Funeral Kings - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Funeral Kings Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 8, 2013
It's a funny adolescent film. The boys in the movie are really good in this.
The two boys, Charlie and Andy take the job as altar boys at their school so they can get out class with every funeral. Then they skip the rest of the day and get into a lot of trouble. It was a fun film.
Super Reviewer
½ November 18, 2012
***SPOILER ALERT*** I love coming of age movies and this one involves Catholic altar boys. It reminded me a little of the movie "Stand By Me." I was all ready to give it 3.5 stars until they shot the dog. The ending was terribly unsatisfying.
August 12, 2012
(Funeral Kings was shown as part of the Rhode Island International Film Festival)

The directing duo of Kevin McManus and Matthew McManus begin their debut feature with someone else's end: An in progress funeral procession. Family and friends of the newly departed grieve and sadly weep as the now deceased elderly man lays in his casket, wearing his final suit. An older priest is leading the somber occasion, quietly chanting prayers as the man's loved ones tearfully look onward; filled with both sadness and melancholy. Two twelve year old altar boys are assisting the priest with the procession, but their focus isn't on the suitably depressing event, nor the man whose precious life had just been stripped away. Rather, it is on the gigantic hanging breasts of a college aged mourner, leaning down to wipe the tears from her face. For these almost teenagers, funerals, religion, and common decency don't nearly compare to simply staring at boobies. Just from the opening alone, you know exactly what you're getting: The typical teenagers-wanna-get-laid-and-be-cool raunchy comedy, but this time, you know, with kids instead.

There's an almost gimmicky lowest common denominator comedy in watching tweens swear like sailors and act like wannabe college players, and even during the beginning funeral procession, the McManus brothers' script reaches Kevin Smith levels of profanity. Dylan Hartigan, Alex Maizus, and to a lesser extent Charles Odei, are essentially written and played as three younger versions of Jay from Smith's Clerks, with the scene stealing innocent Jordan Puzzo to serve as their reluctant Silent Bob. Together the gang rob movie rental houses for porn, carelessly shoot handguns, try to go to high school parties, blow off class, smoke cigarettes, attempt to get laid, set off illegal fireworks, get back at drug dealers, and help with funerals for the free wine. They're carefree, rebellious, and some of the most unlikable protagonists I've seen in a very long time.

Once the wild antics of the gang eventually get tiresome somewhere around the 30 minute mark, it quickly becomes apparent that there's no real reason for this movie to exist. The characters are sadly unfleshed out and two-dimensional, the script keeps pumping out four letter words until they've completely lost impact, and the plot is flimsy at best. The McManus brothers seem to believe that we enjoy the gimmickry of swearing kids enough that no substance is necessary, but this isn't the case at all. Maybe as a short this philosophy would've worked, but for a feature is fails miserably.

If you believe Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel need to be far edgier, this movie may be for you. It has all the plot of a mediocre sitcom about about tweens, just with a lot more profanity and irritation. In fact, this very select group may be the only possible audience for the film. Simply put: It's not very good. At all.

Grade: D+
½ February 26, 2015
A tried-but-true account of growing up in an overtly religious setting, only one that's a bit more realistically bawdy and smartly shot than others. Would have benefitted from being a bit longer though, as a few of it's sub-plots feel underdeveloped.
February 24, 2015
Funeral Kings isn't great, but it is a solid indie film with a fun throwback vibe. The entire time I was watching this I felt like it could have been from the 80s, right along the lines of Stand By Me and The Goonies. Obviously, this doesn't come close to touching those classics, but I did enjoy it. It's that typical story of a group of kids finding themselves in trouble, but with a more vulgar twist to it. I enjoyed watching these foul-mouthed kids interact, and at times it reminded me of my friends at that age. It feels fairly realistic, but the acting is pretty bad at times. Unfortunately that really hurt the film for me, especially when the story is all about these child actors. The payoff also feels a bit lackluster, especially when compared to those other films I've mentioned. That being said, I did like this movie. It's got some good things going on and I'd definitely revisit it.
½ May 17, 2014
Okay, so where do I begin? Is this film bad? No, it's nicely made. Is this film boring? No, it keeps itself entertaining. Is this film not funny? No, I laughed a lot. So what exactly makes Funeral Kings not so good? It's a pretty realistic portrayal of middle school kids, and I think while that's it's greatest asset, it's also it's downfall. Funeral Kings reminds me a lot of a previous film I watched, Bullhead. Plot points are dropped and it's tonal shifts are somewhat grating. I found it to be a disappointment. Funeral Kings is about the life of 2 middleschoolers, who are also alter boys. Due to this, they can get out of school earlier than everyone else and attend a funeral. Once the funeral is done, they usually skip class. And on one day, a new member joins the group and turns out to be an actor. And that's as much of the plot I can explain cause after that, this film turns randomly to different plot points, one involving a gun they find and a pretty predictable outcome...

