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Generally favorable reviews- based on 154 Ratings

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  1. Negative: 23 out of 154

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  1. Dec 10, 2011
    I probably watched about half of this film through my fingers on both hands - there are more than a few cringe-worthy moments - but in a good way. It taps into some truly genuine feelings we have about high school, whether or not you're part of one of those pre-defined groups (popular, nerdy, jocks, drama, etc.) It's not a perfect film, and it won't go down as one of the best in the genre, but it's absolutely worth seeing. Elizabeth Reaser is terrific in it in a smaller role. And Patton Oswalt is PERFECT casting here - the ideal person to serve as the truth-teller that Mavis (Theron) needs. It's not an unqualified recommendation, but if you went to high school in the late 80's / early 90's, it should ring true for you Expand
  2. Mar 2, 2012
    Young Adult touches so close to home for me, not being able to let go. One can't help but to ponder and contemplate the supposedly glorious days of the past and reflect on our past mistakes, on what could've been and what should've been. The opportunity that we're given now in the present is all that matters. The past is in the past, we just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get ready for what lies ahead. Our best years are still ahead of us, it's time to look into the future, start a new chapter. Life, here I come. Expand
  3. Mar 9, 2012
    I was beginning to think that Jason Reitman could not get a foot wrong. But he did by reteaming with the one hit wonder writer Cody Diablo who although gave him the wonderful Juno, in her new script for Young Adult, she goes to the zone where it is neither funny, nor dramatic enough. And besides the exceptional performance of Charlize Theron and his apt directing, this falls quite short of the high standards he has set and achieved in the past. Expand
  4. Dec 18, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's great that Young Adult is bombing, because it's a terrible movie. Charlize Theron is pretty, but she is an emotional and sexual zero on screen. A laughable ending occurs when Charlize decides to bed Patton Oswalt's character who has a broken dick, busted body, but a good heart. Then screenwriter Diablo Cody has a strange, contempt for Small Town America where the town is no good because the people are "Fat and Stupid." Hollywood and Paramount are really missing John Hughes movies at this point. Expand
  5. Dec 17, 2011
    Director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody created "Juno" and have teamed up again, but not as successfully. Charlize Theron stars as a beautiful, but unhappy woman who returns home to her small town to reclaim her college beau (Patrick Wilson), who's happily married. Her character isn't sympathetic, but worse, the film isn't darkly funny. It's just mean and miserable. Cody manages a few cute quips, but nothing especially smart. The whole film lumbers along just waiting to take off and when it finally does, it's not worth the trouble. Expand
  6. May 11, 2012
    After colorful Juno and very enjoyable Up in the Air, Young Adult seems to be too grim to really like it. Sometimes it's comedy, sometimes it's drama, sometimes artistic and sometimes not. The movie is honest and Charlize Theron does her best, but it is not enough - the result is an unexciting production which leaves the viewer indifferent.
  7. Feb 18, 2012
    This is a movie that doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy, a satire, or a dark cautionary tale. The story is weak and even though Charlize Theron does a decent job I simply couldn't buy in. Is anyone seriously expecting me to believe that anyone who gets drunk every night to the point of passing out and survives on a diet of junk food looks like Charlize Theron by the age of 37? Please! Too much product placement too: three shots of Charlize drinking Coke (logo facing the camera of course), how much did they pay for that? Expand
  8. Jan 3, 2012
    I always wondered what happened to that girl from high school. You know the one, her locker was right next to yours for four straight years, but she never knew your name. She spent more time staring into the pocket mirror attached to the inside of her locker than at any of her classmates. She was homecoming and prom queen, she was socially above the common man, and all she wanted to do was see your small town in her rearview mirror as she escaped to the big city after graduation. Luckily for us, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody have reconnected (they first worked together on Juno) to let us know exactly what happened to that girl from high school.

    Mavis (Charlize Theron) is now 37, lives in Minneapolis, and is a ghostwriter for a young adult series (think Sweet Valley High) whose popularity is in severe decline. She wakes up every morning severely hung over from the night before, ignores her pocket-sized dog, and always has a dating website open on her web browser while she attempts to writer her next chapter just in case she gets a notification of a potential match. In other words, Mavis is not doing very well. An unexpected e-mail shakes her out of her stumbling stupor one morning when a birth announcement arrives from her long ago high school ex-boyfriend Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson); he is now the father of a brand new baby girl.

    Events are now set in motion as Mavis impulsively packs a suitcase, drives a few hours to her old and small hometown, and aims to break up Buddy and his wife Beth (Elizabeth Reaser). With no evidence whatsoever, Mavis just knows Buddy is unhappy in his marriage and longs to be rescued by the one girl he was meant to be with, Mavis. She considers the institution of marriage as a disease, a problem which can be cured through a quick divorce. Mavis also brings her old habits back to town with her; she continues to wake up slobbering drunk every morning, wears revealing clothes which would not only seem out of place in Minneapolis, but downright foreign in small town America, and whether intentionally or just plain out of habit, talks down condescendingly to anyone who never left town the way she did.

