Adventureland (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

Adventureland (2009)



Critic Consensus: Full of humor and nostalgia, Adventureland is a sweet, insightful coming-of-age comedy that will resonate with teens and adults alike.

Movie Info

Inspired by writer/director Greg Mottola's own true-life job-from-hell experience, Adventureland stars The Education of Charlie Banks' Jesse Eisenberg as an uptight recent college graduate who discovers that he'll have to get a degrading minimum-wage job at a local amusement park instead of spending his summer drinking German beer, visiting world-class museums, and flirting with cute French girls. It's the summer of 1987, and James Brennan (Eisenberg) has just graduated from college. James is all set to embark on his dream tour of Europe when his parents (Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin) suddenly announce that they won't be able to subsidize the trip. Now the only things James has to look forward to this summer are sugar-fueled children, belligerent dads, and an endless parade of giant stuffed animals. When James strikes up a relationship with captivating co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), however, he finally starts to loosen up. Suddenly, the worst summer ever doesn't seem quite so bad. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovimore
Rating: R (for language, drug use and sexual references)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Greg Mottola
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 25, 2009
Box Office: $15.9M
Miramax Films - Official Site


Jesse Eisenberg
as James Brennan
Martin Starr
as Joel Schiffman
Ryan Reynolds
as Mike Connell
Kristen Wiig
as Paulette
Josh Pais
as Mr. Lewin
Jack Gilpin
as Mr. Brennan
Matt Bush
as Tommy Frigo
Paige Howard
as Sue O'Malley
Dan Bittner
as Pete O'Malley
Wendie Malick
as Mrs. Brennan
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Adventureland

Critic Reviews for Adventureland

All Critics (210) | Top Critics (47)

As a sweet-natured character comedy - and a subtle exercise in generic boundary-pushing - this is a real charmer.

Full Review… | September 11, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

A film so tuned in to the pre-collegiate experience that scenes which play as comedy to some audiences will land as harrowing tragedy to others.

Full Review… | May 27, 2016

Greg Mottola's third feature is more emotionally rich than his The Daytrippers and Superbad, but it's still more interested in the comedy than the woe and anxiety of the transition into adulthood.

Full Review… | May 17, 2016
Stop Smiling

It's a film of overwhelming goodwill. You'll like everyone in this movie, and you'll leave the theater thinking they would probably like you too.

Full Review… | June 22, 2013

The messages -- about silver linings in lousy jobs, the collision of hormones and heartstrings, and the adventure of discovering who you really are and what you really want -- ring honest and true, for any era.

Full Review… | September 29, 2011
American Profile

Adventureland is ultimately an interesting but flawed mixture of Mottolla's early indie sensibility (The Daytrippers) with some of the more mainstream teen comedy elements of Superbad.

Full Review… | August 26, 2011
IGN Movies

Audience Reviews for Adventureland


A movie set in the 80's some interesting charters with deent acting from Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. Watching this though looked Stewart channeled some of her Bella Swan to this movie but with a little bit more empathy. A fun ride.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

A delightful, sweet and sensitive coming-of-age story directed by Greg Motolla, who also made the incredibly hilarious Superbad, and it has a nostalgic soundtrack and some very good performances, especially by an always great and charismatic Jesse Eisenberg.

Carlos Magalh„es

Super Reviewer


Nothing brings people together like a crappy summer job.

Saw it again! Great Movie! To me this movie really touched me and I felt like a kid again seeing this film and hearing those 80's music hits and when I use to go to those fares. But this movie is much more than that, it reminded me of been a teenager and going thru the pressures of school and girls, having fun in summer with no worries, how been popular was and still is what everyone wants to be around friends in those years of there lives. The movie all round is pretty funny and has it's sarcastic moments with laugh out loud moments you will enjoy.

In 1987, James Brennan's dreams of a summer European tour before studying at an Ivy League school in New York City are ruined after his parents have a severe career setback. As a result, James must get a summer job to cover his upcoming expenses at the decrepit local amusement park, Adventureland, where he falls in love with a witty co-worker, Emily Lewin. In that bizarrely shady workplace, the young carnies have unforgettable and painful learning experiences about life, love and trust while James discovers what he truly values.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Adventureland Quotes

Em Lewin: Wow.
James Brennan: Hi. I just got off the bus. I'm a New Yorker now. I guess I should probably buy an umbrella.
Em Lewin: I don't think I can see you.
James Brennan: What?
Em Lewin: This summer was rough. I did things that I really, really regret.
James Brennan: Yeah, me too. I'm sorry I told Lisa P. about you and Connell. She told the rest of the world, but I'm not gonna lie. I was really angry at you but you didn't deserve that.
Em Lewin: You know, James, I am so sorry for fucking this up. You were the only good thing that happened this summer. [starts to walk away]
James Brennan: Wait, Em! I think I maybe see you a little differently than you see yourself. Yes I see the person who fucked up, but I also see the person who saved me from being knifed over a giant-ass panda, who introduced me to psychotropic chocolate-chip cookies, who stood up for Joel, and who doesn't make apologies for herself. Look, my theory is you can't just avoid everybody you screw up with. And you should trust me, I'm a New Yorker.
– Submitted by MarieBella C (3 years ago)
James Brennan: Look, am I gonna get in trouble? No one's ever supposed to lose a giant-ass panda.
Em Lewin: Is it worth getting knifed over?
James Brennan: No. Hi, I'm James Brennan. I just started.
Em Lewin: Em, nice to meet you. Sucks you're gonna lose your job your second day, James.
James Brennan: No. Shit! I need this job.
Em Lewin: I'm kidding.You're okay. I'll tell Bobby you lost the panda at knife point.
– Submitted by MarieBella C (3 years ago)
Em Lewin: [yelling at Sue] You know you don't deserve to date Joel. You're an anti-Semitic asshole, what do you like hate gay people too? Do you support apartheid? You are not my friend!
– Submitted by MarieBella C (3 years ago)
James Brennan: Who's that?
Em Lewin: It's my stepmom. I don't think there's any pictures of my mom in here. She died two years ago.
James Brennan: Really? I'm sorry.
Em Lewin: My dad remarried last year. That's Francy. You see that unholy abomination on her head? It's a wig.
James Brennan: Is it?
Em Lewin: She had, like, a nervous breakdown when her first husband divorced her. Lost all her hair. I would feel bad if she wasn't such a status-obsessed witch.
– Submitted by MarieBella C (3 years ago)

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