Reality Bites 1994

Critics score:
65 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: It's a good example of an anti-establishment comedy crippled by a seeming desire to infatuate the establishment itself. What Reality Bites needs most is a good bite. From reality. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Among the movie's strengths are the performances, especially that of Ryder, who comes across as bright, beautiful and more delicate than ever before. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: However conventional Reality Bites resolves to be, it is always engaging. Best of all, Ryder has her greatest role since Heathers, once again proving herself a seriously funny young actress. Read more

Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times: Ryder and Hawke bring crucial authenticity to their roles with effortless appeal. You'll find yourself wanting more of these characters than the movie gives you. Read more

Caryn James, New York Times: Like the generation it presents so appealingly, it doesn't see any point in getting all bent out of shape and overambitious. But it knows how to hang out and have a great time. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: In 1994, the novelty of seeing a romantic comedy written and directed by, as well as starring, people in their early 20s made for a certain freshness, but after a point this 'youthfulness' consists of little more than TV references. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Yearning, hilarious, lost within their precocious self-awareness, these slackers have soul. Read more

Terrence Rafferty, New Yorker: When the movie is over, you don't feel as if you had shared the experience of a new generation; you feel puzzled and vaguely crummy, as if you had just read a solemn news-magazine cover story about it. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Beneath a thin veneer of style lie buried all the old cliches and formulas of typical romantic comedies. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: What unwritten law prevented the makers of Reality Bites from observing that their heroine can't shoot video worth a damn, that their hero is a jerk, and that their villain is the most interesting person in the movie? Read more

Trevor Johnston, Time Out: There's probably a moderate little romantic comedy crying to get out here, but the film's vain striving for casual hip proves suffocatingly obtrusive. Read more

Leonard Klady, Variety: Reality Bites begins as a promising and eccentric tale of contemporary youth but evolves into a banal love story as predictable as any lush Hollywood affair. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: [Childress and Stiller] encapsulate an era. Read more

Rita Kempley, Washington Post: The story may not be new, but it is as fresh as the film's new faces. Read more