King Jack (2016)


Critic Consensus: Hard-hitting and honest yet sensitive, King Jack is an uncommonly affecting coming-of-age drama and a powerful calling card for debuting writer-director Felix Thompson.


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Jack is a scrappy fifteen year-old kid stuck in a run-down small town. Trapped in a violent feud with a cruel older bully and facing another bout of summer school, Jack's got all the problems he can handle. So when Jack's aunt falls ill and his runty younger cousin must stay with him for the weekend the last thing Jack wants to do is look after him. Unfortunately no one really cares what Jack wants. Set over a hazy summer weekend, King Jack is a tough and tender coming of age story about friendship and finding happiness in rough surroundings.

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Critic Reviews for King Jack

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (8)

Lacking personality or insight, "King Jack" is a ho-hum tale of young aggression-been there, bruised that.

Jun 10, 2016 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Thanks to a strongly rooted lead performance by Charlie Plummer as a 15-year-old small-town kid who's well on his way to a stint in juvenile detention, "King Jack" still strikes a resonant chord.

Jun 9, 2016 | Full Review…

For everyone who ever had a close call as an adolescent and kept it from the grown-ups, "King Jack" will hit you where you live.

Jun 9, 2016 | Full Review…

First-time writer-director Felix Thompson demonstrates good instincts for two of King Jack's standard three acts.

Jun 9, 2016 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
AV Club
Top Critic

Writer-director Felix Thompson's first film is a sensitive and self-possessed debut that clocks in at 76 minutes and doesn't waste a single one of them.

Jun 7, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

It's a tribute to Thompson's humane sensitivity to character detail that its concluding jolt of affirmation feels fully, inspirationally earned.

Jun 7, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for King Jack

Following the unexpected success of Winter's Bone in 2010, these dark, modern, noirish type films have been all the rage in Hollywood. In fact, these types of films have come to define the 2010 generation of film. Mostly set in rural areas, focusing on the lives of less fortunate people, these films tend to focus on some life defining moment. King Jack certaintly fits this model, and much like Winter's Bone, it is also a coming of age story. Jack (Charlie Plummer) is an angry fifteen year old, who has been bullied his whole life and acts out by getting in trouble. After a family issue, his younger cousin Ben (Cory Nichols) is forced to stay with Jack and his family. At first Jack is upset to be saddled with his naive younger relative, until he comes to realize they're in the same boat, and in Ben he may have found a potential ally. I understand that the premise of the movie is that Jack is a bullied kid, befriends another bullied kid, and all of a sudden their lives don't suck as much anymore, except that they do. Just because they found each other doesn't mean the bullies have gone or that their family situations will necessarily be any better, so what was the point? Watching this film, was simply watching a couple of teenagers hang out in a bad neighborhood, waiting for something substantial to happen. A few events happen here and there, but nothing life altering, and certainly nothing to base a film off of. To be honest, the whole thing was kind of boring. In general, I love this new style of film making, but when it came to King Jack, there were a couple of crude jokes, some anti-climatic scenes, and just a whole lot of nothing going on.

Todd Smith
Todd Smith

Super Reviewer


A superb and very gritty teenage coming of age drama that shows juvenile delinquency at its worst. Hard to watch at times but it shows perfectly the tough life that others experience and that, deep down, they may actually be a good person trying to do the right thing.

Ian Walker
Ian Walker

Super Reviewer

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