    While guzzling one of her many double whiskeys at a local dive bar one night, Mavis runs into Matt (Patton Oswalt), a guy who she barely remembers from school. Matt reminds her his locker was right next to hers for four years and through a combination of proximity and drunkenness, Matt becomes Mavis
  9. Mar 23, 2012
    I had no idea what this movie was supposed to be. At times it resembled a black comedy, at times a tragedy, and at other times a drama. I also have no idea what message this movie was trying to portray. Don't get me wrong, I know not all movies have some underlying moral they want to get across, but this one seemed like it was trying to, and failing. Charlize Theron's character is completely unrelateable, unlikeable, and impossible to feel sympathy for. She does nothing but spend an hour and a half cementing her place in the "horrible people" coffee table book, before having a thoroughly unbelieveable epiphany, and driving into the sunset. The climax of her non-journey was when she bedded Pattin Oswald's character, which should have been a tender moment, and ended up coming off as nothing but creepy. The absolute hatred the writer(s) of this movie have for small-town life is amazing. Some movies poke fun at small-town life, like Groundhog Day or Welcome to Mooseport, but THIS movie is absolutely virulently mean about its portrayal of small towns. It seems like the writer(s) is saying that everyone in a small town is a backwards hick, who deserves nothing but contempt. It saddens me that this movie got so much critical acclaim. Overall, it seemed like an interesting concept executed in the worst possible way. It's not often I'm upset with spending money on movies, but I walked out of this one angry. Expand
  10. Dec 17, 2011
    So who did the producers of this movie pay the license fee for the "man-child" format, which they have used in this Charlize Theron vehicle? They should have made sure they had a few dollars left over to punch up the script with some comedy, or at least some dialogue, which seemed in short supply for a number of stretches. Man-children are usually a little round around the edges - Ms. Theron belts bourbon and scarfs KFC and could bounce a quarter off her navel. The kinship between Theron and the male man-child in the film, townie geek Patton Oswalt, seems a vehicle for speeches, rather than at all believable. Unless the message is that booze makes all things possible - maybe I should have had a couple pops before taking in this offering. The difference between the comedic tone of the trailer and the dramatic - or rather, non-comic - tone of the movie is pretty startling. The audience does not get the promised laughs, and messages were never the strong suit of the man-child format. Expand
  11. Dec 24, 2011
    Not Worth the Time or Money
    This movie was a big disappointment, except fo r the acting of the beautiful Charlize Theron. The movie was not the movie that was portrayed in the trailer. It's more like One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest than Juno. The movie has an identity crisis. At some times it's a comedy (the best parts) and at times it's the story of a sad midlife crisis of a woman
    who is mentally ill. The sad and upsetting parts eventually take over and it's hard to laugh at the funny parts since there's no real humor in the deranged acts of a delusional person. All in all, the movie is not much fun and one feels manipulated when it's all over. I would skip it. Expand
  12. Dec 29, 2011
    Charlize is one of my favorite actresses but this movie really sucked. It appeared to be a desperate attempt to put out a movie headlining a popular actress to create the draw. The storyline was pathetic -- a girl that is trying to steal a married man who's wife had just give birth to their first child (that was her boyfriend in high school) from his wife. Great message for the kids. Bad acting, bad plot, waste of time.
    I thought Charlize had more class than to get sucked into such a flop but apparently not...
  13. Mar 25, 2012
    There are no redeeming elements to this story whatsoever. The story tries to find some aspect of heartfelt emotion only to display awkward unbelievable moment after moment. With incomprehensible situations that leave the viewer cringing. By the climax you are holding on with a last thread of investment for some type of redemption for this waste of time only to be utterly disappointed.
  14. Feb 7, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Young Adult is a comedy like no other. It's well written with plenty of laughs and something we can all relate to. Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron) is a successful author of a young adult series who, after escaping her small hometown, lives in the city of Minneapolis. After receiving an email that her high school boyfriend, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson), who is married to Beth (Elizabeth Reaser), had a kid, she somehow she gets the idea of returning Mercury, Minn. and getting him back. While she's back in her hometown she also reunites and develops a weird relationship with her fellow classmate Matt (Patton Oswalt), who was involved in a hate crime his senior year.

    Mavis is an alcoholic who is yes, somewhat crazy. The only person who seems to realize and understand this is Matt, played by Patton Oswalt who gives an exceptional performance. The relationship created between the two is unlike so many others and interesting to watch grow. Mavis is such an unlikeable character with an incredibly ugly personality who doesn't seem to learn from past mistakes or realize that she needs to grow up. Charlize Theron is at her best with every shot she takes down and every disgusted look on her face, she is fascinating to watch. Young Adult is definitely one of the best comedies of the year.
  15. Apr 8, 2012
    There is no way in hell this was a comedy. There's no redemption, no funny lines, no character growth, nothing really clever about it and a 100% unlikable lead. The movie was a complete mess, like Charlize Theron, right from the start to the very end.
  16. Apr 8, 2012
    Not exactly what I thought I was in store for. The movie played on unsympathetically. There was no room for cliche endings where the character is drastically changed. The movie was itself odd and uninterestingly made. However, Charlize was quite spectacular.
  17. Jul 27, 2013
    There are two things that come out of watching "Young Adult." That Charlize Theron is still one of the best actresses around, and that Diablo Cody is an inspiring screenplay writer.

