Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. Reviewed by: Nell Minow
    Jun 6, 2013
    88
    Wise, touching, and often wildly funny,
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 30, 2013
    88
    The coming-of-age film is poignant and comical, sitting squarely on that threshold, focusing on the time when a teen is part boy, part man and all adolescent.
  3. Reviewed by: Cory Everett
    Mar 10, 2013
    83
    While the premise of the film is outlandish, the feelings are all real...Director Vogt-Roberts and screenwriter Chris Galletta are in perfect unison on this film, harmonizing to create what feels like a fresh comic voice.
  4. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Aug 22, 2013
    80
    Vogt-Roberts manages the neat trick of making his film feel both nostalgic and current.
  5. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Aug 21, 2013
    80
    A gorgeous, amusing ode to the pleasures of stretching your wings a little.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 21, 2013
    80
    This is the kind of movie that is so embraceable that it floats smoothly over those imperfections almost unnoticed.
  7. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 6, 2013
    80
    Sometimes, a movie just has a magic about it, something that makes you look past implausibility and plot holes and whatever other shortcomings it may have and leaves you feeling good just for having seen it.
  8. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    The movie has a profound understanding of the back-and-forth nature of the bond between boys, and it ends on a silent note of forgiving looks and instant reconciliation that is the privilege of the young, whose lives aren’t yet complicated enough to put resentment before friendship
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 7, 2013
    75
    A stylish and very funny teenage coming-of-age story graced with surreal fringes and a mysteriously hushed core.
  10. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 6, 2013
    75
    A bit undernourished to fit into the crown of a comedy classic. But the sharp wit, soft-focus cinematography and slow-motion lyricism lift it into the realm of this summer’s nicest surprises.
  11. 75
    A summer movie that staggers down that fine line between sentimental and snarky, a tale of nature and nurture and first love that manages to charm more than any R-rated movie about horny teens has a right to.
  12. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jun 3, 2013
    70
    The slight but captivating indie-comedy The Kings of Summer has the ragtag look and feel of a movie made in some teenager’s basement
  13. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    May 30, 2013
    70
    The filmmakers are a bit like their boys of summer, plowing into new terrain in promising ways but rough around the edges.
  14. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    May 30, 2013
    70
    The best way to enjoy The Kings of Summer is to view it as a likable comic fantasy dreamed up by filmmakers (Chris Galletta wrote the screenplay) who are close enough to adolescence to infuse their ramshackle story with a youthful, carefree whimsy.
  15. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    Mar 22, 2013
    70
    [The Kings of Summer] is much more interested in the laughs that can be mined from character rather than plot. Galletta’s script, Vogt-Roberts’ direction and the distinctive play of the actors, notably Offerman and Mullally, lets the viewer know who everyone is right away, and the gag lines flow.
  16. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Mar 10, 2013
    70
    Even if the movie ultimately proves less adventurous than its main characters, it has a charm that keeps resurfacing every time you think it’s wandering too far into cutesville.
  17. Reviewed by: Steve Davis
    Jun 5, 2013
    67
    It’s Robinson’s tender portrayal of Joe that sticks in your mind. He and Tye Sheridan from "Mud" are the summer’s real finds: young actors with promising futures.
  18. Reviewed by: Amanda May Meyncke
    Mar 22, 2013
    67
    [The Kings of Summer] is a wonderful mix of innocence, laughter and beauty that is enjoyable in the moment, yet it’s almost entirely forgettable. With too many odd asides and complications, what should have been a straightforward journey into self-discovery and the difficulties of growing up is waylaid by unnecessary moments and slightly self-indulgent filmmaking.
  19. Reviewed by: Geoff Pevere
    Jun 6, 2013
    63
    The foundation of a much better movie is buried somewhere beneath the debris that’s too quickly piled on to The Kings of Summer, but there’s something at least strangely organic in its abandonment of a sturdier architectural project.
  20. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 1, 2013
    63
    I didn't feel strongly one way or another about The Kings of Summer. It's too innocuous to actively dislike but there's nothing memorable here. The characters are bland; the comedy, while occasionally eliciting laughs, is lukewarm; and the relationships never gel.
  21. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 3, 2013
    60
    The Kings of Summer is far from original, but it’s also far stranger than it seems, in ways both good and bad.
