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About the Movie
The Kings Of Summer follows three teenage boys (Robinson, Basso and Arias) as they head into the wilderness with a plan to build a house and live off the land.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 111
- Fresh: 84
- Rotten: 27
- Average Rating: 6.9/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: A stylish and very funny teenage coming-of-age story graced with surreal fringes and a mysteriously hushed core.
Rotten: There is much here to admire, but the overall impression is of a film that does not have the courage of its convictions.
Fresh: Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and writer Chris Galletta bring a fresh and sympathetic eye to the story, evoking the pleasure of what feels - for a little while - like endless possibilities.
Fresh: In its small, independent way, "The Kings of Summer" rules.
A CHARMING LITTLE INDIE FILM ABOUT TEENAGE YOUTH
Witty direction and a surprisingly sharp script help give "The Kings of Summer," yet another wild entry in the already crowded coming-of-age genre, an enjoyable blast of ingenuity that largely wins us over. There may be a few too many wacky touches here and there, but for the most part, this film is solidly grounded in affectionate characters and hilarious yet compelling observations about the utterly confusing awkwardness of teenage youth. Our story focuses on Joe (Nick Robinson), a teen who's fed up with the way his widowed father Frank (Nick Offerman) takes out his grief on anyone at hand. Joe's older sister (Alison Brie) has already escaped the drama, having moved in with her goofy boyfriend (Eugene Cordero). And now that school has let out for the summer, Joe offhandedly decides to build a house in the middle of the woods. He finds a collaborator in his trusty best pal Patrick (Gabriel Basso), whose overbearing parents (Megan Mullally and Marc Evan Jackson) are so obnoxious that he's broken out in hives. Then Biaggio (Moises Arias), a strange kid no one really knows, joins them to construct a secret cabin where no one can find them. And, at first, they love this independent lifestyle so much that they never want summer to end. But eventually, it all comes crashing down. Along the way, this story takes a nicely honest look at the usual "horrors" of adolescence. Joe's father and Patrick's parents say the most embarrassing things imaginable, so getting away from them is like a giant blast of freedom for our young protagonists. And there's a strong female lead in Kelly (Erin Moriarty), the beautiful girl Joe fantasizes about (even though she has eyes for other boys). Robinson and Basso are excellent in the main roles, playing emotional characters we can easily identify with and consistently root for. Arias is often amusing as the rather ridiculous Biaggio, making the most of a role that's perhaps the film's only glaring false note: he's just way too silly to be believable. Meanwhile, the terrific adult cast shamelessly steal scenes from each other. Offerman is a bundle of insecurities counterbalanced by dead-on comic timing. And Mullally and Jackson deliver their outrageously funny dialogue with a straight face. All of this greatly helps director Jordan Vogt-Roberts carefully balance the youthful humor and lighthearted farce with scenes of much darker drama, including a rough path to romance for our two lead characters. And the woodland setting provides some gorgeous scenery, as well as a dreamlike atmosphere in which the boys' inner thoughts and feelings can just come to life in cleverly animated ways. It's also one of those rare films that keeps us laughing even as we feel a powerful emotional kick. At the end of the day, "The Kings of Summer" may fall apart at times (at least narratively), but it's still an endearing, bittersweet look at adolescence coming into its own. If you love teen comedy-dramas, it's certainly worth your time.
The Kings of Summer
Not many good films have came out this year. I saw the premiere of this film and finally thought I had found one that could be Oscar worthy. With its witty, comical characters to the heart of the soul, The Kings of Summer is an enjoyable film with a great cast.
Story is a Little Weak
A couple of suburban teenage boys runaway to escape their "horrible" family life. A third boy tags along, for absurd comic relief, which was much needed in this film. Nick Offerman role is the only real interesting character and he plays it perfectly.