Noah Thompson’s review published on Letterboxd:
When you're a kid, you just do, you just act and then somewhere along the line, everyone loses that.
Really great stuff right here. Minding the Gap is a humane film above anything else. At times it's impossibly wholesome and at other times it feels like it's crushing your heart. What originally just starts as a documentation of the power of friendships turns into an examination of family, race, domestic abuse, growing up, and all of the complicated feelings that come with that. I found myself continuing to care about all three boys, even for Zack after the reveal about a third though that sets some groundwork for the rest of the film. I hated what he did, but I had trouble hating Zack himself. I think his story comes as an example of how it's not good to label someone based on appearances or actions without proper context. I really find myself having trouble getting with the current culture of "cancelling" people, or dehumanizing folks at the drop of a hat. People, even people that do things like Zack does, aren't television shows. You can't just "cancel" them. I do hope he gets the help I think he needs to work himself out, and thankfully it looks like he's heading in the right direction by the end of the movie, regardless of how much more he has to figure out with himself.
The same goes for Bing and Keire, though they seem to be on more proper footing. I absolutely adored Keire and found his story in particular to be the most powerful and emotionally complicated. I can never endorse child abuse or abuse of any kind in any way, but I hear his story, and I do believe his father loved him, and he loves his father. This is something I enjoyed a lot with Minding the Gap. Its issues are portrayed with no straight answers, just laid out on the table with the feelings of our leads and the people around them. Why we do what we do can be hard to work out or understand. Love is bizarre, and sometimes we can do bad things in the name of love, or what we think is love. Navigating the complexities of love, moving on from friends and even family, it's difficult. If you can have anyone to help you along the way, that's fantastic. The only person that's going to have a chance to know yourself fully is yourself, and even that's not a guarantee.
Minding the Gap helped me remember just how nice my life really is, even at the moments where I just want to fall apart. I was never hit as a kid. I hug my parents regularly. I tell them I love them daily, and they say the same back to me. Money has never been a problem in my life. I will never be judged based on the color of my skin. Even the most peculiar thing about me, my sexuality, has never truly been made fun of in a way that distinctly affected me. No matter how things seemingly are for me, they can be a lot worse. But even if they were worse, there are still ways to work through the bad. You can skate. You can have a beer or smoke a joint. You can laugh and cry with friends. You can make a movie. Life is kinda dumb. There's anger, sadness, forgiveness, bliss, and even in the simplest of gestures and moments, beauty. No one ever said dealing with life was easy, but at least it's always going to be an adventure.