Adventureland doesn't quite soar -- it lopes along affectionately. But for nostalgia junkies, it's one from the heart.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
The film, written and directed by Greg Mottola, plants its flag in thoroughly explored territory, but that familiarity turns out to be integral to its loose and scruffy appeal.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
A tremendously funny and touching coming-of-age story, which he has set in the 1980s with a sprinkling of nicely chosen cultural references.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
While Adventureland may shift moods suddenly and meander, the highlight is Eisenberg's ability to endearingly convey gawkiness and mortification.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Thanks to an exceptionally deft touch, Mottola manages to capture the absurdity and anguish of young adulthood, while never sacrificing meaning on the altar of crude humor.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
It's the sort of flavorless, willfully quirky, occasionally amusing slice of suburban boredom that, for years, has given the Sundance Film Festival its soft, gooey center.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
I've seen Mottola's movie twice, and both times, it has inspired feelings of joy, sadness, and a profound yearning for the unrecoverable past.
Scott Foundas - Village Voice
Adventureland earns its edge-of-adulthood sweetness and has characters with real hearts under their goofy T-shirts.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
There's no shortage of felicitous lines or interesting performances, yet the movie, like the amusement park of its title, feels constructed from familiar parts.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The youths of Superbad were a little bit younger, a little more likable, their dirty-virgin wit more hilarious [than in Adventureland].
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
There's no mistaking Mottola's sincerity or his talent.
Christopher Kelly - Dallas Morning News
It proves Mottola has a sweet sensibility for intimate grins, as well as broad yuks.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
Mottola's made a movie that will work like a voodoo charm on a small-but-dedicated audience: onetime slackers who'll not only dig the soundtrack but, probably, be sure to get it on vinyl.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
What makes the movie such an unexpectedly potent little number is that Adventureland comes to stand for Stagnationland; the real roller coaster (i.e., life) is just outside the park.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
The story is semi-autobiographical, but has a gentler touch than his prior work on Superbad, and certainly relies less on slapstick episodes.
David Denby - New Yorker
Director Greg Mottola, who made the rather wonderful Superbad, is back now with a sweeter story, more quietly funny, again about a hero who believes he may be a virgin outstaying his shelf life.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A little warmer, a little funnier and a lot more truthful than the last 20 or 30 of its ilk.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Like its models, this is funny, smart, and complacent.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Adventureland mixes the intimate, indie vibe of Daytrippers with the absurdist screwball streak of Superbad, to winning effect.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Writer/director Greg Mottola's followup to his hit Superbad is the most utterly and engagingly human youth comedy I've seen in ages.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Yes, you've seen much of it before, and the nervous James character is now officially a cliche. But Stewart makes you care anyway. This, folks, is an actress.
Tom Long - Detroit News
A worthy effort, several cuts above the teen comedies that came out of the era it depicts while managing to capture it thoroughly.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Adventureland unspools as a rather ordinary account of youthful summer misadventures that goes down easily thanks to a sparky cast.
Todd McCarthy - Variety
Adventureland isn't as clever as Kicking, and not nearly as hilarious as Superbad, but it's still a sweet little memory ache, a Proustian cookie co-flavored with semiotics and Whitesnake.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
The only adventure here will be for kids too young to know what 'coming of age' means. And they can't get into an R-rated movie.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Adventureland is what you might call stealth comedy. The laughs are few but they sneak up on you and really deliver.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Characters like James and Stewart's Em feel out of place for their own reasons, and consequently provide just enough perspective for us to remember the absurdity of the culture around them, but never with disdain.
Cole Haddon - Film.com
[Director Mottola] coaxes a set of uniformly credible performances from his ensemble cast, and makes effective use of a soundtrack that's as eclectic as the characters.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Adventureland, is a total delight, with a winsome and terrifically textured cast who seem both like young-adult archetypes and recognizable human beings.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Adventureland, Greg Mottola's tale of coming of age in Pittsburgh in 1987, has the note-perfect melancholy of a classic young adult novel.
Dana Stevens - Slate
A sharp, insightful, charming motion picture.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
With a keen affection for his own formative years, filmmaker Greg Mottola has crafted a funny and spunky amusement.
