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The Kings of Summer (2013)


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 109
Fresh: 82
Rotten: 27

Critics Consensus: Thanks to charming performances and endearingly off-kilter spirit, The Kings of Summer proves to be a slight, sweet entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Reviews Counted: 35
Fresh: 22
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: Thanks to charming performances and endearingly off-kilter spirit, The Kings of Summer proves to be a slight, sweet entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 20,693




Movie Info

Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends - Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) - who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents' rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate … More

R (for language and some teen drinking)
Directed By:
Written By:
Chris Galletta
In Theaters:
Sep 24, 2013
Box Office:
CBS Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Kings of Summer

All Critics (109) | Top Critics (35) | Fresh (82) | Rotten (27) | DVD (1)

Coming on like Stand by Me meets Son of Rambow, the boys' adventure is essentially dreamy indie-teen wish-fulfilment.

Full Review… | August 21, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

A warm and affectionate comedy about that last great summer when you're 13 or 14 and you don't realize just how much your life is about to change and things will never be the same.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
Miami Herald
Top Critic

This willfully eccentric tale about teenage boys in suburban Ohio fleeing their families to live in the deep woods plays like an erratic comic revue slapped together at theater camp.

Full Review… | June 13, 2013
Orange County Register
Top Critic

There is much here to admire, but the overall impression is of a film that does not have the courage of its convictions.

Full Review… | June 11, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Once they go into the woods, the movie becomes as interesting as watching kids hang around and play with sticks.

Full Review… | June 7, 2013
Hearst Newspapers
Top Critic

In its small, independent way, "The Kings of Summer" rules.

Full Review… | June 7, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

A sweet yet fleeting trifle.

Full Review… | April 29, 2014
Thompson on Hollywood

If you were lucky enough to grow up near the woods, you'll see how true the movie is to the tenor of adolescent exploration. This is a kid's film in the best sense of the word, not a movie for kids, but a great story about being a kid.

Full Review… | April 8, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

Mashes a heightened sense of the absurd rather awkwardly up against arty pastoral, and the mock-seriousness of the endeavor comes across as unpleasantly snide.

Full Review… | September 30, 2013
Flick Filosopher

With a good helping of humor and engaging performances, The Kings of Summer makes for a delightfully entertaining coming of age tale.

Full Review… | September 23, 2013
We Got This Covered

Like lazy summer days, it will be forgotten almost as soon as it's over.

Full Review… | September 23, 2013
Film Racket

Rich in suburban subtext, The Kings Of Summer is a coming-of-age indie movie full of poignancy, charm and strong performances.

Full Review… | August 29, 2013

Thanks in no small part to its trio of hugely likeable teenage leads, the film breezes along, mixing comedy with drama to often seamless effect, while exploring the kind of issues that viewers can all find relatable.

Full Review… | August 27, 2013
The List

Quirky, funny, occasionally too whimsical and at times implausible, it's rather like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn meeting the cast of Rebel Without a Cause.

Full Review… | August 25, 2013
Observer [UK]

This is the kind of American independent comedy-drama that restores our faith in the cinema, combining a talented cast, witty direction and a razor-sharp script to reboot the coming-of-age genre.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013

The Kings of Summer can't quite decide between dysfunctional family drama, the aesthetics of floaty Americana, Goonies-brand adventurism and outbursts of rip-roaring comedy.

Full Review… | August 23, 2013
Irish Times

The reasons for raves at the Sundance Film Festival? The film's charm, freshness, wit and skewiness of vision.

Full Review… | August 22, 2013
Financial Times

Like a summer fling, forgotten as soon as you re-enter the real world.

Full Review… | August 22, 2013
Little White Lies

It lollops along to its own lazy drumbeat, perfectly evoking that too-brief time of life when you could pass the evenings drunk on stolen beer and all the spare time you could dream of.

