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Adventureland ***½ (7/10)
Paul Kydd3 January 2018
Available on Blu-ray Disc (Region B)

USA 2008 English (Colour); Comedy/Drama/Romance (Miramax/Sidney Kimmel/This is that); 107 minutes (15 certificate)

Crew includes: Greg Mottola (Director/Screenwriter); Sidney Kimmel, Anne Carey, Ted Hope (Producers); William Horberg, Bruce Toll (Executive Producers); Terry Stacey (Cinematographer); Stephen Beatrice (Production Designer); Anne McCabe (Editor); Yo La Tengo (Composers)

Cast includes: Jesse Eisenberg (James Brennan), Kristen Stewart (Em Lewin), Ryan Reynolds (Mike Connell), Martin Starr (Joel), Margarita Levieva (Lisa P.), Kristen Wiig (Paulette), Bill Hader (Bobby), Matt Bush (Tommy Frigo), Wendie Malick (Mrs Brennan), Jack Gilpin (Bill Brennan), Paige Howard (Sue O'Malley), Dan Bittner (Pete O'Malley), Josh Pais (Mr Lewin), Mary Birdsong (Francy Lewin), Barrett Hackney (Munch), Michael Zegan (Eric)

"Nothing brings people together like a crappy summer job."

When a recent college graduate's (Eisenberg) plans for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe are dashed, he is forced to get a summer job in a tacky, run-down amusement park, where he suffers numerous indignities, falls in love with a beautiful but troubled co-worker (Stewart), and has the worst/best time of his life.

A gently amusing, genuinely touching, only occasionally gross-out coming-of-age comedy-drama, set in 1987 to an apt, song-based soundtrack (including the perfect, repetitious use of Falco's annoying but popular "Rock Me Amadeus").

First of three films (so far) to pair Eisenberg with Stewart; SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE players Hader (frenetic) and Wiig (subdued) are priceless as the park's oddball owners.

Blu-ray Extras: Commentary, Featurette, Deleted Scenes, Short Films. *** (6/10)
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kiowhatta11 December 2017
If only every teen were so understatedly cool, rich in philosophical epigrams, clumsy teen wisdom, perfect lips and complete socio- political awareness, such that they could be elected to both a fashion academy and junior political staffer within ten minutes of existence. These characters are plausible, complex, angst-ridden, curious and frustrated, not to mention either semi-professional pouters with luscious buttocks or revenge of the nerd's candidates who are virgins.

As for the plot, it ebbs and flows, straining to be serious and relevant one sequence, and then 80's pop culture parody ripe with obvious references the next.

I wanted to like this movie as it had it's charms and moments, but I just couldn't shake the cringe factor running through my muscles like nervous tension every time a cute guy or girl swanned into the frame.

This is standard Saturday-night fare if you're lonely and bored, and able to access porn afterward. (Did I just type that?) No, it was Kristen Stewart who's lips are putting all over my keyboard.
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Love and life collide
Stuart Fisher4 July 2017
It's difficult to know how to rate Adventureland. It's a film that's all about the relationships between the characters. The theme park just provides a backdrop and a reason for the characters to all be in the same place at the same time.

If you can relate to what the characters are going through, you will love this film. If not, you'll probably find it boring as it is quite slow going. There are moments of humour but the story is primarily about the chaotic lives of all the characters. In my experience, life really is just like that, so I enjoyed it a lot.

One negative is that Kristen Wiig is given top billing but she isn't really in it at all. When she is on screen she's given almost nothing to do, which is a waste. On the plus side, when she is on screen, the scene always includes Bill Hader too and he's brilliant in this :-)
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Nowhere near as good as is claimed
studioAT30 June 2017
This is a decent enough film, with a likable cast. It's got an interesting enough premise, and a good soundtrack.

However I think it has been looked at with rose tinted specs by those who proclaim it as a modern day classic, and the sort of film that the late, great John Hughes would've been making today.

I mean, it's good, but it's not great. It has too much bad language for my taste, as well as an over reliance on sex for the source of its humour.

I think those people need to take the specs off and see it for what it is.
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Realistic in some areas but not in others
Michael Fuchs19 March 2017
I find it hard to decide if I want to applaud this movie for doing away with the usual obviously designed dialogues that exceed the characters intellect, or to criticise it for its very few original and surprising moments.

