The Spectacular Now - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Spectacular Now Reviews

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Nathan Southern
TV Guide
August 2, 2013
The film eventually begins to work against itself and erodes the goodwill that it had earned.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
July 26, 2013
Given the film's early promise, it's unfortunate how it turns into a largely reductive Freudian character piece in which the main character has to come to terms with his old man.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jolene Mendez
Entertainment Spectrum
September 5, 2013
Nothing spectacular, skip it.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Robert Levin
August 1, 2013
The sojourn into John Hughes territory distracts from the film's real story, which centers on a young alcoholic hurtling toward the abyss.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tony Macklin
August 20, 2013
The writing is as subtle as a Slurpee -- even a spiked one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.0/5
Bruce Bennett
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
September 13, 2013
There's an element so relevant to the credibility of the story that the script avoids completely and it's shocking this fundamental defect isn't provoking more contempt.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
August 2, 2013
The fast-talking but increasingly insufferable Teller ... displays little ability to modulate his performance as the movie gradually turns darker and darker ...
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Cole Smithey
July 28, 2013
[VIDEO ESSAY] "The Spectacular Now" is the work of inexperienced screenwriters.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Erik Childress
Film Threat
January 29, 2013
The Spectacular Now does not come close to earning that certain kind of isolation that teenagers feel, certainly never coming close to equaling the year in Charlie's 'Wallflower' existence.
| Original Score: 2/4
Jeremy Mathews
Paste Magazine
August 7, 2013
Director James Ponsoldt has adapted Tim Tharp's coming-of-age novel with heartfelt sincerity, but the movie lacks a cutting bite to push it past innocuous teenage drama to a truly deep portrait of adolescence.
Full Review | Original Score: 6.7/10
Rick Kisonak
Seven Days
September 12, 2013
Director James Ponsoldt has a drinking problem. The problem is that he apparently can't stop making movies about drinking.
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
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-
Russell Hainline
Movie Mezzanine
February 6, 2014
Its straight-forward execution allows for lovely emotional complications.
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
Jared Eisenstat
Film Comment Magazine
November 4, 2013
[Ponsoldt] enjoys playing with our expectations by following conventions, luring us into the sense that we know what's coming, and then swerving just a little off-road for a detour.
Travis Hopson
October 5, 2013
The film deals believably and honestly with teen anxieties about the future, while also exploring the familial impact of addiction.
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
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
August 16, 2013
It aspires to be the 'Say Anything' for the latchkey generation, and for the most part, it achieves that lofty goal via smart, clever writing and a cast that doesn't miss a beat.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Rodrigo Perez
The Playlist
July 29, 2013
While its deliberate rhythm may prove to be a harder sell among the teen crowd, it's a valuable and honest film that's worth the investment.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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