FilmFilm FestivalsMovie ReviewsTribeca Film Festival Movie Review – The Kids

IMDb Summary: 26 years after indie cult classic Kids was released to an unsuspecting nation, this documentary explores the divergent paths of the original cast, delivering an unflinching look back at one of the most iconic films of the 1990's.
JulieGJune 10, 202190/1007 min
Year of Release
Tribeca 2021
Resolution Media
1 hr 28 min
Overall Score
Rating Summary
The reality of what Harmony Korine and Larry Clarke created wasn't a masterpiece. It was more like a b-grade home video some punk put together over the summer for fun.
The Kids Tribeca Documentary Review

Kids was an unprecedented hit as a movie that was more like a documentary about kids living on the streets of New York City. Taking things on a completely different path in The Kids, this documentary follows the lives of the main characters from Kids. It’s a much more reflective look at life after the fame and where and how these people, now adults, live.

Unfortunately, some of the main actors that were the primary focus of the first film have passed away – Justin Pierce, who went on to bigger and brighter things in Los Angeles, committed suicide. And Justin’s friend Harold Hunter, one of the most outspoken members of “Kids”, died of a drug and alcohol overdose.

As tragic as that is (and it is tragic), it doesn’t entirely escape being just a little cliched.  Isn’t The Kids sets itself apart from the original film, and even though it could be considered a sequel of sorts, the look and feel of this film is an entirely different beast. And that’s a good thing.

The narration is done by several “kids” from the original film, including Hamilton Harris, who is also credited as a writer. Perhaps that’s why the seediness and exploitative nature of the first film cease to exist in this one. The Harmony Korine and Larry Clarke “stamp” is all but gone. It feels like some of the “kids” who made it to adulthood found a way to shield themselves from the blinding light and false promises of superstardom. There’s no reason to act or do anything they don’t want or need to. Now they can take the time to look back on the good memories, even though many of them are bittersweet.


If you’re looking for more of the same stuff that made Kids so controversial, you won’t find it here. Instead, you will find a group of people who were all connected at some point in time that seems very far away. The reality of what Harmony Korine and Larry Clarke created wasn’t a masterpiece. It was more like a b-grade home video some punk put together over the summer for fun. If you look deeper, you can see the movie for what it really is.

And it wasn’t fun. There was nobody there to comfort or guide some of these kids when they questioned things. To say these kids were vulnerable is an understatement. Harmony Korine (who wrote “Kids”) was a kid himself. The only adult in the group was Larry Clarke. And it becomes glaringly obvious that he wasn’t looking out for the kids or their welfare. The allure of money and the Hollywood “life” seemed like the only things on his mind.

This documentary touches on the truth of how the movie “Kids” impacted and influenced the people that lived it. And there are so many questions. Even though Justin managed to take his newfound fame to make movies in Hollywood, he was still incredibly broken by the experience. Would this have happened if he hadn’t been in Kids? Nobody can know for sure.

There are many behind-the-scenes content in this documentary that will really open your eyes to just how wrong everything was during the making of “Kids”. And yes, It was the 90s, so the rules were different then. But if “Kids” had been made today, I’d like to think that there would be no way that Larry Clarke would be able to get away with what he did. And these kids did it all for a measly $1000 bucks. And that makes this entire story even more tragic.

Reviewed for Keithlovesmovies by Julie


Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on

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