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All Critics (21)
| Top Critics (9)
| Fresh (12)
| Rotten (9)
What elevates Dare above the usual high school fare is the quality of the writing by David Brind, crisp direction by Adam Salky and a uniformly attractive and compelling cast led by the delightful Emmy Rossum.
Though minor arcs play out in each piece, Dare lacks an overarching narrative to propel the entire film, so overall pacing feels uneven and long at just 90 minutes.
Brind's screenplay is pregnant with fascinating questions of identity and social anxiety. And Salky knows how to create a mood.
The film lacks the comedic charm of American Pie, but with its dark, hyper-sexualization of teens, it offers an engrossing if not soap opera-esque tale of self-discovery.
Dare feels a bit unfinished, at once overreaching and underrealized. But there is a lot of intelligence, and considerable daring, in the basic conceit.
Dare is a high school coming-of-age film that dares to push the envelope. It doesn't always succeed, but that's not for lack of trying.
It is so fresh and fun.
I've rarely seen a more rabidly inconsistent film -- astute one moment, stupid the next.
Dare portrays teenagers with actual depth, breaking away from the conventional stories we see so often in films involving high schoolers these days. It'll stick with you long after the movie's over.
The movie has already made two fatal mistakes from which it has not recovered.
Dare is ostensibly about high-school identity and and social anxiety, but if feels more like three interrelated episodes of Extreme Makeover: Personality Edition strung together to make an all too obvious point.
Unlike so many films that paint a rosy picture of adolescence for adults with fuzzy memories, Dare has the courage of its convictions.
What a surprise! I knew nothing about this movie and watched based on my Netflix recommendation. For this movie, it was right on. It seems to be a typical teen drama but new twists are added that are interesting and make the movie unique and enjoyable.
Cast: Emmy Rossum, Zach Gilford, Ashley Springer, Rooney Mara, Ana Gasteyer, Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard, Michael Cassidy, Cady Huffman, Brianne Berkson, Adam Fleming, Chris Riggi
Director: Adam Salky
Summary: In their final semester before graduation from an affluent suburban high school, good girl Alexa (Emmy Rossum), outcast Ben (Ashley Springer) and bad boy Johnny (Zach Gilford) decide to shed their youthful inhibitions and take some very grown-up risks.
My Thoughts: "Although the story is interesting, the story doesn't leave you feeling like it's finished. I found Johnny Drake's character to be the much more interesting one of the three. He seems to be having some major issues and I'd liked to have known more of his story. I love Zach Gilford. I first saw him on 'Friday Night Lights'. He is a great actor and was great in the role of Johnny Drake. I feel like Alexa and Ben use Johnny to find out who they are. He is more of an experiment for them then a human being. When he becomes vulnerable in front of them, it seems it humanized him and they didn't know how to handle it. He was no longer seen as an object for their own needs anymore. It was interesting, and a different kind of teen angst film I thought I was in for. The film is sad, twisted, and unique considering it's not your average teen flick. Worth the watch."
Dare really has a lot of potential genuis, but ultimately it falls flat. The film is incredibly scattered and really does not have any focus, and to top it off, all the characters and situations seemed really far fetched. In the begining we have good girl Alexa trying to "Do Something You're Afraid Of", but then that fliight gets lost in midair. Then, in the middle, we have Ben, and his story makes absolutely no sense at all, so we are not even going to discuss it. And I do not really remember it. Finally, we end with Zach Gilford's character (I'm sure he had a name, but I have also forgotten it) who, consequently, is sleeping with both Ben and Alexa. Lovely, isn't it? Idk, in closing, the film left me confused. There are many interesting ideas presented throughout the whole duration, but none of them are really expanded on. I have no idea what Adam Salky was actually trying to say. Is the film about breaking out of one's shell? Trying to find one's in the world? Or something simple, like everyone is essentially messed up, or three-way sex is not a good idea. In the hands of someone like Sam Mendes, I think Dare could be absolutely amazing, but as it is, it just is not that great. Still, I enjoy watching it enough, and it tries so very hard, and you've got to give it credit for that.
One final note: It makes me so happy that Bon Voage's song "Monster" was used. I realize that is completely shallow and irrelevant, but I love the song. Seriously, now? "I wish I was a monster/ I would hide under your stairs / I wish I was a nightmare / I'd give you a scare"
Nothing special and why do these high school seniors all look over 25? Because they are! With teen actors everywhere you look they couldn't find three to star in this?
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