    Mavis, portrayed by Theron, is a successful writer living in the 'Minni Apple,' 'living the dream' of the small-town people of Mercury, Minnesota. As we soon find out, Mavis' success is coming to an end and
    with that end of an epoch of her life, old news come from her small hometown, colliding the two worlds at the worst time. A stagnant (if not slowly failing) career, a non-existent romantic life and a poor social and health life, all come together in this rather amusing drama. It is not quite a comedy Mavis' delusions, while entertaining, are no joking matter.

    Diablo Cody, writer of Juno and this film, has made sure that the characters are all rather complex and stimulating. In one scene, Mavis and her newfound friend from high school, the crippled Matt (Patton Oswalt) mock the apparent happy-go-lucky one-sidedness of Mavis' cousin, who is also crippled but is extensively optimistic to make up for his physical disability. This can be seen as Cody's poking at poorly written characters, as everyone else seems to be rather well-developed, especially Theron's character. Talking of Theron, she gives an inspired performance with a lot of subtle, character traits that create a great sense of who Mavis really is, without over acting or being overly theatrical even in scenes that are rather theatrical themselves.

    The film's overall vibe is more something that one would expect from a Noah Baumbach film, like "Margot at the Wedding" or "The Squid and the Whale," not a Jason Reitman film. None of the characters are very likeable. Mavis' is borderline crazy, Matt is a depressed man not doing much with his life but criticising himself and others, Buddy (Mavis' high school fling, played by Patrick Wilson) is disengaged and somehow selfish, and his wife (Elizabeth Reaser) seems manipulative in her overt niceness and unspoken criticisms. It is far from the overt dislike one has of Baumbach's characters, but still it was a resounding theme that was hard to ignore.

