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Young Adult (2011)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 7/10
Reviews Counted: 178
Fresh: 143 | Rotten: 35

Despite its somewhat dour approach, Young Adult is a funny and ultimately powerful no-holds-barred examination of prolonged adolescence, thanks largely to a convincing performance by Charlize Theron.

84

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 43
Fresh: 36 | Rotten: 7

Despite its somewhat dour approach, Young Adult is a funny and ultimately powerful no-holds-barred examination of prolonged adolescence, thanks largely to a convincing performance by Charlize Theron.

audience

49

liked it
Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 33,711

My Rating

Movie Info

Charlize Theron plays Mavis Gary, a writer of teen literature who returns to her small hometown to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her happily married high school sweetheart (Patrick Wilson). When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate (Patton Oswalt) who hasn't quite gotten over high school, either. -- (C) Paramount

R,

Drama, Comedy

Diablo Cody

Mar 13, 2012

$16.3M

Paramount Studios - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (180) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (143) | Rotten (35) | DVD (8)

There has always been something so inward about [Theron;] she can seem detached or deprived. But here it's as if the script and the direction felt bound to heed that loneliness, and let the actress go with her bravery and the depressive sag of her mouth.

June 20, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is a raw honesty here rare in movies, and it's very funny too - excruciating at times.

January 31, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Young Adult may be the year's most engaging feel-bad movie.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News | Comments (6)
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's little about Mavis that makes for feel-good revelry. That's an understatement, perhaps. Yet, Theron's work feels true to Mavis' malaise -- and often, just as sad.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As good as Theron and Oswalt are, and they're very good, Young Adult doesn't give them enough room to breathe.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Comments (2)
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A low-key, indie-style comedy that plays precariously close to an unfunny sociopathic case study.

December 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (4)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You sense the teeth-chattering chill almost as deeply as you admire the bravery of a pitch-black performance by Theron that begs nothing but contempt for her scurrilous Mavis Gary.

May 26, 2013 Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger
The Patriot Ledger

Jason Reitman and Charlize Theron create a realistic insight into what happens to the popular high school student who can't adjust to the real world in Young Adult.

January 29, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

"Young Adult" is not a terrible film, just one that was not thought out very well.

September 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

Theron crushes the role, channeling her best Mean Girls impression, providing Mavis a riotously self-centered persona.

August 25, 2012 Full Review Source: NECN

You're squirming watching this abhorrent behaviour and you're challenged to re-evaluate your golden perception of the past. Young Adult isn't going to be exactly what you expect - enjoy it. It's a nice relief to be surprised.

May 8, 2012 Full Review Source: 2UE That Movie Show
2UE That Movie Show

Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman have still managed to get at a fundamental truth that screenplays traditionally ignore. People don't change. Character "arc" is one of those myths that movies perpetuate.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Comment (1)
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

It's so rare that women get to play fully rounded, three dimensional, flawed human beings, that's it's almost kind of unsettling to realise that's what's going on here.

March 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4 | Comments (2)

A cautionary tale? A slice of life? A demeaning of big-city shallowness or small-town complacency? Who knows. It's certainly a depressing black comedy.

March 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

Filled with pain disguised as comedy, it presents a real-life Peter Pan complex where letting go of one's youth is complicated and painful.

March 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Views

Cody and Reitman were once two of the most promising talents in the filmmaking business, but Young Adult erases any of their past success from memory. I truly hope for a return to form soon because YA is a real downer.

March 8, 2012 Full Review Source: The Popcorn Junkie | Comments (3)
The Popcorn Junkie

Anthropological rather than aspirational.

March 2, 2012 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray
The Ooh Tray

...a narrative treadmill; you get the sense Mavis is still out there somewhere, lonely and lost as when we first met her.

March 1, 2012 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm | Comments (8)
LarsenOnFilm

Young Adult is much funnier and infinitely more savage than Cody's earlier collaboration with director Jason Reitman, the cute but rather cosy Juno.