Duane Byrge - Hollywood Reporter
[Mottola] doesn't always find the right tone in trying to cover such varied terrain, but you have to admire him for trying inject some substance into what can be a predictably mindless genre.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
Adventureland throws a lot at us, but not enough of it sticks.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
With a cast that believed in one another and a writer-director who believed he didn't have to follow up Superbad with SuperEvenBadder, Adventureland is the kind of adventure we could all use more of.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
The messages -- about silver linings in lousy jobs, the collision of hormones and heartstrings, and the adventure of discovering who you really are and what you really want -- ring honest and true, for any era.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Adventureland is ultimately an interesting but flawed mixture of Mottolla's early indie sensibility (The Daytrippers) with some of the more mainstream teen comedy elements of Superbad.
Eric Goldman - IGN Movies
Adventureland's young cast is strong, and, when the film works, it captures the languid limbo of post-adolescent confusion and longing.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
A coming of age tale based loosely on the experiences of writer/director Greg Mottola, Adventureland is a surprisingly dense teen flick yet its unfortunate forays into religion bashing undermines its overall effect.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
It's a bit slight and rambling, but also manages to engage us due to the sharply drawn characters
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
[Mottola has] done his job in making the work feel authentic, funny, and like a breeze to sit through.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Regardless of the well filled-out cast and the fact that it's structured like a comedy, Adventureland just isn't funny. There really aren't jokes and the overlong running time is mostly given to a standard budding romance.
Adam Lippe - Examiner.com
Content to occupy that middle ground where insights are authentic but far from revelatory and comedy is more amiable than riotous.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
Without recourse to frilly cuffs or a montage to A Flock Of Seagulls' greatest hit, it plays the '80s card for something heartfelt.
Ian Nathan - Empire Magazine
A funny, touching and honest film about a serious 22-year-old neither embarrassed by nor exulting in his lack of sexual experience.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
A little charmer.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Much like its anti-hero, Adventureland is at first too gauchely intelligent for its surroundings, then learns to merge the best of what it is and what it isn't. Gentle is the new gross, it seems.
Chris Roberts - Uncut Magazine [UK]
Some may scoff at Adventureland for sailing too close to a tried and tested story formula, but it's funny, heart-warming and more meandering and whimsical than you'd expect from a mainstream Hollywood comedy.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Wisely, Mottola doesn't try to reinvent the comedy wheel. He's simply taken the plot-free route of Superbad, made the like-for-like swap of Jesse Eisenberg for Michael Cera, upscaled the romance, downsized the slapstick.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
A charmingly nostalgic and endearing picture of late-teenhood in the '80s.
Dennis Brabham - Filmstar Magazine
It is a coming-of-age picture which seems not so different from any other but hits delightfully odd notes thanks to Mottola's terrifically smart script and a cast of mostly eager young actors.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Its gentle charm and effortless eloquence personified by its winning lead, Adventureland is only marred by a rote final reel.
Richard Luck - Film4
As a sweet-natured character comedy - and a subtle exercise in generic boundary-pushing - this is a real charmer.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out
Tom Huddlestone - Time Out
Superbad director Greg Mottola casts an affectionate eye over the 1980s with a gentle but effective comedy.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Sweet-natured, frequently funny coming-of-age movie with a superb script and delightful comic performances from a terrific ensemble cast.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Like all films that strike a chord, you'll find yourself replaying your own memories as the credits roll on a comedy that fires the heart.
Dan Brightmore - Little White Lies
Adventureland would love to be "this generation's Ferris Bueller". But if you set your teen movie an entire generation ago, it's not going to be this generation's anything. Instead it's going to be a challenge-free nostalgia binge - at best.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
One from the heart, a clear-sighted love letter to his own teenage tribulations. Starting out in high spirits then skewing more serious, it's a funny, poignant, bittersweet treat. Get in line...
Tom Charity - Total Film
Adventureland is reminiscent of indie movies like Breaking Away, Dazed and Confused and Clerks. You could put it another way and say it's not very original. Yet, watching the movie, you're too swept up in James's problems to care.
Dean Essner - This is London
While this has its longueurs and is not without cliches, it is also a richly enjoyable, witty, well observed piece of nostalgia.
Dean Essner - Financial Times
Adventureland is one of those American rites-of-passage movies that so effortlessly nails what it's like to be young that watching it is liable induce hazy sensory flashbacks.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
It's beautifully written and sensitively acted, it's got a killer soundtrack.
Dean Essner - GQ Magazine [UK]
The whole enterprise is infused with a quality of feeling, an integrity, that is rare in such a commercial film.
Toby Young - Times [UK]
An Indie romcom which doesn't pile on the contrived quirkiness and instead concentrates on being believable, smart and sweet.