One clear issue I have with embracing the former perspective is that the characters themselves are hopelessly exaggerated. The likable nerd, the philosophical jew, the femme fatale waiting to be rescued by true love, the sexy gum-popping lipstick chick, the bald mother-in-law witch, the lets-hit-each-other-in-the-balls jokester, the queer folks running an amusement park... The only character which has a slightly surprising side to me would have to be Connell, who is an adulterer and liar but still manages to be a likable guy, and garner some sympathy when he doesn't rat James out.

So you construct a story that has not much originality over any other romcoms, cook up the characters out of the usual rather one- dimensional repertoire, then try to be more realistic and life-like about their dialogues? To me, this ended up being neither fish nor fowl.

Still, to some degree, I can't help but succumbing to the romantic summer fair attraction of Adventureland, its crew, its atmosphere.

If you want to watch a similar themed movie, with more heart, originality and less pathos, consider The Way Way Back.
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Not Nearly In The Same League As, Say, Zombieland
zkonedog25 February 2017
I found the movie "Zombieland" to be a rollicking good time, which is why I gave this flick a chance. "Adventureland", however? Not even in the same league despite the lead actor playing a very similar role.

For a basic plot summary, "Adventureland" is the story of James (Jesse Eisenberg), a college student all set up for a grand trip across Europe. That is, until his parents hit the skids and the money dries up. Instead, it's off to look for a summer job, which he finds at the carnival theme park Adventureland. There he meets fellow worker Em (Kristin Stewart), where a complicated relationship ensues.

The main trouble with "Adventureland" is that it doesn't seem to have any sense of purpose. It sort of just meanders from one scene to the next and just fizzles out as it goes along. I'm usually very engaged in the movie-watching experience (phone down, no distractions, etc.), but halfway through this one even I was getting antsy. It just didn't go anywhere. It also seemed to hit a bit of a climax about halfway through, where I wondered "how can an entire hour possibly be left in this film?".

Eisenberg is a solid actor, but his "awkward kid" shtick doesn't play as well here without a lot of other things going on. In "Zombieland", for instance, there's so much other action that his bits are more comic relief. They are asked to carry the show here, and that approach flops. Not helping matters is the un-expressive Stewart (it isn't just a "Twilight" thing). Yes she is beautiful, but I never felt any true emotion radiating from her. Whether excited or sad, laughing or crying, Stewart always has kind of those "dead eyes" going on that make it difficult to really identify with the emotions she is feeling.

Thus, "Adventureland" was one of the worst films I've seen in quite some time. I'm not bored easily by cinema, but this one did the trick.
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Jackson Booth-Millard25 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I knew the leading actor from The Social Network was in it, I knew about the setting, and I knew the critics give it a good rating, I was looking forward to whatever it had to offer, directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad, Paul). Basically set in 1987, at the beginning of summer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, young adult James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) has graduated from Oberlin College with a comparative literature degree, but he inexperienced in many ways, including being a virgin. He has plans to spend the summer touring Europe with his best friend Eric (Michael Zegen), before heading to New York City to attend a journalism graduate school at Columbia University, but his parents, Mr. Brennan (Jack Gilpin) and Mrs. Brennan (Wendie Malick), announce they can no longer financially support him. James has no real skills, but he is forced to take the only job he can get, at a third rate amusement park called Adventureland, assistant manager Bobby (Bill Hader) assigns him to be one of many games operators, most of the games themselves are fixed. James's co- workers include the sarcastic Joel (Martin Starr); park manager and Bobby's wife Paulette (Kristen Wiig); the alluring Lisa P. (Margarita Levieva); and the park's maintenance man/technician and part-time musician Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds). James believes he has died and gone to hell, until an incident with a cheating, threatening customer brings along Emily "Em" Lewin (Twilight's Kristen Stewart), another games worker, who saves him, he is instantly attracted to her, and with no real experience with women, Mike takes him under his wing to give him advice. James and Em becomes good friends, slowly they embark on a relationship, and have their first kiss, but she wants to take things slowly, James is upset, and when Lisa P. asks him on a date, he eventually accepts, during it they kiss. After the date, James learns Em had called apologising for rejecting him, Joel is irritated about James being with Lisa P., James unsuccessfully tries to convince him to stop quitting, James is honest with Em about going out with Lisa P., hearing this she ends her affair with Connell. James goes to Connell's mother's house, where he apparently takes girls for sex, he is upset to see Em walk out, James spreads the word around, Em quits in anger and moves to New York, James is heartbroken, gets drunk and drives his father's car into a tree, the following morning his mother tells him he must pay for the damage with his summer earnings. James no longer has enough to attend graduate school like he wanted, but with his parents' blessing he heads to New York anyway, meeting Em at her apartment she is reluctant to talk to him, but she is touched by what he tells her, he reveals he will wait for next year to go to Columbia, and they embrace, removing their clothes, implying they will have sex. Also starring Josh Pais as Mr. Lewin, Mary Birdsong as Francy and Paige Howard as Sue O'Malley. Eisenberg is great as the vulnerable, nerdy every man, and Stewart is good as his smart but melancholy love interest, this is not the typical teen movie, most are filled with gross-out jokes and outrageous behaviour, but this one is a more heartfelt, focusing simply on the relationships between characters, and leaving room for 1980s nostalgia, a simple but most effective coming-of-age comedy drama. Very good!
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It has all the usual formula for an indie coming-of-age drama, and it works.
Yuscha Anindya5 September 2016
When a trip to Europe is suddenly canceled because of monetary reasons, a fresh college graduate with little to no job experience has to work in an amusement park (aka Adventureland) to save up for money. What seems to be a measly job will change his life forever.

