Adventureland

2009

Adventureland

Critics Consensus

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

88%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 213

61%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 252,868

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

61%
Average Rating: 3.3/5

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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, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Adventureland

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (50)

  • Adventureland is reminiscent of indie movies like Breaking Away, Dazed and Confused and Clerks. You could put it another way and say it's not very original. Yet, watching the movie, you're too swept up in James's problems to care.

    Sep 11, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • As a sweet-natured character comedy - and a subtle exercise in generic boundary-pushing - this is a real charmer.

    Sep 11, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The whole enterprise is infused with a quality of feeling, an integrity, that is rare in such a commercial film.

    Sep 11, 2009 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

    Toby Young

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • A tremendously funny and touching coming-of-age story, which he has set in the 1980s with a sprinkling of nicely chosen cultural references.

    Sep 11, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Like all films that strike a chord, you'll find yourself replaying your own memories as the credits roll on a comedy that fires the heart.

    Sep 11, 2009 | Rating: 4/5
  • The story is semi-autobiographical, but has a gentler touch than his prior work on Superbad, and certainly relies less on slapstick episodes.

    Apr 6, 2009 | Full Review…

    David Denby

    New Yorker
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Adventureland

Hokay, so when I first saw this movie, I LOVED it. Like, haven't-had-a-new-favorite-movie-in-a-long-time LOVED it. I thought it had the lewd humor of "Superbad," the zaniness of "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist," and the brain and heart of "Juno." But after two rewatches in the past seven years, I've gone from a rave 5-star rating to a fine-but-still-demoralizing 3-star rating. Could it be that I'm over my turn-of-the-century cinematic crushes on intellectual and romantic Jesse Eisenberg and/or withdrawn yet open-book Kristen Stewart? Could it be that in my young adulthood, I've grown jaded by the coolly aimless post-college bildungsroman? The soundtrack, production design, and park hijinx are as whimsically nostalgic as a deep-fried cornmeal-battered sausage on a stick, but my blind spot for the '80s renders this movie a drive down someone else's memory lane.

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

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 Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

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
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

½

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
John Manard

Super Reviewer

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