The Kings of Summer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Kings of Summer Reviews

Top Critic
Catherine Bray
Time Out
August 21, 2013
Coming on like Stand by Me meets Son of Rambow, the boys' adventure is essentially dreamy indie-teen wish-fulfilment.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
June 20, 2013
A warm and affectionate comedy about that last great summer when you're 13 or 14 and you don't realize just how much your life is about to change and things will never be the same.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
June 13, 2013
This willfully eccentric tale about teenage boys in suburban Ohio fleeing their families to live in the deep woods plays like an erratic comic revue slapped together at theater camp.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Sheila O'Malley
Chicago Sun-Times
June 11, 2013
There is much here to admire, but the overall impression is of a film that does not have the courage of its convictions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Mick LaSalle
Hearst Newspapers
June 7, 2013
Once they go into the woods, the movie becomes as interesting as watching kids hang around and play with sticks.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
June 7, 2013
In its small, independent way, "The Kings of Summer" rules.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Cary Darling
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
June 7, 2013
The Kings of Summer is the cinematic equivalent of an Arctic-cold popsicle on a Sahara-hot day. Refreshing and satisfying but not overly sentimental, the film taps into the frustrations of adolescence with warmth and wit.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Nell Minow
Chicago Sun-Times
June 7, 2013
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and writer Chris Galletta bring a fresh and sympathetic eye to the story, evoking the pleasure of what feels - for a little while - like endless possibilities.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail
June 7, 2013
The foundation of a much better movie is buried somewhere beneath the debris that's too quickly piled on to The Kings of Summer ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
June 6, 2013
Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts cut his teeth on network cable series and Internet comedy shorts, and it shows. Instead of developing a genuine perspective he simply repeats the same few stylistic gestures ad infinitum.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
June 6, 2013
Starts out as a raunchy teen comedy, slips into nature-epic mode, then adds a romantic triangle and finally finds a comfort zone in family-sitcom land.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
June 6, 2013
The sharp wit, soft-focus cinematography and slow-motion lyricism lift it into the realm of this summer's nicest surprises.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 6, 2013
Vogt-Roberts makes the scenery look great, but doesn't call the plays that could make the movie score. Scenes don't develop, characters don't evolve except in indie-movie-cute ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 6, 2013
A stylish and very funny teenage coming-of-age story graced with surreal fringes and a mysteriously hushed core.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 6, 2013
Sometimes, a movie just has a magic about it, something that makes you look past implausibility and plot holes and whatever other shortcomings it may have and leaves you feeling good just for having seen it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
June 6, 2013
An unconventional coming-of-age story that's likely to appeal to the rebellious teen in all of us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
June 2, 2013
One senses the filmmakers were going for something more profound and transformative than what ended up on screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 31, 2013
For all its humor and fleeting moments of beauty, The Kings of Summer feels like a cluster of cheap narrative devices posing as a finished film.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 31, 2013
[The Kings of Summer] has some vitality, but it sinks into cliché just the same.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
May 31, 2013
"The Kings of Summer" invokes [John Hughes movies] without Xeroxing them, creating its own little oddball suburbia.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
May 31, 2013
Less a movie than a checklist of indiecinema clichés. Youth on a journey of self-discovery? Got it. Dead mom? Uh-huh. Wounded and entitled when it's trying to be soulful, plotless, laden with indie rock and entirely overhyped at Sundance? Checkarooney.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Top Critic
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
May 31, 2013
It's easy enough to drift along with this slight, quirky charmer and when the puffed-up dramatic stuff gives way to the central theme of a father and son reconnecting, the film really works.
Top Critic
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
May 30, 2013
The film starts unraveling fast as fable and reality collide in messy ways. But for a brief moment the kings have their day in the sun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 30, 2013
Like the fading of day into twilight, the ephemeral nature of youth is deftly captured in The Kings of Summer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
May 30, 2013
So what if much of it doesn't add up? It's still kind of fun and is embellished with clever cinematic flourishes.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
May 30, 2013
In form and sensibility, the movie is closer to a sitcom. First-time feature director Vogt-Roberts is a veteran of TV, and he retains its preference for the quick payoff and its over-eager pursuit of yuks.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 30, 2013
If the structure establishes a calculated distance, the movie's raw materials feel just rough-hewn enough to draw us in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
May 30, 2013
Uneven, haphazardly constructed, and over-reliant on hackneyed symbols of yearning for independence and self-sufficiency.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
May 29, 2013
The perfect hot-weather diversion for audiences who want summer movie escapism without summer blockbuster gigantism.
Top Critic
Eric Hynes
Time Out
May 28, 2013
Eager to please and easy on the eyes, The Kings of Summer sails right down the middle, safely tacking between sitcom setups and grandiose MGMT-scored montages without forming its own distinctive feel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Inkoo Kang
Village Voice
May 28, 2013
As nostalgic projections of boyish freedom by a couple of thirtysomething dudes, the so-called kings are good-enough jesters, but I couldn't help wishing they would shut up more and let the grown-ups talk.
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
May 28, 2013
A slim and wistful independent picture.
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
April 9, 2013
A light-stepping kids comedy for grown-ups.
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John Anderson
Variety
January 22, 2013
Toy's House, Jordan Vogt-Roberts' debut feature, is a full-on fairy tale, and one that could win plenty of friends with its absurdist, caustically funny take on adolescent agitation.
Top Critic
David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
January 22, 2013
While plot-wise it's a little slender, not to mention heavy on studied eccentricities, Jordan Vogt-Roberts' debut feature also has a generous share of rewards.