Adventureland has your usual coming-of-age drama formula: an unusual premise, an unique aesthetic, and a soundtrack filled with indie sweethearts mixed with oldies-but-goodies. Some movies may fail on the execution, but not with this one.

The movie takes a realistic approach with somber tones, taking on life problems that may hit too close to home, and handling on issues that are authentic without glamorizing them. The performances brought out by the main characters are top-notch. The soundtrack may sound pretentious, but just the right amount of pretentiousness, as the songs really brought out the heavy atmosphere the movie intends to show.

Some subplots may deemed unnecessary, and the plot may dragged on a little bit, but it was an enjoyable experience. I was a bit confused as why it was tagged under a Comedy genre, as the jokes are spread thinly across the movie.

A perfect movie for teenagers and adults alike.
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Adventureland (2009)
adonis98-743-18650326 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
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. What really shines in Adventureland is 100% Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart they have a great chemistry together but you also feel about the characters they have done mistakes and all that and they try to fix them that is why the ending also worked because of them finding what they were looking for not just love but their other half. What is also good in this film is easily the humor which is straight up hilarious when it wants to but also great on it's dramatic parts Eisenberg and Stewart worked together again in American Ultra last year and in Cafe Society this year.
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Excellent simple movie about teenagers
mistoppi13 August 2016
There is one aspect that makes Adventureland stand out from other movies about teenagers. Adventureland isn't overly dramatic. I don't think there is a one scene in this film that made me roll my eyes and think "well that would never happen". Adventureland is simple, which makes it realistic. The problems these characters are having, their feelings and situations, are very familiar to many teenagers, which means Adventureland doesn't alienate teenage viewers - apart from most of the actors clearly not being teenagers.

While the story is simple, it's also intriguing. You want to see what happens, how the main character is going to screw up this time. You also want to see if something crucial is going to be revealed from the characters. There are a lot of characters who make the audience wonder what's up with them, why they are the way they are. Well, we don't get much insight on that, just hints, clues. That isn't disappointing however, it feels okay. After all, you never know everything about everyone.

The fact that Adventureland took place in the 80's didn't seem to hold much meaning. It affected the soundtrack and technology available, that's it. It wouldn't have much effect if the movie didn't mention that it happened in the 80's. The problems and the events of the movie are more or less ageless. They could happen in the 80's, in the 90's, 2010's, in the future... Crushes, love, bad jobs and money issues are always there.

Of course the 80's music goes very well with the movie. The songs used are amazing. The music alone could've been enough to make the movie feel like 80's.

I'm not sure if I'm a fan of Jesse Eisenberg's acting. He seems like Michael Cera: they both seem to have that one character over and over again.Sure, Eisenberg is really good at that one character, but what does it tell us about his skills?

Adventureland is an interesting movie. I don't like all the plot points, but it makes me just the tiniest bit inspired. I'm just not sure what it's inspiring me to do. Write a YA-novel? Have more teenager experiences like this one? I just don't know. But I enjoyed this movie.
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A Great Movie, For the Right Audience
catholiccontriversy9 July 2016
A lot of people are talking about the ads for Adventureland, and while I don't remember many of them in detail, it is true that the ads were a little misleading as to the kind of movie it turned out to be, and that's for the best.