    Overall, the film is entertaining and gets one thinking, with excellent performances by Theron and Oswalt, and a very well written screenplay that is very much character-driven and rewarding in that sense. There is very little here that does not work, but "Young Adult" is still not necessarily a film that you will want to watch again. If anything, you will cringe at the thought of a re-watch, since it will remind you of your own high school days and lead you to think about your own life and your choices, for better or worse.
  18. Jan 27, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Mavis Gary could easily pass for a much younger woman, but she gives herself away, soon after receiving a baby announcement from an old beau via e-mail, in the opening sequence of Young Adult. A person in their twenties, disdainful of old media, would be satisfied with keeping the image on the screen. Today's generation aren't as hands-on as prior ones, who were raised on Polaroids and Kodak. Mavis downloads the infant. She prints it out, because people of a certain age are tactilely-oriented; they like to hold things. Mavis goes outside on the patio with the papery child and reads the documented photograph like a text. She deconstructs. The fanciful woman reads between the lines, and against the grain, thereby deluding herself into believing an alternate narrative in which Buddy needs to be rescued from the domestic trappings of a small-town she surmises as being hell. Mavis is a searcher. Not for nothing does Young Adult evoke Native Americans through her old school's nickname. Mavis loathes the Mercury townsfolk, or in other words, Indians(formerly the "Injuns"), whom she abandoned so long ago. The filmmaker sees her as a John Ford cowboy; she's Ethan Edwards(John Wayne) and Buddy is her "Little Debbie"(Natalie Wood), the "hostage" that she's going to take home with her. 2011 is the new 1956. The MINI Cooper is her horse. Quite pointedly, the first line of "The Concept" makes reference to her outlaw image: "She wears denim wherever she goes." Later in the song, the lyric "says she likes my hair 'cause it's down my back," suggests the Indian in Mavis, since long hair for Indians is representative of a strong spirit. Her old flame's short hair, in a sense, empowers Mavis with the idea that Buddy will put up no resistance against such practiced feminine wiles. "The Concept" was the signature track off one of Buddy's old mix-tapes that Mavis plays repeatedly on her long drive back to the "reservation". He must have owned the album Bandwagonesque. Incidental or not, the root word "bandwagon", defined as "a wagon which carries a band of musicians in a parade," has connotations to the old west, through the traveling show "Buffalo Bill's Wild West", put on by William Frederick Cody, who also starred in The Scouts of the Prairie, an 1876 stage play that gave birth to the western myth. Mavis' bout of obsessive nostalgia over the Teenage Fanclub song not only has a harmful effect on her emotional development, but it also calls into question our affection for the past, a troubled history filled with unrepentant racism. As late as the early-nineties, this fictional high school used a racial slur to identify themselves. In The Searchers, Debbie, a full-fledged member of the Comanche tribe, is married to Scar, as are several other women. Beth, Buddy's wife, perchance, plays the drums(an instrument that is heavily prevalent in Native American culture), and wears a Breeders t-shirt(a "half-breed" reference), in an all-woman band that indirectly references the Comanche chief's wives. By covering "The Concept", Nipple Confusion steals the song back from the cowgirl, who appropriated it as the song of the "white woman" when she left Mercury. Now the song belongs once again to its rightful owners. Suddenly songless, the hopeless, albeit psychotic, romantic, perhaps, with some distance, now realizes that "The Concept" smacked more of being a break-up song. "I didn't want to hurt you," goes the refrain, which raises the question: Exactly why did Mavis leave her old stomping grounds? In The Searchers title song, the singer asks, "What makes a man to wander? What makes a man to roam?" At a baby-naming ceremony, we find out, when Beth spills red wine on Mavis' blouse(read: the Indian slays the cowboy), propelling the big-shot city girl to reveal that she had lost Buddy's baby, which casts this flinty woman in a whole different light. At 20, while still a young adult, Mavis was apparently ready to bear children, unlike Juno, or Mark Loring, the adoptive parent who flakes out on the titular teen. Uncannily, Mark just happens to be a perfect match for this thirty-something adolescent, with his comic book collection and rock star aspirations. To escape the pain of her personal loss, she fled. It's no accident that Mavis befriends Matt, "the hate-crime guy", upon her return from Minneapolis. She dovetails with the disabled survivor, because it should've been him, not the queen bee, who needed reinventing. Mavis could have gone on to rule Mercury beyond high school, in perpetuity, and be perfectly happy. The queen bee invented her ambition. Still grieving, Mavis doesn't realize that, by some standards, she's led a very successful life. But despite being a published writer, motherhood still haunts her. Playing a monster without the makeup, Mavis would have never given Aileen Wuornos the time of the day, but like the serial killer, all she ever wanted was to be loved. Expand
  19. Feb 25, 2012
    I officially don't like Diablo Cody.  Juno was nice and quirky, made even more appealing by Ellen Page.  However, after that abysmal show, The United States of Tara and now this poorly written movie, I'm convicted that, while performances, like the superb ones by Patton Oswalt and Charlize Theron in Young Adult, can enhance bad writing, it can't mask it.  This movie is full of holes, the inability to stay focused on a solid story and, at the beginning, painfully dull.  By the end, I'm affected by Charlize's near-perfect portrayal of a self-righteous, arrogant, narcissistic depressive, so she played the part well.  In fact, I'd even go so far as to say that Diablo's screenplay could have had a hand I how this messed up character is displayed, but the overall story is choppy, poorly plotted and void of basic comprehension in certain areas that I feel as though I could have written it.   Expand
  20. Apr 19, 2012
    This is a great movie in that anyone who says they like it is either a peer pressured parrot, mentally defective or just choosing to lie for not good reason. In any case it allows you to weed out the people you should never ever take any advice regarding films from. Charlize Theron bricked every joke in the film, and sorry lady but you are way too beautiful to laugh at. She couldn't make her face funny to save her life, and the script needed a funny star to pull it off. I couldn't finish it, it was so irritating. Expand
  21. Apr 24, 2012
    A story a little loose and unreal, it was not surprising, entertaining though! but to be a comedy-drama, had very little bit of comedy. Charlize Theron pride! great performance.
  22. Nov 21, 2012
    Hahahahaha! I fing C. Theoron's acting so ridiculously funny as a depressed alcoholic somewhat-sociopathic ex-promqueen that it made the show for me. The rest of the show was great as well. Realistic too. This isn't the high school meanie returning to town vs the others, while she battles for her ex love with the current wife movie that were all expecting. The realities of this show were much more honest than that, and it made so much sense that I wish other movies would do that. Oh, and they can't even make Charlize Theron look ugly even when there overdoing the look of the depressed alcolic. Can I type my name and number here in hopes that she calls me? Expand
  23. Apr 16, 2012
    "Young Adult" retraces the steps of an unhappy and miserable writer (Mavis) as she leaves the city and goes back to her home town to conquer her now happily married teenage love. I had guessed the whole movie from those two lines of plot, everything is so predictable with no elements of surprise or plot twists. But I can still enjoy this, if the story itself wasn't so boring, uninteresting and humorless (wait, was it supposed to be a comedy?). Seriously, following a crazy, drunk and immature "young adult" just because she's pretty and does stupid and very predictable stuff is NOT my idea of entertainment. Furthermore, the storytelling is incredibly looong, IN A 90min FILM!!!......WTF?! And to tell what? Because the movie has no moral whatsoever, except the "past is in the past" or "we must learn to pick ourselves up" **** and the obvious hatred of small towns and towns people the writers have! quote : "these people are nothing" All in all, "Young Adult" is a movie were not much happens and when it does you already know what's going to. To summarize : a boring comedy without comedy. Highlight of the film (otherwise I would put a 3) : good cast, and the director did a good job, too bad Charlize Theron's character is such an egoist b***, no way you can ever like her. Did I actually pay for this stuff? man! Expand
  24. Feb 3, 2013
    Whilst it should be applauded that a movie so strange, unpredictable and unrepentant as Young Adult even exists, it doesn't change the fact that it isn't emotionally satisfying in any way. The film stands as a fantastically acted character study and an interesting curio but it's too unconventional and mean-spirited to make an impact beyond that.
  25. Dec 20, 2011
    I've never been too good with names. The cellar door was open, I could never stay away. I know it's prob'ly not my place. It's either or, I'm hoping for a simple way to say. It's a shame about Ray. In the stone, under the dust, his name is still engraved. Some things need to go away. It's a shame about Ray. If I make it through today, I'll know tomorrow not to leave my feelings out on display.
    I'll put the cobwebs back in place.
    I've never been too good with names,
    but I remember faces.
  26. Jan 9, 2012
    This film does not offer a clean-cut ending. You're left wondering whether Theron learned an important lesson or whether she's receding into the delusional life-style of the urban dream. It's certainly not a film that will appeal to the blockbuster crowd. HOWEVER, the acting is exceptional and the story is compelling. The character's motives are ambiguous, and intentionally so. Diablo Cody has clearly graduated from Juno to a subtler level of film-making that a sympathetic (albeit perhaps pretentious?) crowd will appreciate. If you saw Hugo and absolutely loved it, this film is a perfect counterpart to take you back down to earth. Expand
  27. Dec 22, 2011
    I really disliked this movie. All the performances are solid and the cinematography is good, but the story is just awful. There's no redemption, no funny lines, no character growth, nothing really clever about it and a 100% unlikable lead. And a Patton Oswald that's completely underused. I got the feeling this was a loosely based Diablo Cody autobiographical story and a screw you to the small town she grew up in. Fair enough. But the story end as it starts, so what was the point of the journey?

