Eighth Grade

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Wednesday, Sept. 05 @ 7:30 PM
The Ellen Theatre

Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school–the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year before she begins high school. A breakthrough for writer-director Bo Burnham and captivating star Elsie Fisher. Rated R. 94 minutes. Special $5.00 pricing for youth 17 and under (must be accompanied by a parent). CC.


UPROXX Film Review, Vince Mancini. Read full review.

Eighth Grade is both a stunning achievement in cinematic veracity and maybe not the best watch for anyone who’s spent their adult life trying to forget middle school. It’s so traumatic and awkward and embarrassing that there were times I wanted to retreat back inside my own body. Really make a couch fort out of repressed memories in there and never come out. Success?

Elsie Fisher plays Kayla, an eighth-grader on the cusp of graduation being raised by her single father, Mark (Josh Hamilton), another in a long line of well-meaning single dads raising girls in teen movies, from Pretty In Pink to Not Another Teen Movie. He isn’t an alcoholic or unemployed or a coal miner this time around, just a loving upper-middle-class white dude in cargo shorts who has fatalistically accepted his lot as the Guy Who Will Embarrass His Daughter no matter what he does.

Of course, Mark doesn’t need to drink too much or be poor or dirty to embarrass his daughter, because this is more of a tween movie than a teen movie, and at that age the mere existence of parents is sufficient to cause embarrassment. Kayla makes vlogs in her bedroom, self-help advice on make-up or self-confidence or “putting yourself out there,” and very quickly we come to realize that it’s really herself she’s trying to reach. Her YouTube videos are essentially the staircase wisdom of someone desperately wishing life came with do-overs.”