February 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

This is one of the best contemporary dramas to come along in years.

February 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

Theron is excellent and heartbreaking as she experiences her midlife crisis and sees how much she's misread the world around her.

February 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Daring and different but just way too dark.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Go see. Squirmingly funny.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Mirror [UK]
Daily Mirror [UK]

Here is a film that could have been awful but is so carefully nuanced that it is one of the most satisfying of the year.

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

A mouthwateringly sour anti-romantic comedy directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody...

February 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Audience Reviews for Young Adult

Diablo Cody has previously written Juno and Jennifer's Body, and I got to admit, I really don't enjoy her work. However with Young Adults I was surprised. Charlize Theron is a great actress, and what I love about her is that not only is she beautiful, but she has acting skills and is not just a pretty face. In this film she really delivers a wonderful performance that is funny and sad at the same time. The plot is quite interesting, and I was surprised I enjoyed the film like I did. However the strength of the movie lies with Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt's chemistry and for me, I really felt that it's what made the movie work. Even with my reservations of Cody's work, I'll say that this is her best script, and it is by far better than the overrated Juno. Young Adults combines comedy and drama perfectly and that's only matched by a fine cast and great direction. If you want a great dramatic comedy, then this is the film to watch. Theron is wonderful here and she yet again displays her talent on-screen in a performance that is one of her best in many years. There are things that could have been improved upon, but overall this is an engaging movie that is worth seeing. Young Adults is a fine film that is worth seeing. Charlize Theron does impressive work yet again and is perfect for the part she plays. The film has few flaws, but overall is an entertaining drama with just the right amount of humor to make it interesting.
June 26, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman team up again to give us a second honest story about the Midwest, and it hits just as hard and contains as many awkward laughs - maybe more - than their first joint, Juno. Charlize Theron repulses in this film as the successful, beautiful New Yorker who comes home to get her dream man and her sense of self back only to implode in the process. It's not a normal film in that it doesn't wrap itself up in a tidy little bow, but rather one with which you hobble toward the ending, hoping to cross the line but worried that you just won't make it. I've read a lot of mixed reviews, and I think the reason is that in places - particularly a baby shower that the titular author ruins - it's completely uncomfortable to watch. A valuable work because it gets down in the trenches, the pain and the mud of the ordinary, the relative-to-the-observer meanings of "normal," or "accomplished," or "happy." A challenging work from the mainstream with a detestable anti-hero, and a film that's the better for it. Jason Reitman is climbing my list of favourite directors.
October 22, 2012
danperry17

Super Reviewer

A very depressing and horrible film, which has some how drawn me and involved me into it's world. Mavis is such a horrible, uncaring and unchanging character, but something makes me love her and hope that she'll sort herself out one day.
October 3, 2012
StarCrossedVoyager

Super Reviewer

An excellent film. Simply filmed and darkly funny. Theron gives a wonderful performance.
August 24, 2012
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

    1. Mavis Gary: Matt, don't you get it. Love conquers all. Have you not seen the graduate or like, I don't know, anything?
    – Submitted by Katie F (20 months ago)
    1. Mavis Gary: Mother, I'm trying to tell a story here.
    – Submitted by Ezix Q (20 months ago)
    1. Sandra Freehauf: Take me with you.
    2. Mavis Gary: Excuse me?
    3. Sandra Freehauf: Take me with you. To the Mini Apple.
    4. Mavis Gary: You're good here, Sandra.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. Mavis Gary: Sometimes in order to heal a few people have to get hurt.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. Mavis Gary: Mary Ellen, you were great tonight. It's so inspiring to see a single mother with so much confidence on stage. Really.
    – Submitted by Lucas M (22 months ago)
    1. Mavis Gary: I'm crazy. And no one loves me.
    – Submitted by Cameron E (2 years ago)
View all quotes (13)

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