'Young Adult' Critic Reviews

88%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
80%
Rotten Tomatoes:   183 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    84
    The really pretty Theron captures that state of really ugly inner childishness (articulated so sharply by Cody) with such precision, it makes you want to hear stories of her own high school experience.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • New York Times (Top Critic)
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    80
    Shorter than a bad blind date and as sour as a vinegar Popsicle, "Young Adult" shrouds its brilliant, brave and breathtakingly cynical heart in the superficial blandness of commercial comedy.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    80
    Cody delivers a stinging repudiation of that sentimental piety that is also Hollywood's biggest and most fatuous lie: that home is always best, and monochrome Kansas is better than dazzling, multi-colour Oz.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    63
    Screenwriter Diablo Cody has crafted a precisely drawn portrait of a surly, emotionally stunted woman.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael O'Sullivan Washington Post (Top Critic)
    63
    There's enough grit in the film's gears to keep the forward motion from ever getting too smooth.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    The movie doesn't weigh that much, but it has a kind of point-blank piquancy that has gradually seeped out of American comedies, which now are mostly going for broad, topical gags that rarely venture into the relatable shadows of human behavior.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • J. Hoberman Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Young Adult might be brushed off as curdled rom-com were it not for two things. The first is the depth of Theron's performance.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    80
    "Young Adult" may at times be stuck between emotional gears, but that's by design. Like its heroine, the movie refuses to pick up after itself.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    What makes the movie marvelous is the same combination that the filmmaker and writer brought to "Juno" -- unerringly subtle yet precise direction plus a literate script with dramatic energy and a delicate tone.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    67
    The comedy of discomfort, so long defined by Curb Your Enthusiasm and its ilk, gets a new hue with Young Adult.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    75
    There's little about Mavis that makes for feel-good revelry. That's an understatement, perhaps. Yet, Theron's work feels true to Mavis' malaise -- and often, just as sad.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Glenn Kenny MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    80
    ...the film and its cast portray the [characters] with steadfastness, precision, empathy and a kind of poignant wisdom.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    88
    As I absorbed it, I realized what a fearless character study it is. That sometimes it's funny doesn't hurt.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    63
    Theron nails the specifics of her character, all the distress signals, from the nervous hair-pulling to the relentless default sarcasm.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    The movie suffers from the sort of self-pitying fog that can envelop a writer when he dives into his own malaise.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Gary Thompson Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    75
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    75
    Theron is thrillingly nasty as Mavis.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    88
    It's a step in a new direction, both for the creative team and for movies, a mature and humane comedy centered on a misanthropic female antihero. Think of it as "Juno's" wicked stepsister.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    59
    Young Adult may be the year's most engaging feel-bad movie.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    80
    Reitman makes bold choices with the story. Not all are fun to watch in the moment, but they add up to a satisfying portrait of a woman off the rails, someone we can laugh at even when we're horrified.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    50
    Ms. Theron, a true beauty and one of the screen's most exquisite actors, keeps the film airborne even when it seems dangerously earthbound. She's a one-woman emergency rescue squad.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Debruge Variety (Top Critic)
    Reteaming pop-savvy scribe Diablo Cody with Juno director Jason Reitman, Young Adult revels in breaking the rules of safe Hollywood storytelling.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Nobody ever said that adolescence was pretty, even if an increasing number of people are experiencing its final pangs on the cusp of middle age.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    63
    As good as Theron and Oswalt are, and they're very good, Young Adult doesn't give them enough room to breathe.
    Full Review » 3 years ago