    Good tunes though. May have ruined Teenage Fanclub for me, so KMA, Cody.
  28. Mar 2, 2012
    What a load of rubbish. There is no real story and it has one of the strangest endings i have ever seen. Its a nothing story with a nothing ending. They must have left half of the movie on the editing floor because that was a piece of disjointed nonsense.
  29. Jan 4, 2012
    Young adult is a dark comedy done more than right. Delusional, diabolical, sad, are all characteristics that permeates through our flawed-hero, Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), who is trying to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now a family man. Reitman's direction is subtle and effective, but the real star here is Diablo Cody, who writes a pitch-black character study that goes outside conventional story telling. The other star is Charlize Theron, who delivers a convincingly "unlikable", cool, and complex performance. This is not the sort of film in which characters grow and change for the best, it takes a different route (for better or worse), which is why it boldly stands out from the rest. Expand
  30. Dec 27, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Young Adult seemingly had all the criteria to be one of the better movies of the year, plot , characteri-zations, and acting, however, after all is said and done, it was very difficult to really care about the protogonist. The problem is the mean, nasty individual played so well by Charlize Theron, really without any, yes, any redeeming characteristics. So in leaving the theater, my thought was I could have better spent my time doing something else. I would have to say the most distressing part was the ending, where Charlize' character almost begins to understand how low she really is, when a local birdbrain talks her out of this mood. After writing Juno, e.g., what possessed the writer to do this? I am almost reminded of how Woody Allen went off the tracks with Stardust Memories about 30 years ago. He did recover, and hopefully Diego's next movie will have moved on from this mess. Expand
  31. May 28, 2012
    Young Adult is a darkly humorous look into the life of Mavis Gary, the author of a once-bestselling series of YA novels. Upon learning that her high school sweetheart is happily married, she determinedly sets out to steal him back. Having enjoyed popularity in high school and fleeting fame in the subsequent years, Mavis has become self-centered and spoiled. The diction of her current novel, which doubles as the film's narration, offers an often hilarious glimpse at how she views herself, her past, and her current situation. This is a deeply disturbed character, but an endlessly fascinating one as well. Directed by Jason Reitman from a script by Diablo Cody, Young Adult is expertly handled. Reitman's heroes all have an abundance of confidence with films to match, and perhaps here, he has found the best combination. Cody's dialogue is concise and well written, lacking the all-too-knowing-ness of her previous work. Though occasionally the typical teen vernacular works its way into the movie, Cody makes good use of it. Charlize Theron is excellent as Mavis, in a simultaneously hilarious and horrifying role. Patrick Wilson does well as the high school sweetheart, who is indeed happily married but reluctant to be cruel. Patton Oswalt proves a surprisingly good choice to play Matt, a logical and sane counterpoint to Mavis's delusions. The film's success is dependent upon the performances; with less capable leads, it would sink under some of the weightier material. As things are Young Adult is an excellent character study with some wonderfully poignant moments. It may be too bleak for some and too caustic for others, but if you enjoy scathing humor and subtle wit, Young Adult is your kind of movie. Expand
  32. Mar 15, 2012
    This movie fails as a comedy. At the end of the movie, you feel sorry for the main character. Theres nothing funny about the situation. The trailer was very misleading, the movie is not a comedy. But I very bad drama movie.
  33. Dec 26, 2011
    I thought this movie was very well written and the acting was great, however I just found it slightly depressing and was expecting it to have a bit more comedic moments, but overal it was pretty good.
  34. Dec 28, 2011
    Young Adult is a film that ,at times, is both dramatic and comical, succeeding in both areas. Charlize Theron once again delivers a fantastic performance that alone helps to create an entertaining, albeit somewhat cringe-worthy, film about growing up and admitting one's faults.
  35. Dec 16, 2011
    It's so hard to find a great dark comedy these days. Often times, a movie will play it dark at first, then so it doesn't lose viewers, it tends to lighten up at the end. Not this puppy! "Young Adult" focuses on a rather unlikable character named Mavis (Charlize Theron) doing some pretty twisted things. You see, this was a girl who was popular in high school. She dated the most popular guy and the less popular all wanted to be like her. Then real life hit. Now she's an alcoholic writing a failed young adult book series. But after receiving an e-mail that her high school sweetheart is having a baby with his happily married wife, she attempts to steal him back. But not out of love for him. The only reason she wants to tear him away from his happy life is so she can experience happiness and relive her glory days. You see, Mavis is not a nice person. The movie establishes this early on, and thanks to Cody's most mature script to date, and a knock-out performance from Theron, Mavis never becomes a nice person by the end of this. The entertainment then comes from Mavis' constant despicable behavior. Just when you think she can't go any lower, she does, and it's here where the laughs come, but only when they don't get stuck in your throat. Theron continues to show her versatility in a role that allows her to branch out and bring out her **** side. I also enjoyed the relationship between Theron and Patton Oswalt. They establish a strange friendship, but it helps to bring out the complexities of both of the characters. The only drawback to "Young Adult" is the character of Mavis herself. She is brilliantly played by Theron, and her characters' action are what drive all of the laughs, but a selfish person can only be so fascinating. Cody, Reitman, and Theron bring the most out of her that they can, but by the end of the movie, the only thing that remains in your mind is happiness that you are in no way like her. Still, "Young Adult" is a terrific comedy for those who like their comedy extra dark. Expand
  36. Dec 15, 2011
    If left to his own devices, Reitman might be Alexander Payne-lite, but heâ
  37. Dec 29, 2011
    An all-too-real look into the life of a young adult struggling to find purpose and stimulation. This film is appropriately uncomfortable at times, as Charlize's character is so tragically beautiful as she not only lacks confidence but also direction. A very relatable film that is capable of giving proper perspective to the viewers who are brave enough to see a bit of themselves in the main character. Expand
  38. Dec 26, 2011
    Young Adult - about a 37-year-old woman (Theron) who becomes intent on getting her high school sweetheart back after learning of the birth of his first child. Delusional, depressed and battling alcoholism, Theron leaves the "miniapple" for her hometown of Mercury, MN, on a mission to "fix" her life.

