(2011)

Critic Reviews

71

Metascore

Based on 42 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A dark comedy that confirms Diablo Cody as a screenwriter of importance, eliminates the last shred of doubt that Jason Reitman is a major director and gives Charlize Theron her best showcase since "Monster."
91
Young Adult bumps along with nasty swerves, middle finger proudly in the air, toward an ending blessedly free of anything warm, fuzzy, or optimistic. Now that's adult entertainment.
90
When it's done right, as it is in Young Adult, there is something absolutely mesmerizing about watching a train wreck unfold on screen. When the wreck in question is a narcissistic beauty played to scheming, sour, downward-spiraling perfection by Charlize Theron, cringing is definitely called for, but so is laughter.
90
A cockeyed comic triumph that flashes between bright and dark like a strobe light of the spirit. And Ms. Theron, as Mavis Gary, a self-styled author rather than a mere writer, succeeds sensationally at something much harder than playing ravaged.
90
Young Adult is the first of Reitman's films from which I haven't felt him choking out a message; ironically, its rawness yields the humanity that he thought he was wringing from "Up in the Air."
88
Patton Oswalt is, in a way, the key to the film's success. Theron is flawless at playing a cringe-inducing monster and Wilson touching as a nice guy who hates to offend her, but the audience needs a point of entry, a character we can identify with, and Oswalt's Matt is human, realistic, sardonic and self-deprecating. He speaks truth to Mavis.
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.
75
In this tale of stunted development, Theron is a comic force of nature, giving her character considerable density and humanity despite her monstrous aspects.
75
A pitch-black comedy steeped in bitterness and regret.
75
So it makes sense that Young Adult feels at times like a mashup of styles and genres - part curdled rom-com, part psycho-prom-queen flick, with a little "Revenge of the Nerds" thrown in.
70
Their scenes together are the film's best, with Theron and Oswalt, who have very different tempi and temperatures as performers, parrying and thrusting with great expertise.
63
While on sardonic turf, it's scathingly funny. Then it veers from biting wit to pitiful. At one juncture, the story threatens to spin off into "Fatal Attraction" territory.

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