Eighth Grade – Movie Review

Official Synopsis:

An introverted teenage girl tries to survive the last week of her disastrous eighth grade year before leaving to start high school.

Review Summary:

Eighth Grade comes from writer/director Bo Burnham, who until now was mostly known for his musical stand up comedy. This smart and refreshing film is a heartfelt reminder that sometimes it’s the simplest stories that carry the most weight and meaning. Elsie Fisher portrays Kayla, a highly introverted middle schooler dealing with almost constant embarrassment. Her performance is one of the best elements to Burnham’s tale, and feels authentic in every hilarious, occasionally nerve-racking scene.

For some, this film may be a painful reminder of the horrors of junior high. In my case, I found myself relating to many of Kayla’s struggles and identifying with them. Despite the R rating, this could be a very enlightening and fun experience for younger kids. In fact, A24 recently announced they’d be holding nationwide screenings for free that didn’t enforce the rating. This is rare and quite a stunning feat for such a small film.

The smart performances and writing keep the film entertaining even during scenes that feel a tad inconsequential. Despite a few slow moments, the film remains investing emotionally throughout. If Eighth Grade has expanded near you, go support a small movie with big aspirations.

(See the above video review for a more in-depth discussion)

Grade: A-

Directed by: Bo Burnham

Starring: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual material

Run Time: 93 min

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