Dazed and Confused

1993

Dazed and Confused

Critics Consensus

Featuring an excellent ensemble cast, a precise feel for the 1970s, and a killer soundtrack, Dazed and Confused is a funny, affectionate, and clear-eyed look at high school life.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 57

90%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 236,132
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Movie Info

Like George Lucas' American Graffiti, Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused is an affectionate look at the youth culture of a bygone era. While Lucas took aim at the conservative 1950's, Linklater jumps ahead a generation to the bicentennial year of 1976 to celebrate the joys of beer blasts, pot smoking and Frampton Comes Alive. Set on the last day of the academic year, the film follows the random activities of a sprawling group of Texas high schoolers as they celebrate the arrival of summer, their paths variously intersecting at a freshmen hazing, a local pool parlor and finally at a keg party. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi

Cast

Jason London
as Randall 'Pink' Floyd
Rory Cochrane
as Ron Slater
Sasha Jenson
as Don Dawson
Wiley Wiggins
as Mitch Kramer
Milla Jovovich
as Michelle Burroughs
Marissa Ribisi
as Cynthia Dunn
Adam Goldberg
as Mike Newhouse
Michelle Burke
as Jodi Kramer
Shawn Andrews
as Kevin Pickford
Anthony Rapp
as Tony Olson
Christin Hinojosa
as Sabrina Davis
Parker Posey
as Darla Marks
Cole Hauser
as Benny O'Donnell
Deena Martin
as Shavonne Wright
Christine Harnos
as Kaye Faulkner
Ben Affleck
as Fred O'Bannion
Catherine Morris
as Julie Simms
Jeremy Fox
as John Hirschfelder
Matthew McConaughey
as David Wooderson
Zack Taylor
as 1st Geek
Kim Krizan
as Ms. Stroud
Julius Tennon
as Mr. Payne
Erika Geminder
as Freshman Girl
Mona Lee Fultz
as Mrs. Kramer
A.G. Zeke Mills
as Old Timer
Fred Lerner
as Guy with Pistol
Diane Perella
as Sabrina's Mom
Parker Brooks
as Kyle Eschenbrenner
David Blackwell
as Liquor Store Clerk
Cathleen Cunningham
as Pickford's Mom
Richard Dillard
as Pickford's Dad
Joey Lauren Adams
as Simone Kerr
Zach Taylor
as Freshman Smartass #1
Jacob Jones
as Freshman Smartass #2
Rick Moser
as Assistant Coach
Terry Mross
as Coach Conrad
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Critic Reviews for Dazed and Confused

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Dazed and Confused

  • Jun 19, 2016
    Definitely bizarre and satisfying to see where today's middle-aged movie legends got their start. In past years, I've developed a respectful though sometimes lukewarm liking of Linklater's existential walky talk, and I feared that a movie about high school stoners would feel sophomoric and the filmmaking skills raw, as evidenced by what I assumed to be clumsy editing of the same floppy-haired dude into nearly every scene of the opening montage. However, upon subsequent reflection, I found the movie deeper than its billing and iconic catchphrases and realized that the editing was to show how protagonist Pink gets along with every clique. The characters go through a shared odyssey of sorts. In the course of one day, they walk the line between cool and not, ultimately finding the selves to which they wish to be true - a fitting tribute to all the seminal summer breaks before the best years of our lives.
    Alice S Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2015
    Dazed and Confused successfully radiated the high school vibe. Neat flick. All right, all right, all right.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Mar 12, 2014
    Richard Linklater is one of those directors that consistently delivers fresh and original material yet somehow remains a filmmaker with a lower profile. His projects certainly gain the respect they deserve but they never really go over and above that in terms of awards. He's always been innovative and has adopted some daring approaches to filmmaking with the likes of his free-form indie debut "Slacker", the expansive "Before Sunrise" trilogy, the philosophical "Waking Life" and it's rotoscope animated companion piece "A Scanner Darkly". Even his forthcoming "Boyhood" - a 12 year project following a boy's journey from 5 to 18 years old - is a feat that few, if any, directors have tackled. However, one of his most poignant and entertaining escapades happens to be the mosaic "Dazed and Confused". It was largely ignored upon it's release but has since gained a strong cult status. And for very good reason. The year is 1976 and it's the last day of high school in a small Texan suburbia. Everyone's up for a party and in search of booze and drugs but first, the incoming freshmen must go through some embarrassing initiation rituals organised by the senior students, who take great pleasure in putting the youngsters in their places. Much like his aforementioned and experimental approach to "Slacker", Linklater doesn't have a lot going on narratively. He's fully aware of this, however, and acts only as a mere vessel in allowing his actors the space to breathe and run free in their roles. That being said, there's still a complete focus here and the result is far more solid and entertaining than his debut. It's not often I'll praise a film for it's lack of narrative but in the case of "Dazed and Confused" it's the characterisation that leads the way and each and every one of the actors really shine; Wiley Wiggins is our young guide throughout this turbulent time for teenagers as he falls into a friendship with the senior students on his last day of freshman year and Linklater astutely captures a whole myriad of teenage angst and the carefree emotions of a disaffected youth. Let's not forget that this was only Linklater's second film and it wasn't just him that was finding his way, but also the impressive cast that he put together. Largely unknown at the time of the film's release, many of the actors would go on to become part of the Hollywood firmament. We get well judged performances from all sorts of high school types; from Jason London and his jock pals Sasha Jenson and Cole Hauser to Rory Cochrane's stoner, Adam Goldberg's nerd and Ben Affleck, playing one of his most unlikeable characters, as the school bully. The most memorable from the entirely great ensemble, though, is a small but dynamic and scene stealing role for Matthew McConaughey as the older guy who refuses to grow up and move on. Outwith the performances, Linklater also has a keen eye for capturing the 70's setting (in all it's flair and hair) and taps perfectly into the tone of the era. It's a nostalgic look back at daunting initiations, rebellion and the agonising awkwardness of adolescence and it's told with an affectionate wit and charm. I may not have went to an American high school or got involved in tanning some freshman ass with a pre-made baton but the energy and love for this poignant time really shines through and still operates at a level that will appeal to everyone who has any memory at all of their school experiences or peer pressure. Sharing much in common with George Lucas' "American Graffiti" or Greg Mottola's more contemporary "Superbad", this is a funny and insightful coming-of-age contemplation. Linklater has delivered some wonderful film's over the years and I'm sure he'll continue to do so but, so far, this is his best film to date. It's absolutely superb. Mark Walker
    Mark W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 08, 2013
    A hilarious and very fun look at the lives of high school students in 1976, Dazed and Confused illustrates the mood of the time in an energetic but unsentimental way. The movie doesn't try to tell a powerful, emotional story; it exists to commemorate the rock n' roll mentality of youth in the '70s, and it does so near flawlessly. The cast is filled with familiar faces, including Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, and Milla Jovovich, with some of them in smaller parts than others. The two actors that stand out especially are Rory Cochrane as Slater, the resident pot-head who at one point discusses George and Martha Washington's pot farm, and Matthew McConaughey as Wooderson, the blonde-haired and mustached twenty-something who still hangs out with high school students. The movie doesn't have a singular plot, but is rather a portrait of one eventful night on which the characters drink, smoke, and listen to loud music. It seems almost impossible not to like or appreciate the movie at least a little, and as a celebration of the '70s, Dazed and Confused succeeds in a big, thoroughly enjoyable way.
    Joey S Super Reviewer

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