Young Adult (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Young Adult (2011)



Critic Consensus: 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.

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) Paramountmore
Rating: R (for language and some sexual content)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Diablo Cody
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 13, 2012
Box Office: $16.3M
Paramount Studios - Official Site


Charlize Theron
as Mavis Gary
Patton Oswalt
as Matt Freehauf
Patrick Wilson
as Buddy Slade
Elizabeth Reaser
as Beth Slade
Collette Wolfe
as Sandra Freehauf
Jill Eikenberry
as Hedda Gary
Richard Bekins
as David Gary
Kate Nowlin
as Mary Ellen Trantowsk...
Jenny Dare Paulin
as Nipple Confusion Bas...
Rebecca Hart
as Nipple Confusion Bas...
Louisa Krause
as Front Desk Girl
Brian McElhaney
as Book Associate
John Forest
as Wheelchair Mike
Rightor Doyle
as Babysitter
Brady Smith
as Date Man
Timothy Young
as Champions Server
Erin Darke
as Teen Employee
Jee Young Han
as Teen Employee
Matt Wilson
as Teenage Clerk
Orlagh Cassidy
as Party Guest
Charles Techman
as Parking Attendant
Emily Meade
as Denny's Waitress
Neil Hellegers
as Young Dad
Michael Nathanson
as Champions Greeter
J.K. Simmons
as Mavis' Boss
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Young Adult

Critic Reviews for Young Adult

All Critics (182) | Top Critics (45)

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.

Full Review… | June 20, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Cody and Reitman seem mainly interested in scoring points off their characters and making cheap jokes at the expense of anybody who isn't lucky enough to be Diablo Cody or Jason Reitman.

Full Review… | May 12, 2015
The Improper Bostonian

Kudos to Reitman, Cody, and Theron for crafting such a great bastard-ess, who you'll either feel empathy, like myself, or uncontrollable hatred for.

Full Review… | August 11, 2014
Film School Rejects

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.

Full Review… | May 26, 2013
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.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
We Got This Covered

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

Full Review… | September 18, 2012

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.

Alex roy

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.

Daniel Perry

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.

Sophie Burgess

Super Reviewer

Young Adult Quotes

– Submitted by Katie F (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Ezix Q (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Lucas M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Lucas M (3 years ago)

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