User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 154 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 154

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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

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.