    I was drawn to Theron's character, Mavis, from the start - she is that girl we have all
    known at some point in our life: beautiful prom queen, captain of the cheer leading squad, and bound to have a perfect life. That girl who firmly believes the universe rotates around her stardom. Until she wakes up one morning to find herself divorced, stifled in a going-nowhere career, hungover and 37 years-old, unable to rely on her beauty laurels any longer.

    The film is a painful journey through Theron's absolute mental collapse. We cringe as she gets drunk yet again and makes a scene at Buddy's (her high school sweetheart) daughter's naming ceremony. We are appalled at her nervous habit of pulling chunks of hair out of her head - a nasty habit that requires her to wear a partial wig to cover up the bald spots.

    Theron's acting is incredible. Her character is raw and believable, even if quite unlikable. But her stellar performance is not the only noteworthy one. Theron's high school classmate Matt is a cripple; made that way by a couple of high school jocks who nearly beat him to death because they thought he was gay. This unlikely duo grows close during the film, finding comfort in each other's failures. Their friendship culminates in what I believe to be the highlight of the film: Mavis returns drunk from a party, having embarrassed herself in front of the entire town, finally realizing that her self-destruction and vanity must come to an end if she's ever to change. Her blouse is covered in red wine and she asks for Matt's shirt. Without giving too much away, the scene that ensues is touching and awkward and, well, beautifully sad.

