Adventureland (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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
Rating:
R (for language, drug use and sexual references)
Genre:
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Jesse Eisenberg
as James Brennan
Kristen Stewart
as Em Lewin
Martin Starr
as Joel Schiffman
Bill Hader
as Bobby
Ryan Reynolds
as Mike Connell
Kristen Wiig
as Paulette
Kelsey Ford
as Arlene
Josh Pais
as Mr. Lewin
Jack Gilpin
as Mr. Brennan
Mary Birdsong
as Francy
Matt Bush
as Tommy Frigo
Paige Howard
as Sue O'Malley
Dan Bittner
as Pete O'Malley
Wendie Malick
as Mrs. Brennan
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Critic Reviews for Adventureland

All Critics (210) | Top Critics (47)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | October 7, 2009
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

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

The story is semi-autobiographical, but has a gentler touch than his prior work on Superbad, and certainly relies less on slapstick episodes.

Full Review… | April 6, 2009
New Yorker
Top Critic

Audiences expecting another dumb wallow will be startled, and I hope enlivened, by this movie's core of feeling.

Full Review… | April 6, 2009
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

The youths of Superbad were a little bit younger, a little more likable, their dirty-virgin wit more hilarious [than in Adventureland].

Full Review… | April 3, 2009
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Adventureland isn't as clever as Kicking, and not nearly as hilarious as Superbad, but it's still a sweet little memory ache, a Proustian cookie co-flavored with semiotics and Whitesnake.

April 3, 2009
New York Post
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

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