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Critics' Picks

The Karate Kid

While at times a bit cheesy, The Karate Kid, a 1984 underdog film, is a classic that all teenagers––and teenagers at heart––should watch. The film, starring Ralph Macchio as Daniel Larusso, begins with a car ride Daniel takes with his mother as they move from Newark, New Jersey, to California. The Karate Kid takes off with the arrival of maintenance man Mr. Miyagi, played by Pat Morita. Overall, rooting for Larusso and Miyagi makes the movie exciting and fun for viewers.
Grade: B+

The Outsiders

The Outsiders, based on the 1965 novel by then 14-year-old S.E. Hinton, is a moving coming-of-age film, portraying the intense gang rivalry of the Greasers and the Socs. The cast includes many successful actors in their youth, including Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe. For their ages, these actors were stellar, and each character had a uniqueness to him. However, it was the realism of the movie that made it truly remarkable. Extreme poverty, abuse and gang fighting all are found in the film, and none of it seems fake whatsoever.
Grade: A-

Back To The Future

Imagine going 30 years into the past and meeting your parents as teenagers. This concept is the basic plot-line of the timeless movie Back To The Future, starring Michael J. Fox as a suave Marty McFly. It straddles the line of intrigue and hilarity, as Marty accidentally distracts his mother from falling in love with her future husband. The film is filled with clever and quotable lines, thanks to talented writers. An ingenious, yet humorous point in Back To The Future takes place at the school dance, where Marty plays electric guitar for Marvin Berry and the Starlighters and plays a song written by the not-yet popular cousin of Marvin, Chuck Berry, describing it as “an oldie, but a goody” to the listeners.
Grade: A

–Jacob Schwartz

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