone their original route - comedy.

Maybe I am just too hard to shock these days, but as the mother of a young daughter myself, I thought I'd be more horrified. "Kids" I think was the only movie in this genre that truly horrified me -- and I wouldn't recommend that one at all because I found it to be child porn. Perhaps this wasn't meant to scare, as some reviewers did suggest. But if it wasn't meant to scare, and if it wasn't meant to add insight into experience, what was it meant for? (At very worst, I fear it was a showcase for Holly Hunter to do a completely unnecessary nude scene.)

Don't get me wrong; I am still giving this a 6 as I think it was an above-average film. It was just not the film I expected it to be. I left it with a lot to think about, but those thoughts mainly centered on the point of the movie itself rather than the substance or acting.

Girls behaving badly by pstaylor75 May 11, 2005 - 10:27 AM PDT
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5 out of 6 members found this review helpful
There is a scene in "The Decline of the Western Civilization" where Exene Cervenka of X describes her fascination with religious cautionary pamphlets and comic books. She explains that although they condemn things like homosexuality or promiscuity, they describe them in lurid detail, clearly reveling in the debauchery of it all.

I find the same thing true with Behind the Music, the E! True Hollywood Story, and most cautionary anti-drug movies. Thirteen is meant to expose the secret lives of teenage girls, how they are oversexed, overdrugged, and out of control, even under their parents' watchful eye. I think the movie is meant as a warning to parents to pay closer attention to their daughters, check up on their friends, make sure their pupils aren't dilated when they come home, and make sure they aren't showing their g-strings. But basically the movie wallows in the debauchery of it all, the threesomes, the drug use, dropping acid in the park, and the whole pre-teens-gone-wild thing.

I had two major problems with this film. 1, I knew that doing drugs, shoplifting, and being a jerk to your mother were bad, and didn't need a film to remind me. 2, Kids have been doing this since I was in jr. high 20 years ago. Jr. high is pretty much where you go from playing with Barbies (or GI Joe men, in my case) to becoming obsessed with getting high and having sex. That doesn't make it ok, but it did take a lot of the shock value away.

The film also reminded me of the recovering alcoholics and drug addicts I know who still talk about the days when they were getting drunk and high and puking up blood, pretending to condemn it but really bragging about it. Teen and star Nikki Reed co-wrote the script, and there is a definite air of "oh, look how BAD I was! I was sooooo bad!"

Finally, I don't know how much this would do to dissuade a kid from following a similar path to the girls in the movie. I think it's far more likely that kids will think the girls are totally cool, and try and emulate them. Frankly, it made me want to huff computer cleaner and hit my best friend.

Admittedly, this is a good first effort by both the director and Nikki Reed, and the girl definitely has talent and a future ahead of her. All the acting was superb, and Evan Rachel Wood truly captured a hyper, emotional, and hormonal thirteen year old. It's too bad I didn't like what this movie was about or trying to say, because except for the, you know, plot, it was great.










will scare the crap out of every tweenagers parents by BBarr October 14, 2004 - 3:43 PM PDT
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3 out of 4 members found this review helpful
A great movie for parents with children on the verge of becoming teenagers. This movie gives a realistic and frightening portrayal of what it can be like to be a 13 year old girl today. The movie shows the challenges that often face junior high kids and gives you some idea of what may haved happened during the day and why they may be coming home in a bad mood from school. This story fills in the details that many kids would never ever tell their parents. These kids grow up way too fast. Drugs, stealing, oral sex, group sex and parents and teachers who are too busy to really understand the pressures created in a culture where kids are encouraged to look 18 on the outside but only have the coping and cognitive abilities of well ? 13 year olds. Of course the scenarios may seem a bit extreme to some but I highly recommend it. Some of the acting is a bit uneven and I think the ending is rather abrupt but overall a great and scary ride for most adults to watch. If you are really daring watch it with your kids. Not sure I could.

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GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 6.32)
244 Votes
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morpheme's favorites
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in my opinion
morpheme
Embarrasing.
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Movies that are so bad they are insulting.
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