Boyd Hilton - Heat Magazine
Add to this some winningly low-key performances, a slacker sensibility that refuses to subscribe to the American Dream, and some genuine laughs, and you have a film that feels both wise and real.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
Clearly, writer/director Greg Mottola has plenty of good ideas and an inclination toward quirky movies just slightly off-centre.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
Adventureland finds much of its comedy in its often brutal honesty.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
Observant, soulful, often achingly attuned to clashing emotions
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Deserving of Citizen Kane status in its insight, emotional depth, and yes, entertainment.
Rob Humanick - Suite101.com
Though it may not rock with quirkiness or roll with side-splitting humor, Adventureland still is a respectable slice-of-life film.
James Plath - DVDTown.com
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
ottola is better known as the director of Superbad, but this film is a far more mature work, and not just in terms of its humour. His screenplay hits the right notes between irony and sentimentality, and though not laugh-a-minute, is full of warm small mo
Cris Kennedy - Screenwize
Thanks to the talented ensemble cast and Mottola's deft touch with tone, this isn't just some teen comedy aiming at the easy set piece or the gross-out gag.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
If Adventureland was an amusement park ride, it would be the Ferris wheel. Both are amusing but tame, alluring but forgettable.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Most films about the sex problems of young people are puerile and offensive. Mottola's are distinctive because he cares about his characters, and because he knows them at first hand.
David Stratton - The Australian
Mottola hasn't concocted the funniest summer comedy ever, but he may have given us one of the wisest.
Ben Kenisberg - Time Out Sydney
There's an honesty about this film that's at times painful, but mainly it's just funny and very sweet.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
While ultimately Adventureland never quite delivers the punch, or the laughs, that it promises, it has a bittersweet nostalgia that works.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out Sydney
Adventureland as a film never really takes off %u2013 some things are resolved, other things happen that make things change, but it always has this vague sense of only being exposition and pretty soon the movie will begin.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
While many movies have danced the "it was the summer where ..." tango before, few have done it with such grace, guile and good humour as Adventureland.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Less Superbad, more Freaks and Geeks -- it's one to treasure.
Sophie Verlane - Empire Magazine Australasia
Adventureland is no Superbad. To Mottola's credit, though, it's obvious that the director is deliberately trying to avoid repeating the same formula.
Hernan Alcerreca - FILMINK (Australia)
As you would expect from Mottola's new film, the film features plenty of sex talk, awkward situations, bodily fluids, pratfalls and drug humor. As you might not expect, the film is decidedly tamer than "Superbad,
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
It's fantastic to observe Adventureland reach out and seek a timeless youthful uprising feel, but the film's eventual realization is a crushing disappointment.
Brian Orndorf - Dark Horizons
Greg Mottola's auto-biographical coming of age story has plenty of heart and although the elements of a first-love plot with all its complications are not new, the script is a good one with detailed, compelling characterisations.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
The movie's rewards outpace its flaws by a mile and give us another reason to follow the career of a gifted young lead actor.
Jay Antani - Cinema Writer
There are still puke jokes in 'Adventureland' as there were in 'Superbad,' but it's nice to see that Mottola can help viewers get in touch with another body function, the beat of a heart.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
Adventureland tells a bleaker story than the audience might expect, but for the most part the coming of age drama is sincere and honest.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Adventureland turns out to be one of Mottola's more original creations, a down-at-the-heels establishment that epitomizes everything that's sad and tacky about that period in American culture.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Perfectly written, perfectly cast and perfectly brilliant, 'Adventureland' is as good as it gets.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
The heart of Adventureland lies in the emotional microcosm of the amusement park, a place that delivers its share of laughs and lust but turns out to be not all fun and games.
Peter Canavese - Palo Alto Weekly
Adventureland never fully digs into its potentially provocative mutual-use premise, but with its easygoing, lived-in charms and nice supporting performances, there's certainly a lot more good than not in the film.
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
the poignant sense of transience be it of Adventureland's short summer season, or the more subtle shifting of relationships, is beautifully realized here
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Captures the uncertain feelings certain teens have in becoming young adults.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Sweet-natured, amiable and appealing.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
I had really hoped we'd moved beyond the era of movies about boredom. Once people realized that mundane lives aren't actually entertaining, I thought they'd stopped making them.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
[Director Greg] Mottola and his crew seem wholly disengaged from any kind of cinematic vocabulary... But it's impeccably written, there's little doubt about that.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The best part of Adventureland is the acting... But the direction and writing limit the actors. Mottola, who directed and co-wrote Superbad (2007), chooses the easy way, backing off anything threatening in his amiable movie.
