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Jonah Hill wrote and directed his first film, Mid90s, and it’s not only a novelty but, paradoxically, also a throwback to an era making a comeback. The movie features a great soundtrack, a new cast, hilarious dialogue, and heartbreaking moments. Sunny Suljic, who plays the main character Stevie AKA Sunburn, shows incredible depth as an actor for only being 13 years old. Mid90s is produced by A24 who has been killing it with its recent movies including Lady Bird, Hereditary, and Eighth Grade. Hill’s movie deserves nothing more than to be among that list of exceptional films, and here are just a few reasons why you should head to your nearest cinema to check it out!


1. The Soundtrack 

If you’re a fan of 90’s music you are going to love this soundtrack. If you don’t know much about 90’s music, then this soundtrack is the perfect introduction into a pivotal time in music. Jonah Hill, in an interview on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, said, “Every song that’s in the film, I wrote the scene to have that song in it.” The timing, lyrics and, mood of the music adds emphasis to the scenes. The artists featured range from the Wu-Tang Clan to Nirvana, covering all bases of what truly defined the 90’s. The soundtrack was released in an unconventional way, which is to be expected from this unconventional film: on a Spotify Playlist. You can check out all the featured tracks on a curated Spotify playlist.  


2. Cinematography

Film majors are going to fangirl over the cinematography of the movie. The movie is shot on 16mm, which is beyond rare for a big production budget. In non-film terms, Mid90s was shot on a film camera which gave the shots an authentic 90’s feel. Jonah wanted the movie to look like it could have been a home video from the time. Movies nowadays are rarely shot in 16mm and Hill said in an interview he had to give a powerpoint presentation to the producers of the movie to convince them that this expensive, unpopular way of shooting was essential to making the movie unique. Hill said he hopes to never shoot digital, which means there will be more Hill directed films to come. Can’t wait to see what’s next!


3. The Relatable Teenage Experience

Credit: National Post, Photo of Stevie with his brother Ian playing video games

Despite the film taking place in the 90’s, the teenage experiences transcend the era. The relationship between Stevie and his brother have moments of a familiar sibling dynamic. Many can probably relate to sneaking into an older siblings room and looking at all their cool things or trading for each other’s valuables. The film features experimenting with teenage drinking, driving around with friends, staying out past curfew, and trespassing. Stevie goes through the experience of entering teenage-hood and expectation to act older but still be treated as an adult, only reminds the audience of the growing pains that come with that age. The teenage feeling of wanting to break free is prevalent in the group of friends. Whether it be free of parental supervision, a bad neighborhood, anxiety, or the constraints of the adult world, the characters are chasing their escape in one form or another.


4. The Iconic 90’s Skateboard Culture

Credit: The New Yorker, “FuckShit” skating while being filmed by Fourth Grade who always is hiding behind his camera.

The main character Stevie didn’t know much about skateboarding at the beginning of the film, but throughout the movie, he learns quite a bit and so does the audience. Mid90s is a great glimpse into what the skateboard culture was like at the time and puts into perspective how much the activity has changed. Nowadays, kids are skateboarding to class or at skate parks practicing tricks. In the movie, there are no skate parks, but the characters manage to make every space they encounter a place to do what they love.


5. Fresh New Cast

Credit: GQ, the new crew

Talk about a breath of fresh air! The six-person ensemble was made up of basically all first-time movie actors. Bonus, they are all very cute. Na-Kel Smith is a rapper/skateboarder and plays Ray. “Fuckshit” is played by the long-haired, dreamy pro-skateboarder, Olan Prenatt. Alongside is Ryder McLaughlin who is “Fourth Grade” in the movie. Lucas Hedges is the most known actor of the bunch but he is still new to the scene with his first big film being Lady Bird. The cast members can all easily be your MCM for weeks to come and probably the star of a future film. I’d give them a follow on Instagram — you won’t regret it. Ryder McLaughlin. Na-Kel Smith. Olan Prenatt. Sunny Suljic. Gio Galicia


Mid90s is an hour and a half snapshot of a mid 90’s summer in East LA as a skateboarding teen. An experience very few have lived through but surprisingly will be able to relate too. It probably has been a minute since you have gone to the movie theater and I couldn’t think of a better movie then Mid90s to break that streak.


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COM student at Boston University
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