Sid is Dead (2023)

Sid is Dead (2023)

A teen drama that lacks the authenticity to compete against many better films of its kind



United States of America
Comedy, Drama
Anjelica Bette Fellini, Genevieve Hannelius, Jack Griffo
90 min


We should all collectively agree to leave narcissistic man-child movies like this in the past.

What it's about

When Sid (Joey Bragg) angers the school bully, he’s convinced he only has a few days to live. To make the most out of his remaining time, he decides to break out of his shell and start living in the moment.

The take

The suggestion that life gets better if only you stand up for yourself is a helpful one. After all, self-confidence is something young kids could use a lot more of. But it’s also not true, and for Sid to instantly get his dream life once he starts applying himself just doesn’t ring true. Things unfold a little too smoothly and conveniently in this movie, making it less of an actual coming-of-age journey (which is complicated and messy) and more of a young boy’s simpleminded fantasy (that is, idealistic and egotistic). I just don’t buy that Sid, a kid who has been shy and avoidant all his life, gains all the wisdom, courage, and charisma of a hero overnight. And it certainly doesn’t help that everyone in his high school looks like they’ve long graduated from college. Ultimately, Sid is Dead lacks the authenticity to stand out from the wealth of excellent teen dramas we’ve been spoiled with in recent years. 

What stands out

Mary Stuart Masterson, herself a 1980s teen icon, is cast here as Sid’s mom, but she is completely (almost disrespectfully) wasted. Hers is a non-role, present only for the sake of Sid having a parent figure, and it’s baffling how little she’s given to work with here. Carla Gallo, who plays the sex-ed teacher, is similarly underutilized despite being one of the very few funny people in this film. Like Masterson, Gallo has appeared in a number of coming-of-age stories in the past (including the underrated series Undeclared), and while their presence is welcome, seeing them here only strengthened the urge to put on an actually good teen movie.


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