  22. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    May 31, 2013
    60
    Built on dry one-liners, off-kilter timing and self-conscious nostalgia, The Kings of Summer seems expressly designed to delight quirk-loving Sundance audiences.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 31, 2013
    58
    Has some vitality, but it sinks into cliché just the same.
  24. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Jun 7, 2013
    50
    The Kings of Summer flirts with profundity, seeming to yearn for it and fear the honest expression of it at the same time. There is much here to admire, but the overall impression is of a film that does not have the courage of its convictions.
  25. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 6, 2013
    50
    Without the benefit of deeper psychological spadework, The Kings of Summer stays resolutely on the surface, resembling more of an extended sitcom than a memorable movie on a par with the films it references.
  26. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Jun 3, 2013
    50
    Compare this film with "Mud," and you realize how desperately you cared about the fate of the boys in "Mud," whereas those in Vogt-Roberts's movie are often too listless and too plaintive to earn, let alone heighten, our anxiety. [3 June 2013, p.74]
  27. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    May 31, 2013
    50
    Like the recent "Mud," The Kings of Summer is a tale of feral adolescent pals in search of freedom and adventure. The movies even share essentially the same awkwardly contrived climax. But of the two films, The Kings of Summer is more of a comedy, with a depiction of the eternal war between teen and parent that's downright farcical.
  28. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    May 28, 2013
    50
    The film's aesthetic is marked by off-tempo editing and a tone that vacillates between grim and coy, and though it's occasionally visually evocative, it's also unmistakably over-calculated.
  29. Reviewed by: IgnatiyVishnevetsky
    May 29, 2013
    42
    The Kings Of Summer doesn’t take itself seriously; short of having the actors break character, it’ll do anything for a laugh. It leans heavily on interminable improv scenes and interminable montages edited from improv scenes. In other words, much of it plays like the outtakes reel that would be shown at the wrap party of a better, more tightly structured film.
  30. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    May 28, 2013
    40
    The Kings of Summer plays like an extended sitcom episode, and not a very special one at that.
  31. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    May 28, 2013
    40
    Eager to please and easy on the eyes, The Kings of Summer sails right down the middle, safely tacking between sitcom setups and grandiose MGMT-scored montages without forming its own distinctive feel.
  32. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    May 30, 2013
    38
    Less a movie than a checklist of indiecinema clichés. Youth on a journey of self-discovery? Got it. Dead mom? Uh-huh. Wounded and entitled when it’s trying to be soulful, plotless, laden with indie rock and entirely overhyped at Sundance? Checkarooney.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 2 out of 15
  1. Sep 20, 2013
    8
    The kings of summer is a really funny and sad at the same time movie. It talks about friendship and love. The characters were really good and the plot was quite original. Three kids that escaped from their homes so as to be independent and actually do whatever they want in their little cabin in the woods. Smart! I can´t say that I didn´t like someone´s performance because in general the film was well acted. An entertaining funny moving film Full Review »
  2. Jul 24, 2014
    8
    A movie of life, family, friendship, and independence, all things teenagers cherish, but take for granted. A juxtaposition of deadpan comedy and pragmatic cynicism, the sum of our daily lives as humans. The humor is not forced, the story is captivating, dialogue is natural and so is the acting. Something teenagers should see and understand. It's a small gem of indie filmmaking. Full Review »
  3. Jun 2, 2014
    7
    An independent movie and a coming-of-age comedy-drama. The story of the three boys who left behind their respective lives for their freedom to choose what they want like an adult. They move to the woods and build a cabin. This resolution by teenagers leaves a greater panic in their parents. Everything in the world has an end and how long it lasts is the remains that concludes with a sharp strike that changes their rest of the life.

    The story commences with a powerful tribal musical rhythm that makes us to have goosebump. Then takes us to the earlier story to reveal the meaning of their's behaviour. These kids performed awesomely especially the character Biaggio was impressive. Biaggio was the highlight, without him would have been a less interested in the story narration. The less preference given to the characters going to have a strong hold in the end of the story. So you no need to be wise to support any individual characters.

    The first half of the movie was excellent and then the later parts, it really breaks my heart. The romance was the responsible for that, I could not handle it well due to I was rooting for my favourite character in the story. I think that was a downfall, otherwise I would have said it's an awesome movie than to say a good movie. Overall, one of the year's best movies and must not miss.
    Full Review »