I rented this as a "2 for $1" at my local video store, and I was quite surprised with how it was. I was expecting some Eisenberg fast talk and Stuart wooden acting in an R-rated comedy, but it was actually pretty low key slice of life film about a college graduate (Eisenberg) who has to work a crappy job and finds summer romance at said job (Stuart), along with the realistic fun that they get into with their friends and coworkers. It's not a masterpiece of cinema, and the best age to watch this is early-mid 20s (anything younger and they won't get it, and anything older and they will no longer get it), but it's got charm and is really a "this could happen" sort of movie. Plus, it has what is essentially an "all star cast" (even if some were before the big hits or right after they started gaining speed).

And if the "R rating" is a turn off, it's a pretty soft R, for language present but not in excess, marijuana alcohol use, and some suggestions at sex. It's kind of in the realm of The Breakfast Club. This isn't "we earned our R rating and we're going to let it be known," it's more of "well to tell the story we wanted we needed some more adult content, just missing the PG-13 mark."
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A Well Acted, Meaningful Comedy,
FilmBuff199412 January 2016
Adventureland is a great movie with a very well developed storyline and a terrific comedic cast that are a also able to be dramatic when they have to. It's a very funny movie, but it never gets too carried away with its comedy, which I really liked, every joke was meaningful and was used in order to developed the characters, establishing their relationships, several of them are very relatable, particularity James and Em, I'm sure anyone who watches this movie will find their friendship similar to one you may have had, there are countless aspects to them that are very human. The only thing about this movie that bothered me was the fact that there are just so many characters that are intriguing that by the end several of them felt underdeveloped, particularly Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig's characters, they were brilliant in all their scenes and I loved the dynamics between them, but they simply aren't in it enough, and I was left wanting to know much more about Bobby and Paulette. The cast is outstanding, and they are all very well able to do both hilarious scenes, as well as dramatic, serious moments, ranging from Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Ryan Reynolds and Michael Zegen, I felt for and understood all these characters, which goes to show just how good their performances really were. A great script and a stunning cast, Adventureland is a very enjoyable movie that I would recommend to anyone looking for a good comedy drama.

When a graduate gets a dead end job at a fun fair, he soon finds it to be a perfect preparation course for real life.

Best Performance: Jesse Eisenberg
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An incredible waste of an evening
trevortoop21 December 2015
This has to be one of the most horrific excuses for a movie I ever had the misfortune to sit through. It had no plot, no real comedy, in fact its bleak messages were simply depressing. Everyone was just lighting up a joint the whole way through and thinking about getting laid. Kristen Stewart did little except woodenly sigh, and brush her hair away from her face which wore a perpetual glazed expression. I don't think I have seen a worse movie in my life, if I were to be candid. I don't know why Hollywood insists that to be "truthful and tender" they have to drudge up nihilistic characters who don't aspire to anything, don't believe in anything, and do nothing of any value. If this was an action movie, it had no action, if it was a comedy, I think I laughed once. If it was a theme movie, I don't think it had anything cohesive enough to even call a theme. It was just trucked out two hours of meaningless drivel. Oh my, WORST MOVIE EVER.

Summary: don't waste your time. Don't even consider it.
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Cute coming of age in the 80s Flic
Bee Friendly21 September 2015
Jesse Eisenberg's role as naive college nerd who must work played brilliantly. Many funny scenes when you know what life in the 80s was like. Kennywood Park well made use of. Bill Nader hilarious with his fake 80s mustache. Kristen Steward stale and unconvincing as always. She needs to lay off the grabbing her hair bit. Kristen Wiig- even just standing around doing nothing- is funny. And Martin Starr really cute as the lost intellectual Jew.Ryan Reynolds' fans however might be a tad bit disappointed. Nice slap stick-like boys jokes, but overuses stereotypes. (Promotes drug use. Perhaps just the reality).

