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Adventureland (2009)

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In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.



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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelsey Ford ...
Ryan McFarland ...
Jack Gilpin ...
Velvet Touch Manager
Stephen Mast ...
Adam Kroloff ...
Adult Contestant
Molly Hatchet T-Shirt Guy


In 1987, James Brennan's dreams of a summer European tour before studying at an Ivy League school in New York City are ruined after his parents have a severe career setback. As a result, James must get a summer job to cover his upcoming expenses at the decrepit local amusement park, Adventureland, where he falls in love with a witty co-worker, Emily Lewin. In that bizarrely shady workplace, the young carnies have unforgettable and painful learning experiences about life, love and trust while James discovers what he truly values. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Nothing brings people together like a crappy summer job. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, drug use and sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:

| |  »



Release Date:

3 April 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Adventureland - Job d'été à éviter  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$5,722,039 (USA) (3 April 2009)


$16,025,394 (USA) (22 May 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


James Brennan's (Jesse Eisenberg) friend Eric had gotten into Harvard. Jesse Eisenberg went on to portray Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" in 2010 who was enrolled at Harvard. See more »


President Ronald Reagan is seen on television delivering a speech. This particular speech was given on August 12, 1987, but in the film it occurs before July 4th. See more »


Guest: This faggot's trying to rip off a kid! Why don't you give the kid a fucking panda.
[shows knife]
Em Lewin: Here you go! Here's your panda.
Guest: Yeah thanks. Here you go, Dom. I mean, he's just a little kid.
James Brennan: Look, am I gonna get in trouble? No one's ever supposed to lose a giant-ass panda.
Em Lewin: Is it worth getting knifed over?
James Brennan: No. Hi, I'm James Brennan. I just started.
Em Lewin: Em, nice to meet you. Sucks you're gonna lose your job your second day, James.
James Brennan: No. Shit! I need this job.
Em Lewin: I'm kidding.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A commercial for the Adventureland amusement park can be seen during the end credits. See more »


References Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968) See more »


Taste of Cindy (Acoustic Version)
Written by Jim Reid, William Reid
Performed by The Jesus & Mary Chain
Courtesy of Warner Music U.K. Ltd.
By Arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Good "Coming of Age" Drama/Comedy
9 April 2009 | by (Philadelphia) – See all my reviews

While watching this movie, it wasn't clear if this was supposed to be a comedy or a drama, so it's difficult to put this into a category. It was funny and sad, so I'd classify it as a comedy/drama.

The movie takes place in the 1980's and the main character is forced to take a job a Pittsburgh area amusement park called "Adventureland" so he can save enough money to attend graduate school. While his parents feel the job is beneath his college degree qualifications, it's the only job he can find so he takes it, and ends up working the game show booths. While working there, he meets Kristen Stewart, and they develop a romantic relationship, which takes up a large chunk of the movie. Kristen, incidentally, seems to be playing the same exact character she played in "Twilight", wounded and needy.

Based on the trailers, I was expecting something along the lines of "Superbad" but the movie was a lot closer to "Dazed & Confused", a well written period piece of the 1970's. The comedy aspect of the movie was in the interactions with his friends, parents, co-workers, and supervisors. There weren't a lot of LOL moments, but the humor is more in identifying with the characters and their lives.

I enjoyed the movie and anyone living or growing up during the 1980's will appreciate the mood & music of the film.

51 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
satellite of love Meaning krozzrodd-97239
1987? Not really. Banana69
Kristen is so beautiful in this film. Catro
Cut the last scene Zosoerob
Alternate actresses for Em? zach1994
This was a FANTASTIC movie. tri_wizardchampion
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