User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 158
  2. Negative: 23 out of 158
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  1. May 11, 2012
    5
    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.
  2. Apr 8, 2012
    5
    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.
  3. Mar 9, 2012
    5
    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 shortI 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 17, 2011
    5
    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 aDirector 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
  5. Feb 18, 2012
    5
    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?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? Collapse
  6. Dec 17, 2011
    5
    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.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
  7. Jul 27, 2013
    6
    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
    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.
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  8. Apr 24, 2012
    6
    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.
  9. Apr 16, 2012
    4
    "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"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
  10. Dec 27, 2011
    5
    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
  11. Jan 4, 2012
    6
    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, neverWell, 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
  12. Dec 7, 2012
    6
    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 goodIt'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
Metascore
71

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
    80
    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
    88
    Clear-eyed, fearless and ferociously funny, Young Adult is mature filmmaking.