Nice short entertainment for a rainy afternoon.
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Adventureland - Goofy, simple, moronic, and fun
John Hodge31 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Adventureland represents everything I pray my first months as a college graduate do not included. Although… worse things than bro- ing out with Ryan Reynolds and having Kristen Stewart fall madly in love me could without-a-doubt go down. Jesse Eisenberg, the un-expected hero of Adventureland (expected hero, really) portrays a less asshole-ish version of his Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, pulling out all the nerdy stops, including but not limited to: an immensely awkward and unfailing stammer when speaking to any remotely attractive woman, a less-than- flattering Jew-fro, and a borderline translucent complexion (admittedly much like my own). Kristen Stewart is… well, Kristen Stewart, bringing the exact same mannerisms and monotone speech that she brings to every other film she's been in. Last but not least, Ryan Reynolds plays the classic douche. Did I mention that Adventureland takes place in the 80's? I shouldn't be too harsh, though, considering that I actually enjoyed the film and the acting wasn't all that bad. Do not be mistaken, Adventureland is for the youthful, it is for those looking for a light-hearted comedy, it might even be for the unintelligent (not exclusively but mainly, so I surmise), but all this does not mean that it is a bad movie. Adventureland is a small, probably a bit underrated for what it is, romantic-comedy, whose scale tips more in favor of comedy. This, I believe, is for the best. I am not sure this trio of actors, all with their total of one solid performance between them (see paragraph above), are ready to form a Scarlet Letter-esque love triangle in a dramatic romance film akin to that of Blue Valentine or Her or even something similar to the more humorous but still-siding-with-romance-over-comedy, (500) Days of Summer (though Reynolds has certainly tried). Adventureland is funny, and I wouldn't think anyone who has seen it would fight with me on this. Bill Hader, as Bobby, steals the show with his sheer absurdity. One scene in particular is especially hilarious. It comes after James (Eisenberg) stands up for Em (Stewart) by jabbing a slightly over-weight and probably drunk more- or-less hillbilly in the abdomen, which causes the hillbilly's equally likely-to-wear-a-trucker-hat friend to angrily chase James around Adventureland, the carnival where he and Em have summer jobs. James races into the main office and breathes out the words, "Someone is trying to kill me." Hader responds, he grabs his women's softball bat and exits the office screaming profanities and essential death threats at the attacker, who, believing Hader to be a full- blown psychopath, runs off. Along with attacking a patron of Adventureland who refuses to properly dispose of his empty soda and insanely commentating for a predetermined race of plastic horse cut-outs, Hader dominates the movie, keeping it fresh and making it easy to watch the film in its entirety. While, I refuse to say there was anything redeeming about Reynolds in Adventureland, himself and his character included, there were moments that I was pleasantly surprised by the Eisenberg and Stewart's acting efforts. Specifically was James' confrontation of Em after discovering that she has been sleeping with Connell in secret, which has been the cause of Em's self-loathing and inability to commit to James (Reynolds really does his darndest to f@#k everything up in this one). Stewart's incredible stress and confusion are remarkably apparent on her crying face as she watches her love life go to complete and total sh%t all in about five minutes. Then, she returns home, where her rapidly balding step- mother calls her an "ungrateful bitch." Rough. Maybe the acting is tad bit underwhelming, maybe the arch of the film's plot is disappointingly predictable, maybe I wanted to strangle Ryan Reynolds for the entire runtime of the film, but, in the end, I still like this movie. Like many movies about young people, Adventureland connects with… well, young people. It's definitely no Ferris Bueller's Day Off or Breakfast Club (I didn't exactly want to crash a massive parade in the heart of downtown Chicago or befriend a low-life named John Bender after seeing this film), but I did connect with the notion of longing for love and excitement. James has a grand vision of what he hopes his life will be like, a vision that contrasts hideously with how his life is now, and he ultimately finds this to be deeply upsetting. These feelings are probably felt by a multitude of young men and women, and I pride Adventureland for being aware of that. However, much like the arch of the plot, this trope has been played upon time and time again. I like Adventureland for the simple reason that it is funny and light-hearted, I connect with it on some level, and it is by no means an investment watching it (it's not a "thinker," so to speak). I would recommend it for date night; that's probably the best way that I can describe Adventureland.
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"Can you stop saying intercourse?"
punishmentpark27 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
'Adventureland', also in the sense that adolescence may be a romantic, adventurous ride with as many ups as it has downs - as is the case for our protagonist in this movie.

In the first part I had a little trouble getting into things, because of Jesse Eisenberg's overly off-beat delivery (and his equally forced clever lines) and the settings, atmosphere and overall look of the film weren't very convincingly '80s-like. But Eisenberg's performance got better and better (and his lines more natural), as did that whole '80s atmosphere - much helped by the steady, and not too fast, developing of the story, with some good humorous bits here and there.

