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The Hottest State Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… Laura Linney's got something other than B.S. to say … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 0

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Scott Brown

    Whatever you're imagining -- self-serving self-awareness; unedited hipster mopes; yammering dear-diary script -- The Hottest State, Ethan Hawke's bathetic tale of a good-looking young actor's first heartbreak, is far worse.

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    This self-important movie can't save itself from being disheartening.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    In The Hottest State, Hawke uses fairly standard childhood motivations for his unhappiness and reveals too little real interest in the Sara character.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Hawke has made this movie his way and the result is a story that is by turns romantic and disquieting. It's well worth the price of admission.

    Read Full Review

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Moody relationship drama is best for adults.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the protagonists in Ethan Hawke's romantic drama are barely out of their teens -- which could intrigue some young viewers -- the movie tackles very adult themes from beginning to end, including love, sex, and heartbreak. Ultimately, it's an often-bleak portrait that may be disturbing to tweens and younger teens. The parents are deeply flawed, even cold; the lovers are confused and sometimes hurtful (even bordering on violent, though there's no hitting). Expect plenty of four-letter words, sex scenes (though they're fairly tastefully shot), and even brief full-frontal female nudity.

  • Families can talk about the film's take on falling in and out of love. Is it really that messy and problematic? Or do these overly complicated beginnings (and endings) just happen in movies? If so, why is love so heightened and exaggerated in the media? Does the picture that the media paints of love influence our real-life expectations? How so?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Lovers quarrel, sometimes violently (throwing things and screaming at each other, but no hitting). William's behavior at some points borders on stalking. Parents abandon their children, fight in front of them, and harp on them in cruel, unsympathetic ways. Plenty of drinking and references to casual sex.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: William's parents fight bitterly in front of him as a child; later, William upends a table when he's angry at Sara. Some door-slamming, shoving, and lots of yelling.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Plenty of sex and sex talk throughout (though the subject is handled quite reverentially, not crudely). Couples make out and make love. One scene shows both the main characters disrobing, with Sara totally naked from the front -- though the moment doesn't last too long -- and William from the back. There are also scenes in which William straddles Sara naked, plus lots of heaving and clutching at each other and one scene where a belt is unbuckled before an implied sex act. Sara tells a detailed story about an ex-boyfriend's sexual betrayal.

  • language false5

    Language: Numerous uses of "f--k" in sexual as well as angry contexts, as well as "s--t" and "bitch."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Shots of cigarette packs and a beer bottle with their labels showing. Many mentions of Tennessee Williams and his plays.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking and smoking -- beer seems to be the social lubricant of choice. Some scenes show the lead characters clearly inebriated.