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The Spectacular Now Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Nathan Southern
TV Guide's Movie Guide

The film eventually begins to work against itself and erodes the goodwill that it had earned.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2/4

August 2, 2013
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine

Given the film's early promise, it's unfortunate how it turns into a largely reductive Freudian character piece in which the main character has to come to terms with his old man.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2.5/4

July 26, 2013
Jolene Mendez
Entertainment Spectrum

Nothing spectacular, skip it.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Spectrum | Original Score: 1/5

September 5, 2013
Robert Levin

The sojourn into John Hughes territory distracts from the film's real story, which centers on a young alcoholic hurtling toward the abyss.

Full Review Source: amNewYork | Original Score: 2.5/4

August 1, 2013
Tony Macklin

The writing is as subtle as a Slurpee -- even a spiked one.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2.0/5

August 20, 2013
Bruce Bennett
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

There's an element so relevant to the credibility of the story that the script avoids completely and it's shocking this fundamental defect isn't provoking more contempt.

Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah) | Original Score: C+

September 13, 2013
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The fast-talking but increasingly insufferable Teller ... displays little ability to modulate his performance as the movie gradually turns darker and darker ...

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 1.5/4

August 2, 2013
Cole Smithey

[VIDEO ESSAY] "The Spectacular Now" is the work of inexperienced screenwriters.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: D+

July 28, 2013
Erik Childress
Film Threat

The Spectacular Now does not come close to earning that certain kind of isolation that teenagers feel, certainly never coming close to equaling the year in Charlie's 'Wallflower' existence.

Full Review Source: Film Threat | Original Score: 2/4

January 29, 2013
Jeremy Mathews
Paste Magazine

Director James Ponsoldt has adapted Tim Tharp's coming-of-age novel with heartfelt sincerity, but the movie lacks a cutting bite to push it past innocuous teenage drama to a truly deep portrait of adolescence.

Full Review Source: Paste Magazine | Original Score: 6.7/10

August 7, 2013
Rick Kisonak
Film Threat

Director James Ponsoldt has a drinking problem. The problem is that he apparently can't stop making movies about drinking.

Full Review Source: Film Threat

September 12, 2013
Christopher Runyon
Movie Mezzanine

The key to The Spectacular Now's success is in its insight, empathy, and fantastic performances.

Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine | Original Score: A-

February 20, 2014
Russell Hainline
Movie Mezzanine

Its straight-forward execution allows for lovely emotional complications.

Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine

February 6, 2014
Damien Straker
Impulse Gamer

Both actors have contrasting acting styles but still find common emotional footing.

Full Review Source: Impulse Gamer | Original Score: 3.5/5

January 8, 2014
Jared Eisenstat
Film Comment Magazine

[Ponsoldt] enjoys playing with our expectations by following conventions, luring us into the sense that we know what's coming, and then swerving just a little off-road for a detour.

Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine

November 4, 2013
Travis Hopson

The film deals believably and honestly with teen anxieties about the future, while also exploring the familial impact of addiction.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 5, 2013
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger

It aspires to be the 'Say Anything' for the latchkey generation, and for the most part, it achieves that lofty goal via smart, clever writing and a cast that doesn't miss a beat.

Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger | Original Score: B+

August 16, 2013
Rodrigo Perez
The Playlist

While its deliberate rhythm may prove to be a harder sell among the teen crowd, it's a valuable and honest film that's worth the investment.

Full Review Source: The Playlist | Original Score: B

July 29, 2013
John Serba

The film's utter believability on all fronts is its greatest asset.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 3.5/4

September 6, 2013
Sandy Schaefer

The Spectacular Now forgoes easy wistfulness in favor of untidy human emotion - as grounded in the compassionate and engaging turns by the film's leads.

Full Review Source: ScreenRant | Original Score: 4/5

August 9, 2013
Page 1 of 8
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