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4.1 out of 5 stars
The Kings Of Summer
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2013
My husband and I missed this in the theaters and kept looking for its on-line release - so I was pleased to find it on Amazon. OK, it is about teen rebellion and summer love, but we liked it a lot. With so many movies about mean teen girls and shallow relationships of this generation, this tells a warm story about the friendships and bonds between teen boys - the trust, anger and jealousy that comes and goes; a topic that doesn't often get explored in the movies. The best things: the actors were great and well cast; there were several scenes where the cinematography was great (beating the drums in the woods was one); it was a realistic/unrealistic fantasy escape we all might have had in high school. We laughed, we were surprised and we were glad we watched it. As the movie closed, I thought...those guys will be friends forever.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
THE KINGS OF SUMMER is an entertaining coming-of-age movie, reminiscent of STAND BY ME, but with a lighter touch.

Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and Biaggio (Moises Arias) are a trio of Mid-West teens who have decided to flee their parents. Joe's dad (Nick Offerman) is a wisecracking, insensitive "s.o.b.". Patrick's folks (Megan Mullally, Marc Evan Jackson) are on the "creepy" side, and, except for one brief scene, we don't really meet Biaggio's parents, but he's a bit "weird," so that should tell us something.

The truth is that, from a teenager's standpoint, all parents are insensitive, creepy and/or weird.

In an ultimate act of independence, the three boys decide to spend their summer building a ramshackle house in the woods and living off the land. The house goes up amazingly fast, and while the parents and the police (led by Mary Lynn Rajskub) search for them, the teens have a great time. The adventure, however, turns south when Kelly (Erin Moriarty), enters the boys' domain...and jealously rears its ugly head.

With a sharp eye for the beauty of nature, Jordan Vogt-Roberts directed Chris Galletta's well-written screenplay. The actors are uniformly excellent in their individual roles.

The Blu-Ray disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment contains audio commentary by director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, writer Chris Galletta, and actors Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias, deleted and extended scenes, and three "behind the scenes" featurettes.

© Michael B. Druxman
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2013
Moises Arias' character alone makes this movie worthwhile. One of the funniest characters and performances I've seen in a while.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
"We do swear, under pain of friendship lost, to never speak of this enterprise to any adults; to never betray its location or its participants." Joe (Robinson) and Patrick (Basso) both hate their lives at home. Living with over bearing parents are making them crazy and when they are pushed too far they decide to move out. The find a place in the middle of the woods and build their own house. The two of them along with a young boy who they are afraid to tell to go away start off on a experience that effects each one differently. This is an example of a movie where the trailer doesn't do the movie justice. This is an excellent and must see movie for all teenagers for a few reasons. One is because it shows that their parents aren't as bad as they seem compared to these. I could go on and on about this but the best way to describe this is a Stand By Me for a new generation. This is is movie that just needs to be seen rather then read about. Also the kid that plays Biaggio really steals the movie and is so much fun to watch. Overall, a must see for young teens and parents. I highly recommend. I easily give it an A.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2014
I listen devoutly to the Nerdist Podcast, and the director of The Kings of Summer, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, was on recently and he seemed like a lovely, smart, funny guy. I like to support nice people and the things they create, so they can keep on creating and being nice people, so I watched Kings of Summer.

This film is sweet, and funny, and stunningly, beautifully shot and well-edited and gorgeously acted... it was every single thing you hope that a movie will be - any movie, regardless of budget, should be this cohesive and pretty to look at and interesting start to finish. Yes, that's a high bar, but this film hit that mark hard.

This was my most favorite unexpected movie pleasure of the year.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2013
A coming-of-age film complicated by broken homes, legalism, and teen angst. Bad decisions limit future options; absence of thought and planning lead to disorder; the grass on the other side of the fence is not as green as expected. Order must be established before freedom can be realized. The family unit is designed to provide the order necessary for independence to be acquired. Traditional standards serve best regardless of the many drawbacks caused by human failings and fate. The boys also learned that capacity for freedom and independence must precede their attainment. It turned out that the trio was not The Kings of Summer but Wannabes for Awhile. Nick Robinson and Gabe Basso give excellent performances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
There are moments where it's difficult to pinpoint just what kind of film KINGS OF SUMMER wants to be. The heart of the plot is dramatic: several young boys, annoyed with their families, run away from home to be independent only to find their goals thwarted by a painfully formulaic love triangle. However, the cast is weighted with heavy comedic talent (everyone from Nick Offerman to Hannibal Burress makes an appearance, including a few lesser known names from multiple sketch shows and comedy troops). There's a whole lot of silliness going on, especially in the character of Bellagio (that's probably not how you spell his name; he's one of our runaways, the weirdest and least grounded in reality of the three boys), which makes the movie feel like it's going for a nonsensical level of humor. The two halves aren't so bad, but mixed together, they tend to come across as uneven.

In spite of the fairly predictable plot points, the movie's glut of musical montages, and its occasional leaps of logic (three boys -- by all accounts unskilled in shop class -- manage to build a house in the woods in what appears to be two days), the movie is warmhearted and just nutty and tender enough to avoid backsliding into pure nonsense (either of the dramatic or humorous variety). While it's not nearly the coming of age tale it is marketing itself to be, it's definitely entertaining as long as you put a fair-sized chunk of your disbelief aside and focus most of your attention on the film's continuous stabs at goofiness. Beautifully filmed as it may be, the real reward of script lies in the laughs, as opposed to the over-done family "lesson" at the film's tootsie sweet heart.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2013
This is one of those movies that is interesting from the moment it starts. When I was younger, I always had ideas of doing what these boys did. I thought it would be fun to build a "fort" or "house" in the forest behind our home. Of course, I never actually did it. My parents would have kicked my ass for that. This is a great coming of age movie. You feel great when it's done, like you actually watched something that didn't waste your time.
I review is meant to persuade or dissuade someone from watching a movie. I can wholeheartedly recommend this movie to anyone I know, of all ages. Check it out; I know I will again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
Excellent movie about what it's like til be a teenager. Fun adventure film. Great direction. Pretty funny as well. Will watch again.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2013
There's a lot of wasted potential in this movie. I came away from it asking, "What was the point?" It is beautifully photographed, and the talent of the supporting cast is undeniably great. They and the youngsters who played the main characters had too much weight on their shoulders and too little clarity in the script they were working from. Better movies in the vein of the themes covered here are "Moonrise Kingdom" and "Y tu mama tambien".
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