With every actor in Hollywood seemingly making the move to work behind the camera these days, Jonah Hill becomes the latest with Mid90s, a coming-of-age drama that certainly shows Hill has potential as a filmmaker.

Stevie (Sunny Suljic) is a thirteen-year-old who lives in 90s era Los Angeles. During one summer, Stevie navigates life between his troubled home life and a new group of friends he meets at a skate shop.
The best thing about Jonah Hill's Mid90s is the authenticity of it all, from the way it's shot to look like a product of the 90s, including the production design and costumes, right through to the narrative aspect of the kids just hanging out and skating, a rarity nowadays as kids would just be glued to their smartphones.

The narrative jumps between Stevie's life at home with his family and out on the streets with his friends, the contrast between the two being pretty damn striking. At home, Stevie is abused by his older brother for pretty much every little thing and his mother who feels a little smothering towards him. Out on the streets skating is where Stevie finds escapism from his home life, avoiding the police and chatting up girls in the process. The tagline "fall. get back up." is pretty much how Stevie lives his life, either at home or on the streets, making for a viewing experience that feels so natural following the life of a teenager in the 90s, when the pressures of social media didn't exist. It would make a great double-feature with Eighth Grade.

Coming to the performances, Mid90s is pretty grounded and it compliments Hill's film. There's no need for caricatures here and Sunny Suljic does a great job leading the film with his performance as Stevie, capturing the innocence of a child at such an age. Lucas Hedges  plays Stevie's abusive big brother Ian but there's much more to it than him being abusive, Hedges conveying this rather well. 

Jonah Hill's directorial debut most definitely isn't groundbreaking and may not be to everyone's taste, some of the dialogue feeling like it's been ripped straight from Superbad however, it does enough to make me look forward to what Hill does next as a filmmaker.

Verdict: ★★★★


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