The Spectacular Now - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spectacular Now Reviews

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Jason Bailey
June 19, 2016
There are scenes, moments, and dialogue in this film that ring so true that it all comes rushing back, a flood of memories and emotions and a little bit of pain.
J. Olson
April 17, 2016
An unusually evasive piece of filmmaking - hard to pin down, but all the more worthwhile for its craftiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Austin Trunick
Under the Radar
August 18, 2014
James Ponsoldt's The Spectacular Now is one of the uncommon pieces of teen cinema that rings true.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Richard Haridy
May 14, 2014
Every time the film teeters on the precipice of a generic plot point it satisfyingly withdraws into more subtle and nuanced territory that ultimately coalesces in a final act that is sentimental without being sugary.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Ray Pride
April 8, 2014
t's a coming-of-age-slash-first-love story, with beguiling leads, a frank, bittersweet script, a lived-in, rustic setting (the outskirts of Athens, Georgia), an intense awareness of class difference and a mood that's all its own.
Christopher Runyon
Movie Mezzanine
February 20, 2014
The key to The Spectacular Now's success is in its insight, empathy, and fantastic performances.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Andrew Moraitis
FILMINK (Australia)
February 7, 2014
Far superior to most teen films, Weber and Neustadter's irreverent and unpredictable writing repeatedly upturns the clichés of the genre.
Russell Hainline
Movie Mezzanine
February 6, 2014
Its straight-forward execution allows for lovely emotional complications.
Jonathan Kiefer
SF Weekly
February 4, 2014
This seems like a good moviemaking lesson for contrivance-addicts: Naturalism works if you work it.
Kam Williams
Baret News
January 19, 2014
Another whimsical romantic romp from the folks who brought you (500) Days of Summer.
| Original Score: 3/4
Bill Gibron
Film Racket
January 13, 2014
the lessons its measures out and the means it uses to explain them create one of the best, most compelling cases for growing up ever put on film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Glenn Dunks
January 13, 2014
In James Ponsoldt's new film The Spectacular Now, issues of delinquency, alcoholism, and the peer pressures associated with being a common teenager are explored with such depth and uncharacteristic honesty...
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
January 10, 2014
Succeeds in pinpointing that part of us that is terrified to grow up, and examines the inherent fear of what we'll grow in to.
Damien Straker
Impulse Gamer
January 8, 2014
Both actors have contrasting acting styles but still find common emotional footing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
John Hanlon
Big Hollywood
December 24, 2013
An honest and powerful look at teenagers who look and act like real people.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.0/5
Rima Sabina Aouf
Concrete Playground
December 12, 2013
The Spectacular Now definitely IS that genuine and refreshing take on the cool-guy-falls-in-love-with-the-dorky-girl story.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
December 11, 2013
This low-budget production is all about the performances, with Kyle Chandler turning up late in the piece as Sutter's father, Smashed's Mary Elizabeth Winstead as his slightly snobby sister and a cool supporting cast of appealing young 'uns.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
December 6, 2013
If John Hughes was still alive, The Spectacular Now is precisely the kind of film he'd make...Very earthy, true-to-life & honest, with naturalistic performances so good you won't mind hearing the word "awesome" 4000 times.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
CJ Johnson
ABC Radio (Australia)
December 4, 2013
Simply the best teen drama, or coming of age film, I've seen in years. Perfectly performed by young actors with an incredibly mature balance of naturalism and spark, the film is funny, immensely charming, moving, and inspiring. I left with goosebumps.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Bob Strauss
Los Angeles Daily News
November 27, 2013
But even when the tone gets a bit puritanical in the stretch, director James Ponsoldt's respect for his characters keeps things relatively real and still entertaining. If only more teen dramadies could claim that elusive pairing.
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