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The Spectacular Now

HD   R Closed Captioning

James Ponsoldt

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About the Movie

With sly humor and an intensity of feeling, THE SPECTACULAR NOW creates a vivid, three-dimensional portrait of youth confronting the funny, thrilling and perilous business of modern love and adulthood. This is the tale of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), a high school senior and effortless charmer, and of how he unexpectedly falls in love with "the good girl" Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley). What starts as an unlikely romance, becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth – one that doesn’t look for tidy truths. The film was written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) DAYS OF SUMMER) and is based on the book, The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp. The film also features wonderful supporting turns from Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Bob Odenkirk.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 156
  • Fresh: 144
  • Rotten: 12
  • Average Rating: 7.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A cleareyed, disarmingly tender teenage romance that bears comparison with the best of its genre, both old ("Say Anything") and new ("The Perks of Being a Wallflower"). – Ty Burr, Boston Globe, Aug 15, 2013

Fresh: The movie captures the raw excitement and heartbreak of adolescence so completely that it manages to replace a seen-it-all jaded heart with the butterflies that accompany fresh experiences. – Stephanie Merry, Washington Post, Aug 8, 2013

Fresh: In The Spectacular Now, the high school seniors look and talk like actual high school seniors. – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times, Aug 12, 2013

Fresh: [A] nuanced and unsentimental coming-of-age film. – Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader, Aug 23, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


Best coming of age movie in years with a great performance by Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller. EVERYONE MUST BUY!


Of all the big modern teen coming-of-age films I've seen in recent years, I don't think I've truly ever come across a movie as emotionally intense and gratifyingly honest as "The Spectacular Now." Based on the book of the same name by Tim Tharp and directed by James Ponsoldt, it's a rare breed of adolescent drama that not only transcends any and all clichés associated with most teen flicks, but also packs a hefty emotional punch. But more than anything, it's a film that feels incredibly real from start to finish, with no dramatic sugarcoating or sentimental schmaltz to be found in any single scene. Rather than simply stick by a safe, shopworn formula, the story moves by the beat of its own unpredictable drum (leaving us guessing which direction it'll take in the process). Add in one of the most talented young casts ever assembled for any recent teen romance and what you get is one of the best movies of the entire year - hands down. It's the tale of Sutter Keely (Miles Teller), an effortless charmer and 18-year-old alcoholic with no actual ambition. He's the life of the party and lives in the moment, even if he isn't always considerate of others. After getting dumped by his longtime popular girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson), Sutter proceeds to drink his sorrows away until he's found passed out on a stranger's lawn the next day by "good girl" Aimee Finecky (Shailene Woodley). Aimee is everything Sutter is not: shy, modest, and a grade-A student. The two quickly become best friends, and then much more than that. But as their promising relationship progresses, so does everything around them, and soon, they'll both have to decide which is more important: living for the future, or in the now. It may sound simple enough, but this is far from a shallow teenage love story. I might even go as far as saying it's a refreshingly original tale all its own. By openly defying formula and predictability, this movie carves its own little niche in the romantic drama genre. It's deeply affectionate and moving (to say the least). But perhaps more importantly, it's intelligent and insightful. The film doesn't just show two teens making love and pass it off as romance; it depicts young adolescence with endearing fondness, but also harsh honesty. Breakout stars Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley are as close to perfect here as humanly possible, and if the movie doesn't catapult both of them to superstardom, I just don't know what will. Woodley's Aimee is played with such raw innocence and wide-eyed wonder that it's impossible not to instantly fall in love with her well-developed character. There isn't one scene that goes by in which she isn't entirely believable. Even the way she modestly laughs and shares silent, sweet conversations with Sutter is simply enough to make any viewer's heart feel warm. Speaking of Sutter, Teller is a revelation as our main protagonist, bringing a satisfying blend of wisecracking humor and sympathetic emotion to would could've been a truly obnoxious character if not handled with the right direction. Luckily, he easily nails the role, and the chemistry he and Woodley share is beyond astonishing. The rest of the cast here is incredible as well, particularly Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Sutter's caring older sister, Jennifer Jason Leigh as his protective mother, and Kyle Chandler as his estranged father. Along with a skillfully written script that feels close to perfect and a wonderfully subtle finale that leaves us wanting more, "The Spectacular Now" shines in its own confident and compassionate way. It's a beautiful love story that not only breaks down usual romantic conventions, but builds its own realistic narrative paths instead. Thanks to Teller and Woodley's Oscar-worthy performances and Ponsoldt's brilliantly keen direction, this is one truly spectacular coming-of-age tale that is not to be missed. So whether you love great teen movies (modern or classic) or just wanna watch a well-acted drama that'll simply surprise you at every turn, it's definitely worth your time. I honestly just can't stress enough how good this film is. You'll just have to see it for yourself. I guarantee you won't regret it.

CG review

It has been a great year for film festival movies. I love “Mud” from Canes and “The Kings of Summer” from Sundance. This film is another one from Sundance and it doesn’t stop the fantastic role that these festivals are on. I absolutely loved “The Spectacular Now” and the cast. Honestly I expect nothing but the best from Shailene Woodley, but Miles Teller the guy that somehow got popular from the famous “21 & Over” film surprised me with his performance. He showed how serious of an actor he can be. The story in this film is genius with the dialogue, the character interference, and the characters themselves. Miles played a teenage boy named Sutter Keely and made this character memorable. He’s a talkative fellow that can pretty much talk his way in and out of anything who is going through a break up and some mental view on himself. He meets a girl named Aimee Finicky (Shailene Woodley) waking up after a late party. Throughout the film he finds way to spend time with her and she slowly falls for him. With some issues with his father never being around he finally meets his horrible father and battles the troubles that he could be just like him and be bad for others. I really have to give a hand to the writers who wrote another favorite “(500) days of Summer”. This film is amazing to have made such a realistic film. You see life just happening to these kids and it’s both hard and great to watch. The relationship between Sutter and Aimee is one of the many unique things about this film. While it shows trouble with Sutter finding out who he is which effects their relationship, it show unconditional love. With all the awkward moments, the good times, and the bad times. It almost makes this film feel un-movie like you know. It has that feel of realism, but somehow keeps that cinematic effect. With some films like this you’d kind of think that this would be more enjoyable and probably should be on stage. With this film they add those key element that differentiate a play from a film. The character development of Sutter is another reason why I can’t recommend this film enough. He starts out as this senior that just has no sight on the future and sees life as a game, but he turns into well I really don’t want to ruin it for you. I can only say watch this film and you’ll be satisfied. I must say lastly that you may notice a new style from Director James Ponsoldt. I definitely noticed the transition and the angle. They just felt different from the films we usually see. With films now a days it only seems like they try to keep it basic, but I appreciate when a director can really present himself and make a good scene of his own style. Im definitely going to look into more films by this director cause he was great. This film was spectacular like the name says. This film is absolutely worth your time, you won’t be wasting it. Pleas say yes to my review I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

The Spectacular Now
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  • $12.99
  • Genre: Romance
  • Released: 2013

Customer Ratings