Tony Macklin - tonymacklin.net
A loping comedy of displacement that snaps off dozens of easy laughs without breaking a sweat...
Chris Barsanti - PopMatters
This is as close to a pure '80s valentine as anyone has made since the 1980s.
Wade Major - Boxoffice Magazine
Adventureland is as tidy and predictable as it sounds. And it falls into that annoying trap that seems to plague this sort of film, relying on an unrelenting '80s soundtrack to set tones and cue plot points.
Renie Scolaro Mora - PopMatters
It captures perfectly that feeling of weightlessness just before impending adulthood. At once a personal and generational film, it also carries a poetic kind of melancholy that's unique to movies of its kind, save for maybe Say Anything or Dazed
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
This is like watching a home movie of someone's summer job - and that someone is bland and boring.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Light, easy to like and more forthright than one would expect
Jeffrey Bloomer - Paste Magazine
Seems to be the first 'teen' comedy inspired by the recession, even if the downturn depicted here is the hard-times Reagan year of 1987...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
'Adventureland' is a sweet, heartfelt coming-of-age drama with loads of sensitivity and bigness of heart.
Frank Wilkins - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
It was very easy to believe in this beauty and the beast story, thanks to a wonderfully written script by Greg himself... really, it is wonderful.
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Its strength lies in the power of its characters, each of whom is flawed but also very compelling.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Uneven and downright bumpy at times, Adventureland is a reflective look at life in the 80's, backed by a terrific soundtrack and enough chuckles to justify two hours of your life.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
A talented cast and a great soundtrack.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Audiences expecting another dumb wallow will be startled, and I hope enlivened, by this movie's core of feeling.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
has just enough oddball gags and adolescent humor to fill a two-minute trailer, but its heart and soul are deeply invested in the slightly shaky, awkward, geek-chic moroseness of indie-art dramedy
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
There isn't nearly as much comedy as you would expect based on the previews. There's nothing wrong with that, except the created void isn't really filled with anything, and that ending is just bad.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Feels a lot like Mottola's Almost Famous.
Tricia Olszewski - Washington City Paper
Do all movies around this theme have to have the same character? He's [Jesse Eisenberg] interchangeable with every other angst-driven finding your way in the universe kid.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
One of the best, most satisfying teen-oriented coming-of-age comedies to come along in awhile.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
A refreshing retro comedy with depth recommended more for the message and the romance than for the shock value of its raunchy moments.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
The only real nostaglia on display (much like the overplayed rock soundtrack of the park's speakers) is the feeling that you've just seen and heard this story all before.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
It all inspires a sense of affection that makes it easy to love.
Cammila Albertson - TV Guide's Movie Guide
the plot's romantic rhythms ... leading to the inevitable reconciliation are right out of the Hughes playbook
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
I liked Adventureland a lot.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
"Adventureland" is the sort of film that seems simultaneously slavishly derivative of countless other coming-of-age stories, but also admirably personal and specific.
Dan Fienberg - HitFix
it rang pitch-perfect: Poignant and honest, with such a keenly felt eye toward period detail
Kevin Williamson - Jam! Movies
The movie does a very good job of capturing the teens and their times. Everything feels right, from the ups-and-downs of late '80s rock, to the way kids really behaved.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
...a refreshing take on "the teen turmoil scene" where the uncertainty and inherent fear of a gifted mind is explored with the legitimacy of doubt and disappointment.
Frank Ochieng - Movie Eye
The film's main concern is the characters, and they're a genuinely tarnished, genuinely appealing bunch.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
It's the rare movie that is almost too realistic and too down-to-earth.
Scott Mendelson - Film Threat
The film isn't especially funny but it is tenderly amusing and rather sweet, eschewing many of the cliches and recourse to calculated whimsy that undermine so many offbeat boy-meets-girl flicks.
Jay Richardson - Future Movies UK
With Adventureland, Mottola is using some of the stock from his Superbad triumph to make the kind of personal film he should be making, that he probably would have liked to have made in the years following Daytrippers.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Filled with likable actors and 1980s pop songs, Adventureland ambles, entertains and ... ends ... without ever trying to be more than a tribute to odd jobs, unlikely friends and hanging out.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
The laughs in Adventureland aren't as outlandish as those in Superbad, but they seem more based in experience and truth.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Is being smart hip again?
James Verniere - Boston Herald
A brilliant portrait of post-adolescent angst that looks and feels like the great film that John Hughes never quite got around to making
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
No matter what your age you're going to love this one.
