Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
August 4, 2010 1:35 AM
0 Comments
  • |

Big Screen | Schumacher's (Mostly) Ravaged "Twelve" Hits Theaters

A scene from Joel Schumacher's "Twelve."

Future cult classic or simply a terrible film? That may or may not be the question for the future of Joel Schumacher's "Twelve," which, after closing the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, arrives in theaters this Friday.

Based on the novel by Nick McDonell, "Twelve" follows high school dropout turned successful drug dealer White Mike (Chase Crawford) in New York's Upper East Side. Though at first he's quite successful at pulling off his double life (his bff Molly is unaware of his day job), things become challenging for Mike when his cousin is brutally murdered on an East Harlem playground and a new drug, "twelve," emerges as the recreational substance of choice.

"'Twelve' feels like ersatz Bret Easton Ellis watered down for the 'Gossip Girl' crowd (it even stars the latter's Chace Crawford, as its drug-dealing antihero)," writes Variety's Peter DeBruge. "Not quite self-aware enough to become camp, Schumacher's trashy high-society soap could connect with younger auds."

Hitfix's Gregory Ellwood is equally impressed, writing back at Sundance that "Twelve" is "by far the most unintentionally campy piece of moviemaking to hit Park City in years. If only it was as entertaining as that description may lead you to believe."

Time Out New York's Keith Uhlich continues to kill the buzz. "From the moment Joel Schumacher’s dour teens-in-crisis melodrama establishes its group of spoiled (and so, so unloved) Manhattan silver-spooners," he writes, "you long for anything to leaven the tsk-tsk prurience."

One of the films few supporters is The Hollywood Reporter's Kirk Honeycutt, who sees the film in a whole other light: "If you're going to do teenage angst and hedonism in a movie, it's oh-so-much-more exciting among the rich," he writes. "When they get loopy on drugs, indulge in promiscuous sex or get into those little misunderstandings that end up with guns going off, the lighting, decor and attire are far better than in grungy inner-city movies. So Joel Schumacher's 'Twelve,' the latest expose of self-indulgence among privileged teens, is sleek, giddy fun. The girls and the guys are hot, and every get-together takes place inside posh homes on Manhattan's Upper East Side."

On criticWIRE "Twelve"" has a "D+" average, one of the lowest in the tracking system's history. Though do note the "B" from indieWIRE's own Eric Kohn. Check out links to some of their reviews on the film's page as well as other films opening this weekend (including "Lebanon," "Middle Men," "The Disappearance of Alice Creed" and "Cairo Time"), plus recent theatrical releases, below. They include synopses, trailers, and a variety of grades and links to reviews.

iW Film Calendar & criticWIRE:
criticWIRE | Opening this week | Opening this month | All Films A - Z

criticWIRE: Films Opening This Week

Lebanon (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Cairo Time (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

The Disappearance of Alice Creed (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Middle Men (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Twelve (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: D+


criticWIRE: Films Currently In Theaters

Dogtooth (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

Alamar (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

Mugabe and the White African (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: A-

The Kids Are All Right (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Restrepo (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

I Am Love (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B+

Inception (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Countdown To Zero (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

The Dry Land (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Winnebago Man (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

[REC] 2 (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B

Life During Wartime (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Kisses (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Get Low (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

The Girl Who Played With Fire (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: B-

Valhalla Rising (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

Spoken Word (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

The Extra Man (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C+

The Concert (iW film page)
Average criticWIRE rating: C


Peter Knegt is indieWIRE's Associate Editor. Follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

You might also like:

0 Comments