Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 18
  2. Negative: 2 out of 18
  1. Reviewed by: Glenn Heath Jr.
    Jun 2, 2014
    75
    A heartfelt retro flashback littered with pop-culture iconography and much slang, it focuses on the importance of friendship and loyalty rather than social standing.
  2. Reviewed by: Kyle Burton
    Apr 25, 2014
    75
    An affectionate love letter to a bygone era of growing up, Ping Pong Summer brims with specific pop culture minutiae, making it easy to assume the movie has been intended as a farce, but it has more going on beneath the surface.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 9, 2014
    70
    A sweetly amusing ode to the underdog sports movies that proliferated during that widely derided decade.
  4. Reviewed by: Katherine Vu
    Jun 3, 2014
    70
    It's a throwback film in both style and sentiment, and what it lacks in depth, it make up for with warmth.
  5. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jun 12, 2014
    67
    What Ping Pong Summer lacks in conviction or ingenuity, it makes up for in heart. The nostalgia that the entire film is built upon doesn’t seem misplaced.
  6. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 4, 2014
    67
    The film coasts on its time-capsule fetishism and affable supporting turns from Susan Sarandon and Lea Thompson, but it never achieves the emotional punch of like-minded comedies such as "Adventureland" and "The Way, Way Back."
  7. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Jun 6, 2014
    63
    The film's relentlessly quirky style of comedy is consequently very self-conscious. Every joke in Ping Pong Summer is a variation on a theme: 1985 was the most awkward time to be alive.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 5, 2014
    60
    This sweet, offhanded but lovingly observed remembrance is a real kick. It takes us back to the way things used to be, especially for 13-year-old guys, and specifically in the arcade rooms of 1985, filled with upright video games with glowing screens and big-haired girls in neon.
  9. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Apr 25, 2014
    60
    Rose-tinted as the film’s perspective may be, Ping Pong Summer is still a lingering, entertaining glance back at an era that Americans just can’t seem to get enough of, whether in music or movies.
  10. Reviewed by: Chris Michael
    Apr 25, 2014
    60
    It's gawky and awkward, but just like Rad's breakdancing worm, this one gets better as it goes along.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Jun 19, 2014
    50
    Writer-director Michael Tully simultaneously pays tribute to his own 1980s childhood and the cliched movies he grew up watching, and the result is one of the most honestly dishonest movies you'll ever watch.
  12. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 5, 2014
    50
    Ping Pong Summer may not be an instant classic, but it knows its time and place. There’s a humble honor in that.
  13. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Jun 5, 2014
    50
    Despite the visual and cultural accuracy, Ping Pong Summer is missing an elemental magic and vibrancy; a kick factor that makes the picture's endless pop throwbacks (break dancing, cassette tapes, giant boom boxes) seem more tackily forgettable than sweetly nostalgic.
  14. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 4, 2014
    50
    Certainly nails the era, right down to a lengthy pan across a none-too-appealing dinner buffet.
  15. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jun 5, 2014
    40
    This gentle comedy, while entirely unmemorable, releases a genuine warmth that deflects harsh judgment. It doesn’t, however, excuse characters that are little more than props for embarrassing fashion or delivery systems for dated slang.
  16. Reviewed by: Carla Sosenko
    Jun 3, 2014
    40
    Granted, there’s something charming here — Ping Pong Summer itself feels like an underdog — and there are retro touches that children of the ’80s will smile at (remember smelling the liner notes of cassettes?). But ultimately, those are too few and far between.
  17. Reviewed by: Calum Marsh
    Apr 25, 2014
    30
    We all have childhoods to remember. Art needs to do more than just remind us.
  18. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jun 5, 2014
    20
    The film’s reliance on formula and stereotypes wouldn’t be so frustrating if that formula worked and provided the glib pleasures the filmmakers are going for; instead, Ping Pong Summer feels stilted, undernourished, and oddly sour.

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