16. 'SubUrbia' (1996)
If part of the greatness of Dazed & Confused lies in its ability to mull over big ideas without ever feeling weighty or bogged down, here's a perfect example of the opposite: A movie that strives to tackle the State of Things Circa Right Now and can't lift itself off the ground. Adapting Eric Bogosian's 1994 play about a group of disaffected teens hanging out over the course of one eventful night, Linklater seems lost; you'd think talky-teen angst would be right up his alley, but he never figures out what he can add to the mix. Giovanni Ribisi's angry young man comes off as hopelessly whiny, while Nicky Katt's nihilistic pseudo-greaser (who, naturally, understands people better than they understand themselves) is just plain loathsome. Even Steve Zahn, who stands out as their excitable pothead rollerblader pal, seems to be trying too hard. You don't want to spend any time with these people. Is that part of the point? The film can't decide.