Dazed and Confused

Matthew McConaughey

Directed by Richard Linklater
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 24, 1993

No title better sums up the state in which high school leaves you — sometimes for life — than Dazed and Confused. The movie gets things right, too. Writer-director Richard Linklater — whose cult hit, Slacker (about Texas dropouts), was resolutely right now — has gone retro. Linklater set his new social satire in 1976, with a soundtrack of great relics ranging from Aerosmith to ZZ Top. It's the last school day before summer, and scarily, it all looks familiar. Trying to get blitzed on grass, beer, music, brawling and sex clearly transcends time. Hey, the world sucks.

Dazed is as postmodern and cool (huh-huh) as Beavis and Butt-Head. We know plots suck, too, so nothing much happens. Pink (Jason London), the school quarterback, and his babedogging pals Slater (Rory Cochrane) and Don (Sasha Jenson) get a little heated about Pink's decision not to sign the coach's pledge against drugs and alcohol. And eighth-grader Mitch (Wiley Wiggins is a star in the making) gets radically hazed.

Linklater, 31, is a sly and formidable talent, bringing an anthropologist's eye to this spectacularly funny celebration of the rites of stupidity. His shitfaced American Graffiti is the ultimate party movie — loud, crude, socially irresponsible and totally irresistible.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »