Verdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.38 (20 ratings)

Genre: Drama

Writer/Director: Jerrold Tarog

Cast: Danielle Afuang, Aaron Balana, Sheila Bulanhaqui, Franzes Bunda, Nikita Conwi, Rosanne de Boda, Ina Feleo, RJ Ledesma, Mary Lojo, Daniel Lumain, Eric Marquez, Daniel Medrana, LJ Moreno, Celina Penaflorida, Che Ramos

Synopsis: A group of old friends arrive at their high school reunion. They remember the days of their senior year: a year of both triumph and disappointment, marking their entrance into the endless possibilities of adulthood. (From Click the City)

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Trailer: 

Reviews:

5.0          Philbert Dy (Click the City)

“Very few films portray high school as it really is: a whole lot of drama driven by teenage hormones that hardly ever matters in the end. And this is what sets Senior Year apart from the grand tradition of films about high school. While still employing the familiar language of the high school film, Senior Year reveals a strange, tragic underside to the halcyon days of youth.” (Read full review)

5.0          Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“Every fucking thing in high school is stupid—as it is after—and Senior Year acknowledges that. In a way, it is written and directed with restraint, aware that each character can fall any time into the chasms of self-righteousness.” (Read full review)

5.0          Jema Pamintuan (Young Critics Circle)

“Sariwa at kaaya-aya ang pagiging natural ng pelikula, mula sa pagtatanghal ng mga artista, pagsambit sa mga diyalogo at gamit ng wika, at palitan ng kuro-kuro sa klase. Ibang-iba sa mga nakapapagod nang palabas sa telebisyon at ilang pelikula na batbat ng artipisyalidad, na ang layunin ay itanghal lamang ang pisikal na anyo ng mga artista nito.” (Read full review)

5.0          Ria Limjap (Spot.ph)

“Tracing the last days of something—disco, high school, a relationship—is bound to bring up mixed emotions, but that’s fine, it is better than no emotion at all. In Senior Year, the emotions are very real, as they are in high school: confusing, intense, and pure.” (Read full review)

5.0          Jansen Musico (Pelikula Tumblr)

“Tarog’s version of high school is fresh, yet familiar enough for everyone to feel like they’re walking down the halls of their own alma maters, whether you’re still in or out of it.” (Read full review) 

5.0          Adrian Mendizabal (Auditoire)

“What strikes me the most, above all, is the way the film was pieced together. From the use of lens to the pans and tilts to the perpetual camera movements, the film proves to be technically dazzling, a bittersweet type of film we do not usually see in mainstream Philippine cinema lately.” (Read full review)

5.0          Wilfred Cabrera (Me Likes Art)

“This might be our country’s definitive high school film, considering how The Breakfast Club is too presumptuous and stereotypical for our Filipino sensibilities, and how High School Musical is ridiculously too-good-to-be-true. Here we see life as we know it. No formulaic school bullies walking the hallways while shoving people in lockers. No dumb cheerleaders declaring how popular they are and how nerds are too be avoided like the plague.” (Read full review)

5.0          Carl Papa (Whatever, Carl)

“There was nothing fake in the movie.  Everything was real, fresh and sincere.  It perfectly captured the generation NOW, the mannerisms, the stories, the angst, the hopes and dreams and the puppy loves.  I think that in some years to come, people will look back to this film and would say that it perfectly captured the feel of what it is to be a youth today.” (Read full review)

5.0         Perfectly Lonely Soul

“There’s a distinct tone in Senior Year which I think will soon transpire as the director’s artistic style. Overall, the film punches you in the gut with an emotional undertow.” (Read full review)

4.5          Anton Umali (FHM)

“The story is told in an all too idyllic pace. The tone was rustic and charming, which is great for a high school movie.” (Read full review)

4.5          Ian Urrutia (Pinoy Cinema)

“Coming off as a delectable surprise, Senior Year is a warmhearted tribute to high school, handling a web of stories based from real life experiences. The film presents a stretch of teenage issues told in a non-preachy, painfully honest way. It’s worth noting that Jerrold Tarog seems to inhabit that familiar sensitivity widely seen in a John Hughes comedy, but his knack for lethally sharp storytelling, as well as his clever use of sub-plots somehow propels this high school movie into more than just an entertaining fodder. It’s a smart sass of a film that has the makings of the next The Breakfast Club or Easy A, only with that highly relatable punch that’s distinctly Pinoy.”

4.0          Oggs Cruz (Twitch Film)

“(T)he film, without burdening itself with pretenses of pertinence or relevance, communicates the universal truth of what really happens decades after the highs of high school, when the lows of the real world has consumed the optimism that youth can only fuel for so long.” (Read full review)

4.0          Fidel Medel (PEP)

“Tarog’s characters effortlessly remind us of an amusing classmate, the bully we loved to hate, our very own clique or a long-lost love. The dialogue and the plot resonate primarily because the characters are so familiar. We were those kids ten or twenty years ago.” (Read full review)

4.0          Anton Umali (FHM)

“The movie plays out just as one would actually remember high school life: in small scenarios and searing snippets. In scenes like high school intrams or episodes of when a huge piece of shit becomes a spectacle in many a boy’s bathroom; in love letters and bullying; in crushes and heartbreaks.” (Read full review)

4.0          Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“Capitalizing on familiar high school characters, like the bookworm, the girl/guy in love with her/his best friend, the fashionista, the athlete, the bully, etc. etc. and making them human by avoiding too much unnecessary characterization, Senior Year becomes a monumental and generational film, the same way that Fincher’s The Social Network will remain as Hollywood’s blueprint for our current generation.” (Read full review)

4.0          Lilit Reyes (Spring Roll)

“Yet, the lack of cuteness raises its charm factor, which makes the film Senior Year a highly edible buffet of juvenile delicacies, endemic to a specific middle class school, yet, universally a reminder of any generation’s high school highs and woes.” (Read full review)

4.0         Taking a Break

“For around two hours (give or take), the film made us remember our own experiences—however long ago it was or however recent; it gave us a chance to reflect on what was important to us, and what we wanted to be way back when, as well as who we thought we’d be by now.” (Read full review)

3.5          Marcissism

“The film is about the nostalgia for how a grade, a friend, a heartbreak meant the world in that era. I also deeply appreciate that it manages to brush on mature themes such as homosexuality and spousal abuse without falling into the preachiness trap.” (Read full review)

3.0          Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“The lives of some students are presented in more detail than the others. In the end, you get the feeling that the film was made without a full script and Tarog was just improvising as he was shooting it. Many of the more interesting storylines are left hanging in the air.” (Read full review)

3.0          Cathy Peña (Make Me Blush)

“At some point in the movie, we had to close our eyes to catch our thoughts. It was a demanding exercise following this parade of little stories because just when you’re starting to warm up to a character, a new set is introduced. It is difficult to emotionally invest complete empathy when these stories are just superficially grazed through in slap dash fashion.” (Read full review)