Dave White - Movies.com
Adventureland is the comic roller coaster ride of 2009.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
Adventureland is the perfect coming-of-age story with great performances and a beautifully written script.
Kevin McCarthy - WJFK-FM (CBS Radio)
One of Mottola's best jokes involves Falco's "Rock Me Amadeus".... [I]t's hard to imagine a better use of nostalgia: to remind us of the many things we miss from a particular time, and the one reason we would never, ever want to go back.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
The relationships and exchanges feel like real life rather than gimmicky, over-the-top scenes from other R-rated comedies.
Krista Soriano - Premiere Magazine
Eisenberg and Stewart end up making the most heartbreakingly honest couple we may see on screen all year.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
Mottola's script perfectly captures man's lifelong pursuit of often-unattainable coolness. And cool girls.
Michael Smith - Tulsa World
A film that rates right up there with Hollywood's best romances. Kristen Stewart deserves an Oscar nomination, as does writer-director Greg Mottola.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
It's cute enough, and it's clear that Mottola loves every one of these characters, even Reynolds' lecherous Connell. The problem is that it ends up being somewhat lightweight.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
If his plot falls into a predictable pattern, Mottola is able to work some attractive variations with his strong cast.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
A joy ride filled with trials and tribulations of angst teens just trying to deal with life.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
The movie doesn't bog down in despair. Mottola has quickness, savvy and flair; he never lets you forget there's an amusement park to run.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
Fairly thoughtful romcom masquerades as a raunchy indie.
S. Jhoanna Robledo - Common Sense Media
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
Adventureland is a surprisingly sweet and irreverent tale of summer jobs and summer love. It reminds you how the hearts of teens and young 20-somethings flutter up and down just like the rusty deathtrap roller coasters they're looking after.
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
Adventureland stays strictly on the games side of the amusement park, happily ambling along with no real dips or climbs.
Austin O'Connor - Examiner.com
I'm sure the film will have a certain appeal to a certain audience, namely other college-aged kids in crappy jobs struggling to learn about life and love.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Flat-out wonderful - an irresistable coming-of-age comedy that's smart, funny and wise.
Pete Hammond - Hollywood.com
Dean Essner - National Post
Sometimes, a critic is going to connect with a movie, even one they can admit has some major problems, because it so mirrors their own expereinces.
Edward Havens - FilmJerk.com
Apart from the consistently funny lines and situations that flow through the movie, there's an unusually perceptive appreciation of the part that music plays in people's lives.
Kurt Loder - MTV
Dean Essner - Irish Times
Provides the opportunity to spend time with two very smart, likable characters played by two smart, likable actors -- more than enough reason to check it out.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
Yet another quirky coming-of-age tale, it's amiable enough but rather lackadaisical, and generates neither the laughs nor the insight needed to set it apart from the pack.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
A sweet, funny and mature drama. It has more tenderness and much less crassness than what its lousy, deceptive trailer leads you to believe. Kristen Steward shines in a raw and tender performance bursting with charisma.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
The real challenge for Adventureland -- a sweet, surprisingly tender romantic comedy set at a Pittsburgh amusement park -- is to confound expectations.
Connie Ogle - Miami Herald
Mottola gets a surprising amount of mileage out of a formula that is running on fumes, his dialogue is sharp, and the lo-fi, indie-film quality of the piece feels consistent with the spirit of the rundown theme park, or vice versa.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
ADVENTURELAND is loving towards its characters but also brutally honest about them. sweet and funny and real, and definitely one of the best coming of age movies in years, if not ever.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
A period piece that makes up for its lack of dramatic heft with small moments filled with nostalgia and warmth.
Robert Levin - Critic's Notebook
As a universal tale of the post-adolescent experience, Adventureland is knowledgeable and wise, virtually every bone in its body an honest one.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
Though James is a passive hero, Eisenberg plays him with such earnest charm that you root for him.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Mottola manages to avoid the cliches and create characters with warmth and specificity and -- that rarest quality in movies of this genre -- some grace
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
The plot mechanics are a drag because Adventureland is at its best when it's in laid-back, hanging out mode.
Scott Von Doviak - culturevulture.net
The most pleasant cinematic surprise of 2009.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
Adventureland is not as uproarious as Superbad, but has a little more heart, and is a cut above most one-crazy-summer teen movies.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
...a weak coming-of-age story that's simply unable to bring anything new to the well-worn genre.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Eisenberg's a good young actor who can make intelligence and decency sexy...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
an early 2009 favorite.