It's basically a mix of Superbad and Stand By Me. Hell, the last half is reminiscent of Stand by Me while the first half is Superbad. Therein lies the first problem: It doesn't know whether it wants to be a serious coming-of-age film, or a comedic one. That leads to some jarring tonal shifts. One moment, you are laughing. The next, you feel sad. Now, it handles both moments excellently when looked at as individual scenes, but when combined, it really hurts the film. I'm very confused as to what they were going for. Then, there are the constant plot points being dropped. I get it. It's supposed to be gritty and realistic. No one in their right mind would return to a drug dealer's dungeon, but that's the difference between a movie and real life. Movies are meant to be escapism or help us cope with something personal. I'm not sure about other people's lives, but mines did not include a drug dealing dungeon. I would have loved a little closure on that. Then, there's the fact that the plot points that are given closure, aren't satisfying enough. I mean, we only get one line of dialogue as to what happened to something.

The acting was good and I liked the realistic dialogue but the plot was almost nonexistent. It wasn't much of a comedy but it wasn't much of a drama either. There was no life lessons learnt and when the young boys were presented with a possible life changing situation, nothing really came of it. I just found that by the end, I wondered how this could be a full length movie. A short film maybe, but not a full length film. There was not enough substance for that. It was scattered as many reviewers mentioned but this was not a good thing. I would skip this one. Even more disappointing, I rented it as a new release and got home and found it was on Netflix for free. Only rated 3 stars on there.

Overall, Funeral Kings is an okay film. It's funny, dramatic, and entertaining. But it strives to be a Superbad/Stand By Me combination. There are much better coming-of-ages films, like the two I just mentioned. It's frequent plot points being dropped is kind of a downer, and as a result, it doesn't feel cinematic. I know that's not what it was going for, but it needs to close off some of them. With that being said, there are many good things to note from this film. The main actors are pretty good in their roles, especially Dylan Hartigan, who outshines everyone else. The cinematography is passable, given it's not a big budgeted film. And the dialogue is witty at times, though sometimes they just throw in the word "fuck" for the fuck of it. So, would I recommend it? Eh.... maybe if you have nothing to do. But that's pushing it.
February 16, 2014
You could name this Stand By Me 2 - it is a great story and excellent acting!
½ December 9, 2013
A true coming-of-age story by showing what's really on kids' minds.
December 6, 2013
The acting is actually pretty solid and the filmmakers show some promise, but the movie runs out of things to say in a matter of minutes and the middle-schoolers-cursing gimmick quickly loses its appeal
November 15, 2013
Light-hearted and fun. Worth checking out.
½ August 31, 2013
The three main teens give phenomenal performances yet maintain realism. It is a shame the plot did not extend to its full potential.
August 11, 2013
With a Tomatometer of 88% I expected better, but there were parts that were especially endearing if you grew up boy in suburbia America.
½ August 16, 2013
The description "it's always a good day for a funeral" is pretty contrived but it's true enough that the boys take advantage of skipping school to pretend to be more worldly than they are. It's a more modern coming of age story but still is the same basic story. Kids act like they are tough and mature but find themselves in over their heads and get a reality check when they get put in their place. I agree with what others said about you seeing interesting plot lines start but never followed through with it, especially with the former alter boy getting in trouble with the drug dealers. So the point of that is we are supposed to guess that is where the boys lives are headed...there was a line in there somewhere about choosing who you want to be in life. The biggest element of suspense was guessing who was going to get shot because you totally see it coming the first time they see the gun in the trunk. I actually hoped it would be one of the main two characters and admitting that oddly enough doesn't make me feel guilty.
August 1, 2013
The movie works because of the hilarious and realistic way it portrays these 14 year-olds. We've all known kids like this growing up- horny, selfish, rude kids who you probably shouldn't be hanging out with, but still do. Funeral Kings captures the essence of being a kid so well, that any script-related problems can easily be ignored
May 27, 2013
Comédia simpática que conta a adolescência de 4 garotos "coroinhas" em uma cidade americana. Bem bacana, bem filmado e serviu para mostrar que nem só de perder a virgindade vive uma adolescência. Problemas, aventuras, medos e tudo que a adolescência tem de melhor. Muito bom, recomendo viu!

Ps. Os atores são de uma idade correspondente ao personagem, nada mais canastrão do que gente de 25 fazendo papel de 16.
April 29, 2013
One of the funniest movies about selfish, vulgar, horny 14-year-olds in quite some time.
½ March 3, 2013
I didn't like this film as much as I wanted to, but those kids need a good beating.
March 19, 2013
good movie but is that how you end your movie
½ March 3, 2013
It is over and all I can say is...thats it? Terrific music.
½ March 2, 2013
Adolescent dilemmas, oh boy. I really do get what they were going for here, honestly, I do. It's daring and inventive, but I also don't find too much of it funny, nor do I find any of these young personalities fleshed out enough to even begin to relate to.
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