From the opening shot of a burnt-orange GTO cruising a high school parking lot to the strains of Aerosmith’s ”Sweet Emotion,” Richard Linklater’s film nails mid-’70s adolescence so precisely that you’ll need Clearasil by the end credits. Low-key and immensely friendly, Dazed and Confused sends its large, amorphous cast skittering about like marbles, colluding and colliding on the last day of class in 1976. It’s just like American Graffiti, except Linklater prefers a gently stoned observation to anything as active as plot. If you weren’t there, this may play like a baffling anthropological treatise. If you were ther — and God knows this writer was — Linklater hands you the smell of a late-May night during senior year all over again. A-

Dazed And Confused
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