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107 Ratings

Only the Young

United States, 2012
Documentary, Comedy, Romance


Only the Young follows three teenagers who live in a small desert town in Southern California—a town dominated by foreclosed homes, underpasses, unfilled swimming pools, and skate parks—as they deal with a potent stew of urgency, boredom, and young love.

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Only the Young Directed by Elizabeth Mims, Jason Tippet

Awards & Festivals

Independent Spirit Awards

2013 | Nominee: Truer Than Fiction Award

Village Voice Film Poll

2012 | Nominee: Best First Feature

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2012 | Nominee: Best First Feature

National Board of Review

2012 | Winner: Top Five Documentaries

The film is funny and sweet, easy to like and lovely to look at. It has been described as a movie where “nothing much happens,” though, and it could be seen as overvaluing its own gentleness. Beneath the easy-going surface, however, Only the Young is as formally accomplished as any of the seemingly more ambitious documentaries of the past few years. If one uncovers its distinct rhythms, a vital work of cinematic nonfiction emerges.
September 11, 2013
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What the film is left with is the frequently hilarious antics and conversations among the three teens, who have nothing better to do than hang out, granting the filmmakers and the viewers the privilege of their excellent company.
May 02, 2013
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We’re not just seeing common milestones of adolescence—first relationship, first car, graduation—but something more intangible: the gradual sea change of young adulthood, a time when priorities imperceptibly shift and friendships begin to quietly dissolve. Self-conscious but candid, the teens themselves are the whole show; watching them grapple with the big, complicated feelings of waning youth is never less than affecting.
April 04, 2013
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