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Adventureland (2009)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  3 April 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 124,074 users   Metascore: 76/100
Reviews: 217 user | 244 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ryan McFarland ...
Jack Gilpin ...
Todd Cioppa ...
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


It was the worst job they ever imagined... and the best time of their lives. 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  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

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


£489,686 (UK) (18 September 2009)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There is also an Adventureland amusement park in Des Moines, Iowa. See more »


In the bus montage arriving in New York City, the modern (8th Ave.) New York Times building is seen from a vantage point of 12th Ave. The film takes place in 1987; the New York Times Building was built 2003-2007. See more »


Guest: I love what you've done with the house.
Francy: Thank you.
Mr. Lewin: It's clean.
Em Lewin: I thought the house was a lot nicer the way my mum used to have it, it's pretty barfirific if you ask me.
Francy: Is that some kind of joke Emily?
Em Lewin: No, it's not.
Francy: I think you own me an apology right now.
Em Lewin: I don't owe you shit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: Ryan Reynolds Movies (2011) See more »


Rock Me Amadeus
Written by Ferdi Bolland (as Ferdinand Bolland), Rob Bolland (as Robert Bolland), and Falco (as John Hoelzel)
Performed by Falco
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Austria) GmbH
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Roller-coaster of Love
7 April 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Adventureland"- ***1/2 BY: Kevin Muller The marketing for this film is terrible, just absolutely awful. The studio is pushing this film as the next "Superbad", just because the director of that film directed this gem. The truth is, this is far different than "Superbad", besides a few gross out gags. Where that film prided itself on its crudeness and vulgarity, this film prides itself on heart and pure emotion.

"Adventureland" has the feel of teen movies both from the 80's and 90's (more the 80's though). You have a sensitive character who is still trying to figure out who he is, and by a sequence of events, falls in love and more importantly, finds his true self. What makes the movie even more appealing is that it not only doesn't treat its characters as generic stereotypes, but as humans, which makes them more appealing to the audience.

Our main character here is James (played perfectly by Jessie Eisenberg) who has just graduated college and is looking forward to his trip to Europe with his fellow pal. The trip is not only supposed to be his graduation present, but also a way to escape his recent heartbreak, due to an emotional breakup. Things unfortunately go south with his finances, which forces him to get a job at the local amusement park. There he meets some interesting people: the two owners (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig), nerdy Joel (the likable Martin Starr) and the beautiful "Em" (Kristen Stewert).

James and Em quickly fall for each other, but there is one small problem, she is in a very dysfunctional relationship with Connell (Ryan Reynolds), who plays the married park maintenance guy. Reynolds, who usually adds the goofy humor to every film he is in, holds back to really give the character a deepness that I was surprised he pulled off. I thought his performance was going to be similar to his Monty character from "Waiting". I applaud the restraint that he held throughout the film, because the character could have gone down that route very easily.

What makes this film work though is that director Greg Mottola doesn't overdo any aspect of the movie. The comedy, drama, and situations are all well balanced, which makes the film feel real. As I stated before, Reynolds is grounded, as is the rest of the cast with their performances. Eisenberg, who is accused of playing Michael Cera, gives a very layered and human performance. I am sorry to you Cera fans, but the awkward and caring guy thing was around way before Cera did it. Stewert, is just perfect in this role, she gives Em vulnerability, but makes her lovable at the same time. These two give perfect performances because neither of them have all the answers and it is about the deep connection they share, not just about the sex.

Go see this film, it deserves to be seen. This is a movie that Hollywood doesn't make anymore; a sweet, smart, moving and humorous experience that hopefully starts a chain of movies like it to follow.

130 of 167 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Kristen is so beautiful in this film. Catro
1987? Not really. Banana69
Cut the last scene Zosoerob
Alternate actresses for Em? zach1994
This was a FANTASTIC movie. tri_wizardchampion
Emilys hatred towards her step mom... silverstarcast
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