There are lots of fun supporting roles by - for instance - Martin Starr, Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, and the soundtrack is a sheer endless list of terrific oldies, like 'Breaking the law' (Judas Priest) and 'Don't wanna know if you are lonely' (Hüsker Dü) So, in conclusion, this is not an earth-shattering coming of age flick, but certainly more than fun enough to have seen twice so far. Plus: Kristen Stewart is not the best actress ever, but her natural cuteness is simply undeniable.

A big 7 out of 10.
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An Adventureous Summer Job!
Python Hyena29 April 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Adventureland (2009): Dir: Greg Mottola / Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, Martin Starr: Teen comedy that remembers the joys and heartaches of youth. Jesse Eisenberg plays a college graduate who works at an amusement park during the summer. Director Greg Mottola has fun with the location and really gives viewers an idea of what working at such a job is like. He previously scored big with Superbad, which is also a comedy about youth. Eisenberg does well experiencing one's first job and romance. Kristen Stewart plays off one's anger towards parents and the false security of wrong relationships. Her father is involved with a woman whom she spites due too the phoniness. Unfortunately, as many of these films do, they seem to solve their issues with sex in a manner that seems taken for granted. Ryan Reynolds plays a maintenance worker having a marital affair with Stewart. He symbolizes males who can achieve affection from beautiful women but cannot commit. He does commit to helping his mother though, which allows him some sympathy. Bill Hader steals scenes as the theme park manager with amusing methods to restoring order. Martin Starr plays an employee who has no luck with women but bonds with Eisenberg. Winning comedy that reflects one's first job and the baggage that makes it all memorable. Score: 9 / 10
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For the most part, funny and enjoyable
Ben Davis28 February 2015
Pretty funny and enjoyable movie in my opinion. If you don't like this movie, I won't argue with you. I can see why some people wouldn't like this movie. I do really like coming of age movies, so maybe that's why I can look past a lot of flaws, but hey. You like what you like and certain movies work for certain people for various reasons. I tend to relate to characters on these types of movies. It's about a guy named James Brennan, played by Jesse Eisenberg, who has to get a summer job in order to save money to either go to college or go to Europe (I can't remember). He ends working at an amusement park and there he meets some new friends. The movie follows what they do throughout the runtime. And for the most part, this works. The movie is funny and at the very least watchable. However, I do feel like there are several parts of this film where the humor is absent for longer than necessary, and it can get slightly boring and overly dramatic at some points. Ultimately, I think the good outweighs the bad however and I say you watch it. Though like I said, I can see why you wouldn't like it.
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Nostalgic coming of age/summer love movie
juneebuggy24 September 2014
This was okay. I'd been hearing buzz about this movie for ages, I guess its considered some kind of cult classic but I didn't really "get" it. It's a sweet coming of age/summer love movie, following a recent college grad who is forced to take a crappy minimum wage job at the local amusement park after his parents announce they can no longer fund his education or send him to Europe. The plot is simple, there are some humorous moments carried along by good performances from Eisenberg and Stewart and a fun sub-cast. I think my favorite part was probably the nostalgia inducing 80's music, the Pinto that Stewart's character drove. Ryan Reynolds is that bad boy we all remember so well... 8/25/14
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Fun nostalgic coming-of-age movie
SnoopyStyle13 August 2014
It's the summer of 1987. College student James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg) is still a virgin. He needs a little bit more money to go to Europe but his parents reveal that his dad got a lesser job with less money. His parents can't pay for grad school at Columbia in NYC and James needs to get a job. He gets a summer job at the local rundown amusement park Adventureland in Pittsburg. The park is run by Paulette (Kristen Wiig) and Bobby (Bill Hader). Joel (Martin Starr) shows him the rigged games. He falls hard for co-worker Emily Lewin (Kristen Stewart). Mike Connell (Ryan Reynolds) is the cool maintenance guy.

