Kicking and Screaming (1995 film)

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Kicking and Screaming
Kicking and screaming DVD 349.jpg
Directed byNoah Baumbach
Produced byJoel Castleberg
Screenplay byNoah Baumbach
Story by
  • Noah Baumbach
  • Oliver Berkman
Music byPhil Marshall
CinematographySteven Bernstein
Edited byJ. Kathleen Gibson
Distributed byTrimark Pictures Inc.
Release date
  • October 4, 1995 (1995-10-04) (NYFF)
  • October 6, 1995 (1995-10-06) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$1.3 million[1]
Box office$718,490[2]

Kicking and Screaming is a 1995 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Noah Baumbach in his feature directorial debut. It tells of a group of college graduates who refuse to move on with their lives, each in their own peculiar way. The film stars Josh Hamilton, Chris Eigeman, Carlos Jacott, and features Eric Stoltz, Olivia d'Abo and Parker Posey. Much of the film was shot at Occidental College.

Jason Blum, Baumbach's college roommate who was producing a film for the first time, obtained financing after receiving a letter from family acquaintance Steve Martin endorsing the script. Blum attached the letter to copies of the script he sent around Hollywood.[3] The film premiered in 1995 at the New York Film Festival to critical acclaim. Baumbach was chosen as one of Newsweek's "Ten New Faces of 1996". The film appeared in several "Top Ten" lists, and had a lengthy run playing on the Sundance Film Channel. The Criterion Collection DVD was released August 22, 2006 in the U.S.



Kicking and Screaming received mostly positive reviews, with many critical assessments describing it as remarkably competent for a directorial and writing debut, expecting that Baumbach would "graduate to better things."[4] On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 57% based on 37 reviews, with an average rating of 6.4/10, and with the critical consensus reading: "Witty and watchable yet undeniably flawed, Kicking and Screaming marks writer-director Noah Baumbach as an emerging talent with intriguing potential."[5] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 75 out of 100, based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[6]

Roger Ebert praised the film's "good eye and a terrific ear; the dialogue by writer-director Noah Baumbach is not simply accurate... but a distillation of reality–elevating aimless brainy small-talk into a statement."[7] Reviews often mentioned the thin and meandering plot, but most noted this as a facet of the characters' life stage. Janet Maslin of The New York Times stated, "Kicking and Screaming occupies its postage-stamp size terrain with confident comic style."[8]

According to Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times, "you begin to wonder why you're bothering to watch the aimless lives of these four unfold... At 25 he may be too close to the material to achieve the detachment from which irony and meaning flow."[9]


  1. ^ "Kicking and Screaming (1995)". The Distracted Globe. November 12, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  2. ^ "Kicking and Screaming (1995)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2016-12-29.
  3. ^ "I am Jason Blum, producer of Paranormal Activity, The Purge and Insidious: Chapter2". Reddit. 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-06-19.
  4. ^ Evans, Greg (October 9, 1995). "Review: 'Kicking and Screaming'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  5. ^ "Kicking and Screaming (1995)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  6. ^ "Kicking and Screaming Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  7. ^ Ebert, Roger (November 10, 1995). "Kicking and Screaming". Ebert Digital, LLC. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  8. ^ Maslin, Janet (October 4, 1995). "Graduates Whose Hero Could Be Peter Pan". The New York Times. Retrieved February 23, 2018.
  9. ^ Thomas, Kevin (October 25, 1995). "From College Cocoon to the Real World". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 23, 2018.

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