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Adventureland is a confident return to the kind of teen comedy that's funny without being raunchy, youthful without being juvenile, and reflective without hitting you over the head with anything heavier than an amusement-park Whac-a-Mole mallet.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Eisenberg has a quirky, sensitive cool that distinguishes him from the slew of teen or almost-teen movie ranks of the moment...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Greg Mottola's semi-autobiographical coming of age comedy is as smart and perceptive as they come.
Sean Axmaker - Seanax.com
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
The movie is well cast.
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
Born from the trauma of Reaganomics, the teen films of the '80s had the same awareness of the gulf separating the haves and have nots.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
Adventureland may be targeted at teens, but it's a sophisticated film that just happens to be about unformed people and their raw emotions.
John Anderson - Newsday
Adventureland is one of the best films of the year because it sticks by its own heart.
Justin Strout - Orlando Weekly
Although this '80s flashback has an appealing sheen of sweetness, it sticks so closely to the rhythms of remembrance that it lacks dramatic impact. We've heard this story too many times before.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
An appealing coming-of-age tale with a ring of truth to it. In some respects, it may remind you of the better John Hughes films.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
The '80s-centric atmosphere means that viewers over a certain age will probably connect to the material to a greater extent than their younger counterparts. In fact, the nostalgia factor might be enough for some people to overlook Adventureland's flaws.
AskMen.com Staff - AskMen.com
Mottola also wrote the screenplay, which is most fresh and honest when dealing with supporting characters.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The story has the feel of one plucked from experience, and Mottola fills the movie with authentic little touches.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Adventureland refreshingly inhabits a world without clear-cut heroes or bad guys, just richly realized characters struggling to get by.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
...has an undercurrent of tragedy that makes it feel more authentic than most others
Luke Y. Thompson - E! Online
Adventureland is one of the most consistently funny, consistently well written, consistently well acted and consistently appealing movies I've seen in a very long time.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
A lovely and hilarious reminder that the bittersweet days at the tail end of youth are as potent a topic as ever.
Jurgen Fauth - About.com
The thunder that follows the Superbad lightning.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Those expecting another 'Superbad' may be surprised to discover that 'Adventureland' is nothing of the sort. It's far more grounded, populated by thoughtful, unaffected characters whose misadventures ring true. It is also, to date, the year's best film.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Adventureland adds appreciable humanity to the genre, improving the adolescent egotism inflected by Dazed and Confused and the vulgar excesses of Superbad.
Armond White - New York Press
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out New York
Greg Mottola follows up Superbad with another sweet and funny (though far less foul-mouthed) coming-of-age comedy.
Ethan Alter - Film Journal International
Like a John Hughes movie directed by Francois Truffaut...gangly, deeply felt and just lovely.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Mottola gets credit for trying, and once again depicting teenagers with a thought or two in their head, even if sex and drugs are, as always, the main agenda.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
While Adventureland fits squarely into the that-was-the-summer-that-changed-everything genre, it showcases its characters with such grace that you don't mind the familiarity of the story.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
This little charmer is so infectious I almost wished I had been the one stuck with a bunch of other kids working in a dead end summer job. Oh wait, I was.
Joanna Langfield - The Movie Minute
Here's that rare youth flick where it's actually believable that the geek gets the girl.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
The theme park setting seems obvious for over the top comedy, but Mottolla's tightly written script plays it more believable than ridiculous.
Ben Lyons - At the Movies
I think this is a sweet movie.
Ben Mankiewicz - At the Movies
Sweet but bittersweet, funny without working at being outrageous, Adventureland is a finely etched character comedy smart enough to touch any audience.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
The heart of Mottola's autobiographical paean to young male mortification lies in the one-on-one scenes between his able leads, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
Superbad followup with superbored minimum wage recession youth in standard kid romance. But given dramatic intensity by method actress extraordinaire Kristen Stewart, as sullen side dish to flirty Ryan Reynolds' main squeeze spouse.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
Like the confused social period of the Reagan era that the story inhabits, "Adventureland" is an awkward comedy that makes you wish it were a lot better.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Jesse Eisenberg's heartfelt performance is the main reason to see this ultra-familiar youth tale of first love, in which most of the characters are types and all the adults stereotypes.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Adventureland feels like a sweeter, more personal riff on Superbad.
Tim Grierson - Screen International
Wants to be one of those great John Hughes movies, but it doesn't have the poignancy to pull something like that off.
Joshua Tyler - CinemaBlend.com