It's a charming coming-of-age movie. It's got the nostalgia factor in spades. The 80s music does a lot of the work. It has the feel of familiarity and it has the comfort of a well worn genre. Writer/director Greg Mottola was the director of Superbad and has probably collected enough credibility to explain the great comedic actors here. The actors are all great from top to bottom. Wiig and Hader are hilarious together. Eisenberg returns to his usual character as a college student this time around. Kristen Stewart is the more mature woman and actually does a reasonable job as the object of desire. Ryan Reynolds is the charming rogue. Everybody does a good job.
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Worse things have happened to the Jews
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews22 July 2014
1987. A bunch of youths who are still stuck living at home with their parents have to save up money for college and take Summer jobs in the titular amusement park. Among the unwinnable games, all of these odd types unintentionally form a sort of dysfunctional family. James(Eisenberg, nerdy and neurotic) starts falling for Em(Stewart, her being her usual moody self fitting this, and him, they're cute together), but things are a little complicated. For one thing, she secretly has a thing with Mike(Reynolds, charming as usual, former big time musician), even though he's married.

Outside of one or two chunks where a lot happens, this is uneventful. It's pretty slow, even though the 96 minutes sans credits(102 minutes with) don't really drag. The teen romance is relatively conventional in its progression, but it's also realistic and engaging. With 40 80's pop songs, this has a very distinct sense of setting. It's very indie – small, personal, intimate. This isn't a laugh-out-loud comedy, albeit it can be funny. There's enough quirk to go around, with awkward interactions, especially on dates… talking past each other, half-answering, ignoring, misreading nonverbal cues.

This contains some drug content, strong language and sexuality, as well as brief bloody violence. I recommend this to anyone who wants this kind of story. 7/10
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Most un-relatable film ever?
zazzy_zuzu11 July 2014
How. How do people like this film? I watched it due to rave reviews and people saying it actually makes Kristen Stewart look like a legit actress for once. That is not the story my friends. She's as wooden as always! Her characters a bitch and Jesse Eisenberg plays a pathetic little whiner... I mean it's really a shame that the cast is full of talented people like Kristen Wiig - she deserved to have a bigger role and Ryan Reynolds plays a serious douche when he usually adds brightness to a film... Just a really terrible film full if boring antagonists really. How people can even compare this to the genius of Superbad I'll honestly never know. Don't watch :)
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Great movie! So watchable
dbistolaridis17 April 2014
What makes this movie great is the acting. Kristin Stewart steals the show, and even I (a heterosexual woman) can see what a guy could fall in love with. She has such a weary beauty about her, and seems so much the "cool girl" that all the guys would have aspired for and the smarter girls would have tried to be like.

However, Jesse Eisenberg is a heck of an actor. He hit all the right notes, and managed to be funny and awkward without compromising the lead romantic role.

This movie was also an Easter Egg hunt of little surprises, like Ryan Reynolds, Bill Hader, and Kristen Wiig. Especially Martin Starr from Freaks and Geeks. Everyone did very well in their role and this movie was romantic, funny, and insightful.

The only quibble I would have is it is supposed to take place in the 80's, but the costuming/makeup/etc. does not necessarily scream 1987. No, I am not looking for sloppy gimmicks like The Wedding Singer, but much of this movie at sight looked a little too recent for 1987. If they really wanted to "date" this movie they might have tried a little harder I think.
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Like Gen X, it's not as deep as it thinks it is
Fluke_Skywalker5 February 2014
On the surface, 'Adventureland' may look like a nostalgia piece, but there's no love for the era apparent here. If anything it subtly condemns the 80s while using its zeitgeist to fuel what is ultimately a rather shallow, go nowhere dramedy that we've seen a thousand times before; And often much better.

The cast is blandly appealing and 80s kids will likely find some nuggets of retro joy despite the film's best efforts to eschew nostalgia, but there are few things more annoying than a film that thinks that it's much more profound than it actually is.

In the end, 'Adventureland' isn't worth the price of admission.
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I Loved this movie!
Daniel Thomas7 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
This movie just had a feel to it I think I think a lot of people can relate to you don't know what it is but it just puts a smile on your face. Through out this movie I was routing for James and Em to get together so when thy finally did at the end I found I had a genuine smile on face and that isn't something that happens often. This is probably one of my favourite movies of all time along with "the way way back" which has a similar feel to it plus it has Annasophia Robb in it who is smoking hot. I've been a fan of Jesse Eisenberg from the very begging and I'd say he did a pretty damn good job of portraying his character. I think that Kristen Stewart did a good job playing Em because there were some challenging scenes for a young actor to do well. the main cast all did a good job I enjoyed all of the performances but my god was Frego a dick and when James finally got that final nut shot on him I couldn't help to think that he deserved it.
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