Full Review… | August 22, 2013
Daily Telegraph

A sunny and reasonably funny coming-of-ager from Sundance-ratified debutant Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Full Review… | August 21, 2013

The spirit of Stand By Me lives on in The Kings of Summer, a poignant and frequently hilarious coming-of-age film about three teenage friends yearning for freedom and independence.

Full Review… | August 19, 2013
Digital Spy

First love, a friend's powerless deception and a perfectly timeless score, credited to Ryan Miller, keep things moving along in a feel-good kind of way.

Full Review… | August 17, 2013
Your Movies (

The first two-thirds of the movie felt rather special, while the last third less so. Still, it has its charms, the kids are appealing and it's worth catching.

Full Review… | August 14, 2013
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

The kids are superb - the ups and downs of the Joe/Patrick friendship ring true, while oddball Moises Arias steals scenes left, right and off-centre.

Full Review… | August 12, 2013
Total Film

A hugely enjoyable, acutely observed and frequently hilarious coming-of-age drama with a delightful script, likeable characters and terrific performances from a note-perfect cast.

Full Review… | July 25, 2013

Audience Reviews for The Kings of Summer

The Kings of the Summer was one of the nicest surprised of 2013, a no hype little independent that came from no where. It's in good company, as there is always that little gem of a film that takes everyone by surprise that comes around every so often, that doesn't fit in any particular category, time or place and is just what it is. I love it for that alone. It's pure escapism, filmed beautifully and with great characters. The acting is strong, as is the script and humor. I haven't been a teenage boy for some time but there are certain things about adolescence that you never forget and they got pretty much everything regarding that right. It's nice to see an alternative to the 'frat' style youth film, one that represents the majority and one that doesn't rely on misconceptions and false realities. I give it five stars because I loved and also because I just can't fault it.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer


Decent movie. I expected to like it more, though.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


A spectacular good time that shines with humor and drama. The best kind of guilty pleasure entertainment. A classic coming of age comedy that shines with brilliant humor, adventure, a great soundtrack and originality. A triumph for Director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts. It's absolutely wonderful and ambitious film. One of the years most tasteful, inventive and excellent surprises. A charming, unique, hilarious and heartwarming movie. An awesome and relate-able experience. The cast is so funny and has such great chemistry together. The performances from its young and gifted cast are all perfect. Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias are sensational. Arias gives a show stealing performance, he is so outrageous you have to see him work to believe what he can do.

Al S

Super Reviewer


"Kings of Summer" is a kind of "Stand by Me"(there's been quite a few of those this year)type of movie. It's about 3 teenage boys who are fed up with their parents and their lives in general. So they go out in the woods and build a house and just hang out. The movie is very authentic to how friendship really is at that age. It really brought me back to my high school days and how me and my buddies would joke around. It's a very funny movie, actually one of the funnier films I've seen this year. The cast is mainly unknowns, save for Nick Offerman. Offerman plays one of the dads and he is hilarious. Between this and "We're the Millers" the guy is having an awesome year. The film does drag in parts and there are a few times where it tries to be an "artsy" movie. But don't let that keep you away, this is a very entertaining movie. One of those hidden gems that you don't hear about, but is definitely worth a watch. I bet this gets some Spirit Award(independent film) nominations at the end of the year. Good flick.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

The Kings of Summer Quotes

Have you ever felt this at one with yourself, with your instincts, with nature? This masculine?
I don't know. I don't really see myself as having a gender.Is that a problem?
It's not great. This way to the bison, my friend.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 months ago)
Good effort, although very poorly planned out, and savagely racist.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 months ago)
Where are we?
Someplace they won't find you.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 months ago)
You're right, it's a classic kidnapping. They took our children and the canned goods and pasta.
– Submitted by Carlo R (12 months ago)
I met a dog the other day that taught me how to die.
– Submitted by Jorge C (13 months ago)
I see the value in these now. I can have the kids from the neighborhood now and bounce up and down on them at a fucking party.
– Submitted by David H (13 months ago)

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