    I liked Young Adult. It was slow and pitiful, but Matt and Mavis are two extraordinarily developed characters that make the film. Theron deserves some kind of award for her performance, as she embodies two extremes - beauty and drunken beastliness - with ease.
  39. Jan 2, 2012
    I was very disappointed with this film because it was nothing like what the trailer portrayed it to be. I was under the impression that this was going to be a light-hearted comedy that would cheer me up. Wrong. This movie was depressing and dark. I don't mind either of those but it felt like the film had those qualities on accident, which ruined it for me. The movie surprised me in bad ways; at one point I actually said "What the f!@#k" out loud in the theatre. If I had gone into the theatre expecting a dark drama, I might have enjoyed it -but then again I probably wouldn't have gone into the theatre in the first place. I found this movie a waste of time and money, but I feel that the advertisement department is to blame. If you want to watch a happy comedy with your friends, do NOT go see this film Expand
  40. Jan 4, 2012
    Well, Jason Reitman...three out of four ain't too shabby. I loved Juno, Thank You For Smoking, and Up in the Air. Smart, acerbic, funny. Young Adult just sticks to acerbic. Cody Diablo must hate all things middle America because this film stomps on all of it. If it were funny, or even enlightening, I'd be fine with it. Unfortunately, t he script, and Charlize Theron's Mavis, never rise above their misery. Theron does strong work here, as well as Patton Oswalt, but it just didn't work for me. Misery loves company...leave me out. Expand
  41. Jan 5, 2012
    A week has gone by since I have seen Young Adult and I still can't get this movie out of my head. Charlize Theron gives unarguably one of the best performances of the year that deserves Oscar attention. Patton Oswalt is superb in a supporting role but is a long-shot in a crowded field of veterans vying for a supporting Oscar nom. This is Reitman and Cody's most refined and mature piece of work, and I for one would like to see them work together more often. Theron gives such a savagely sad and at times **** performance that you can't believe this train wreck is unfolding in front of you, yet it's almost impossible to look away. She makes Mavis sympathetic and relatable and each scene is set up and executed in a delicate and realistic manner. The front-lawn scene is what makes the film, in my opinion and Theron NAILS it. Young Adult has all the makings to becoming a cult classic and I for one am thrilled about it. Expand
  42. Jun 18, 2012
    Saw the film several weeks ago on the plane for the first time, due to fatigue and poor quality of the video, so I presumed a rematch is a jolly idea, especially a BlueRay version. This film marks a post-JUNO (2007) coalition from director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody.

    Diablo's script has an rather earthy touch and incisive sharpness, which deftly captures an epitomized
    young adult's immature rite-of-passage. What's more rare and bold is our protagonist is a pretty unsavory sort, so the film literally risks losing its more generally appealing affinity by hatching a story of an obnoxious she-devil Expand
  43. Feb 7, 2012
    This review contains spoilers. There is nothing to like about Charlize Theronâ Collapse
  44. Jan 22, 2012
    As a huge fan of both Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, I definitely had high expectations for Young Adult. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Charlize Theron does a wonderful job as the film's disturbed and eternally dissatisfied lead. The movie is heavily sprinkled with hilarious quippy remarks and quirky details. The subtle trichotillomania scenes really got me. To be cliche, this movie was a bit of an "emotional roller coaster". If you are a Jason Reitman/Diablo Cody fan, definitely go see it, it was, in my opinion, excellent. Expand
  45. Mar 14, 2012
    OMG! This is a new classic, and why is the reason? Is fantastic, have much interesting stories, with an excellent cast, the rhytm is great. Young Adult is not the best film of Jason, but is interesting, and funny.
  46. Sep 1, 2014
    Holstered by a notable performance from Charlize Theron, Diablo Cody proves her writing strength once more in this honest and smart comedy. No matter the expectations of the audience, they are sure to enjoy this one.
  47. Apr 4, 2012
    This is the best movie of the year. Charlize Theron deserves an oscar for her performance. A funny and very sad story that is engaging to the last minute.
  48. Apr 25, 2012
    A brilliant as much as realistic depiction of modern society's fears and psychosis, especially for this part of the populace that had grown up in idyllic nineties. Sharp and cynic throughout, with a fantastic performance from Charlize Theron, one of the better actresses of her era, the film hasn't really a dull moment. It portraits the disillusion, to the point of madness of the previous generation and scorns what we know as beautiful people, without losing touch with its comic side. It is scary realistic at times and I could really see myself in many moments of the film. Expand
  49. May 16, 2012
    Jason Reitman, son of fame director Ivan Reitman, is likely a better director than his dad, as evidenced by his last three movies before this one, namely 'Up In The Air', 'Juno' and 'Thank You For Smoking'. So, as you may well guess, him being the director of this movie was a big selection factor, but not as important as that of the lead actor, and Oscar winner, Charlize Theron.

    storyline and the trailers/previews are way misleading; this is a far better movie than either let on. It is also not a comedy nor a heavy drama, which you may easily have come to think; it is a character study of a woman with deep seeded problems, which problems are aggravated by alcoholism. As can be expected, Theron delivers her role with flair and professional excellence. The direction takes full advantage of all her talents and the use of close-ups in just the right measure and superb timing only enhance that performance.

    Further enjoyment of the story comes from a narative by Theron/Mavis, writing and speaking only for the audience to hear when she is at her laptop, the words her alter ego character Kendell says in reflective style, in Mavis' book. That process of writing allows her to express vicariously through Kendell her personal feelings, and explain her desires through the literary figure Kendell. More interesting than straight dialogue, and so flexible, it allows her to spin in the best light, actions and moments that otherwise are not. Artistic license is precious, is it not?

