SLC Punk

Critics Consensus

Merging anarchic spirit with straightforward melodrama, SLC Punk is a hit-and-miss odyssey of youthful rebellion elevated by Matthew Lillard's dramatically potent star turn.

63%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,392
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Movie Info

What's it like being the only punk rockers in the biggest Mormon community in the world? Stevo (Matthew Lillard) and Heroin Bob (Michael Goorjian) provide the answer to this and other questions in SLC Punk. Stevo and Bob (whose name is actually an ironic reference to his fear of needles) are two friends fresh out of college who sport mohawks and blue hair, listen to hardcore and try to live up to their own anarchist ideals while figuring out what to do with their lives. Which wouldn't make them unusual in New York or Los Angeles, but they're fish out of water in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they drink beer, chase women and pick fights with "rednecks" along side a mixed bag of metalheads, hippies, hicks and posers who are fellow outcasts in the most clean-cut community in America. In the midst of all this, Stevo's dad hopes his son will follow in his footsteps and study law at Harvard; while Stevo surprisingly has the grades, he's not sure if he wants to go. Featuring a soundtrack of mid-80's punk from The Ramones, Minor Threat, The Dead Kennedys and others, SLC Punk was chosen as the opening-night feature at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for SLC Punk

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (12)

Audience Reviews for SLC Punk

  • Oct 25, 2018
    Maybe SLC Punk isn't exactly an accurate portrayal of my life in alternative culture, Hell, maybe it isn't exactly an accurate portrayal of anyone's life in alternative culture, but seeing a movie where people belonging to alternative culture are actually characters? That was a massive deal to me growing up, and this alone would make me a fan of SLC Punk, but even aside from that there is its unique filming style, solid acting presence and intense philospohical questions to push it over the line into worthwhile.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2014
    Great actors, amazing story with a golden message. we are all posers! haha. love it.
    Shawn M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 25, 2011
    The film is an anthem to punks, to hipsters, to all young rebels, and ultimately concludes that it's not a lifestyle, but merely a naïve phase. But does writer/director Merendino look to extol the demerits of youthful rebellion? Hardly. "SLC Punk!", more than anything, is a coming-of-age film, and Matthew Lillard's portrayal of his interesting character is quite good. For all the hype and emphasis the film puts on its conservative setting, Salt Lake City, though, there's virtually no local flair about the film. Oh well. It's not an easy film to put into words, but it sure is fun to watch.
    Jay H Super Reviewer
  • Jan 21, 2011
    Heroin Bob: Well, it's a crazy fucked up world and we're all just floating along waiting for someone who can walk on water, man.  I've heard from true punks that this movie is just a stereotype and that it is offensive to real punks. Well, that may be the case, but I'm not a punk; so I don't really care. I like SLC Punk because of it's chaos loving characters, no matter how stereotypical they are. The movie isn't a masterpiece, but I believe it to be a really good movie, that is funny for the duration; that is until it drops an emotional bomb on us at the end. The main character Steveo played by Matthew Lillard is a punk. A true punk, not some poser who says stuff like, "Anarchy in the U.K." He's a smart guy that thinks the only way to bring as much chaos as possible to the world, is by not using his education. His dad wants him to go to Harvard and become a lawyer like himself, but that's just not punk. Steveo's best friend, Heroin Bob, played by Michael A. Goorjian is a fellow anarchist. Contrary to what his name suggests, Bob doesn't do drugs. He's called Heroin Bob because of his fear of needles. Bob is the most complex character in the movie and probably my favorite. My second favorite character in the movie is Mike, played by Jason Segal, pre How I Met Your Mother. Segal is one of my favorite actors to watch. He's not the most talented, but he's funny and he never over acts like a lot of other comedic actors. Mike looks like a nerd, but he'll beat the shit out of anybody for any reason. Steveo says he's one of the most hardcore punks of the scene and it shows. The story really has no clear direction for nearly the entire movie. This makes sense because it is a movie about punks who really have no direction in life. So why would the story about them have a direction. The ending is ironic for both Steveo and Heroin Bob.  SLC Punk is a cool little movie about punks. Is it accurate? I don't know, you'll have to ask a true punk. Is it a good movie? In my eyes, yes, it's a great movie.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer

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