    Patrick Watson, a very busy actor, who impressed the hell out of me with his co-starring role in 'Hard Candy', only had a sort of supporting role here; he did a good enough job (opposite Theron, one would be outshined). The surprise I thought, and I like good surprises, was the role of, and performance by Patton Oswalt. He is also a busy actor but not one who we associate with dramatic roles; in this movie, he shines in a dramatic character role. What a delightful surprise. The writing, by Diablo Cody, a writer who is making a name for herself, was in good part the reason for Oswalt's performance. The critics were good for this movie and I'm obviously in agreement.
  50. Jun 27, 2012
    At first I felt bored, because it is a drama style of movie and it doesn't include action or comical situations or anything else that would be interesting for audience. But it has an amazing real life story, which is sad. You realise how difficult is to find your true love and how you would fight for it. The main character is doing a huge mistake if we judge her on ethical terms, but she was just trying to be happy in her life. At the end she realised that she had been doing a mistake. This movie is also interesting because it shows us how we judge people by their appearance. Expand
  51. Jul 23, 2012
    Jeeez, this was one boring movie, the trailer indicated a comedy, but this was just a very low key, uninvolving, indie flick. Five minutes in and i'm guessing this is how Diablo cody lives, fair enough, write what you know about, but where was the comedy or at least an interesting story. Maybe cody's script or story was a good one, but its hard to tell after jason reitman has once again made a film that sucks any entertainment value out of it. This film tries so hard to be a cool, niche movie, but if it does become a cult classic, who will it be for??? If you want to see a low key, indie flick about a middle aged woman's road to salvation, then go for the british movie 'Red Road', it may be bleak, but at least its INTERESTING, which this movie is definitely not. Expand
  52. Sep 5, 2012
    user score 6.2?? Seriously??
    This movie deserves 8/10 at least. I loved it. The screenplay is great and Charlize Theron is amazing as the ''psychotic prom queen **** Mavis Gary. The movie is a smart, original, cynical and funny dark comedy. 10/10.
  53. Aug 10, 2012
    90% of this film is Oscar-worthy, but the final ten minutes are dreadful and take away from a biting, witty script from Diablo Cody and wonderful performances from Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt.
  54. Sep 25, 2012
    This is a smart and unnerving movie, it can be seen as static at times but that is it's charm we see how it was possible for Mavis to remain as she was "the mean girl" it tethers close to empathy but laughs at it also as Therons Mavis . It is difficult to like because it touches on some home truth 1st if we can avoid growth while aging we will and 2nd people dont change really. Cody makes this a satirical comedy because the truth when told in it's volatile pathetic state is usually really funny. Oswald also seems stuck in his nit so glorious days which is both sad and annoying in that he forces us to come to grips with the fact that if you don't heal and move on you are a burden. It was a beautifully ridiculously honest portal of "just life" that hollywood seems to look down on. Expand
  55. Oct 4, 2012
    charlize theron is the reason of me to watching this movie. she is rare beauty in hollywood without make ups or lighting effect. story and acting is suprisingly good and even though plot is not lengthy or clever, this movie made me think about what a life is.
  56. Oct 27, 2013
    "Young Adult" is another triumph from the subtly engrossing style of Jason Reitman and the sardonically biting commentary of Diablo Cody, featuring a despicably delightful performance from Charlize Theron and a characteristically hilarious turn from Patton Oswalt.
  57. Dec 7, 2012
    It's almost like Charlize Theron woke up morning and thought: "I feel like playing a **** from now on." (YA, Prometheus, SW&H) But, again, she gives a really great performance. I personally really liked Young Adult, but like Bad Teacher earlier in the year, this film has sort of a sympathetic message, but the main character deserves anything but sympathy. Regardless, this is a really good film featuring good performances and a witty script from Diablo Cody (Juno). Expand
  58. Jan 6, 2013
    This movie has no big animosity or even a great moral value but it did nothing wrong. Just because it did not revolutionize anything does not mean that it is bad. A well formulated script with above average acting and provocative ideas that lead to a well rounded film. Don't get me wrong it will not be the best movie in the world or rise to Oscar winning glory but it was solid. Everything was above average in my book even if I did think that she was crazy. Expand
  59. Jul 31, 2013
    Young adult is a story about an author who has just divorced and travels where she used to live to meet again her ex-boyfriend that she obviously still loves him. But her ex has made his life and he has a baby. The author wants to get him back and she tries many things. It is an interesting idea and a great plot for a comedy-drama film. Charlize Theron gave a great performance and i didn't know she was such a great actress. It has not have a happy ending which is something i like in these kind of films and in overall it is a good movie and easily watched with a great cast. Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 42
  2. Negative: 1 out of 42
  1. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Jan 30, 2012
    Smart, honest, sickeningly funny and supremely well judged in the writing, direction and acting.
  2. 30
    The movie spreads bad vibes like a virus.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Dec 16, 2011
    Clear-eyed, fearless and ferociously funny, Young Adult is mature filmmaking.