The really pretty Theron captures that state of really ugly inner childishness (articulated so sharply by Cody) with such precision, it makes you want to hear stories of her own high school experience.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Shorter than a bad blind date and as sour as a vinegar Popsicle, "Young Adult" shrouds its brilliant, brave and breathtakingly cynical heart in the superficial blandness of commercial comedy.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Screenwriter Diablo Cody has crafted a precisely drawn portrait of a surly, emotionally stunted woman.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
There's enough grit in the film's gears to keep the forward motion from ever getting too smooth.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
The movie doesn't weigh that much, but it has a kind of point-blank piquancy that has gradually seeped out of American comedies, which now are mostly going for broad, topical gags that rarely venture into the relatable shadows of human behavior.
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Young Adult might be brushed off as curdled rom-com were it not for two things. The first is the depth of Theron's performance.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
"Young Adult" may at times be stuck between emotional gears, but that's by design. Like its heroine, the movie refuses to pick up after itself.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
What makes the movie marvelous is the same combination that the filmmaker and writer brought to "Juno" -- unerringly subtle yet precise direction plus a literate script with dramatic energy and a delicate tone.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The comedy of discomfort, so long defined by Curb Your Enthusiasm and its ilk, gets a new hue with Young Adult.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
There's little about Mavis that makes for feel-good revelry. That's an understatement, perhaps. Yet, Theron's work feels true to Mavis' malaise -- and often, just as sad.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
...the film and its cast portray the [characters] with steadfastness, precision, empathy and a kind of poignant wisdom.
Glenn Kenny - MSN Movies
As I absorbed it, I realized what a fearless character study it is. That sometimes it's funny doesn't hurt.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Theron nails the specifics of her character, all the distress signals, from the nervous hair-pulling to the relentless default sarcasm.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The movie suffers from the sort of self-pitying fog that can envelop a writer when he dives into his own malaise.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
Theron is thrillingly nasty as Mavis.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
It's a step in a new direction, both for the creative team and for movies, a mature and humane comedy centered on a misanthropic female antihero. Think of it as "Juno's" wicked stepsister.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Young Adult may be the year's most engaging feel-bad movie.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Reitman makes bold choices with the story. Not all are fun to watch in the moment, but they add up to a satisfying portrait of a woman off the rails, someone we can laugh at even when we're horrified.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Ms. Theron, a true beauty and one of the screen's most exquisite actors, keeps the film airborne even when it seems dangerously earthbound. She's a one-woman emergency rescue squad.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Reteaming pop-savvy scribe Diablo Cody with Juno director Jason Reitman, Young Adult revels in breaking the rules of safe Hollywood storytelling.
Peter Debruge - Variety
Nobody ever said that adolescence was pretty, even if an increasing number of people are experiencing its final pangs on the cusp of middle age.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
As good as Theron and Oswalt are, and they're very good, Young Adult doesn't give them enough room to breathe.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
Reitman has made the equivalent of a Roland Emmerich disaster movie writ small, an apocalyptic scenario internalized by a single person.
Eric Kohn - indieWIRE
A low-key, indie-style comedy that plays precariously close to an unfunny sociopathic case study.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
There are plenty of sharp apercus and poignant character moments in "Young Adult," to be sure, but it's hard to tell where the movie's awkward comic knife edge slides away into clunkiness.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
Young Adult doesn't fully work, but it's still one of the year's most memorable movies, a ruthless portrait of a heroine with a serious love/loathe relationship with herself.
Dan Kois - Slate
The attitude toward the protagonist is thinly-veiled contempt ... until, in the last 20 minutes or so, they attempt to turn her into an object of sympathy. It doesn't work and, on balance, neither does Young Adult.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
On a scene-by-scene basis, Young Adult entirely engages with its smart exchanges between characters who are well equipped with rough edges and raw nerves.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
In the vein of Alexander Payne, Reitman finds just the right affectionately mocking tone in taking some jabs at small-town Midwestern life.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
In a thorny role, Theron is splendid; she instinctively reveals everything Mavis doesn't know about herself and offers an intimate peek into a wayward soul.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Patton Oswalt's dark duet with Charlize Theron is funny, touching and vital. But fair warning: The laughs in Young Adult leave bruises.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Charlize Theron delivers one of the most impressive performances of the year.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
There is a brashness of style that both Cody and Reitman embody - almost demanding that we not only laugh at, but like the unlikable side of the human condition.
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
Cody and Reitman seem mainly interested in scoring points off their characters and making cheap jokes at the expense of anybody who isn't lucky enough to be Diablo Cody or Jason Reitman.
Kudos to Reitman, Cody, and Theron for crafting such a great bastard-ess, who you'll either feel empathy, like myself, or uncontrollable hatred for.
Jack Giroux - Film School Rejects
There has always been something so inward about [Theron;] she can seem detached or deprived. But here it's as if the script and the direction felt bound to heed that loneliness, and let the actress go with her bravery and the depressive sag of her mouth.
David Thomson - The New Republic
You sense the teeth-chattering chill almost as deeply as you admire the bravery of a pitch-black performance by Theron that begs nothing but contempt for her scurrilous Mavis Gary.
Al Alexander - The Patriot Ledger
Jason Reitman and Charlize Theron create a realistic insight into what happens to the popular high school student who can't adjust to the real world in Young Adult.
Karen Benardello - We Got This Covered
"Young Adult" is not a terrible film, just one that was not thought out very well.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
Theron crushes the role, channeling her best Mean Girls impression, providing Mavis a riotously self-centered persona.
Erick Weber - NECN
- Sight and Sound
- Urban Cinefile
You're squirming watching this abhorrent behaviour and you're challenged to re-evaluate your golden perception of the past. Young Adult isn't going to be exactly what you expect - enjoy it. It's a nice relief to be surprised.
Blake Howard - 2UE That Movie Show
Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman have still managed to get at a fundamental truth that screenplays traditionally ignore. People don't change. Character "arc" is one of those myths that movies perpetuate.
It's so rare that women get to play fully rounded, three dimensional, flawed human beings, that's it's almost kind of unsettling to realise that's what's going on here.
Catherine Bray - Film4
A cautionary tale? A slice of life? A demeaning of big-city shallowness or small-town complacency? Who knows. It's certainly a depressing black comedy.
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Filled with pain disguised as comedy, it presents a real-life Peter Pan complex where letting go of one's youth is complicated and painful.
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
Cody and Reitman were once two of the most promising talents in the filmmaking business, but Young Adult erases any of their past success from memory. I truly hope for a return to form soon because YA is a real downer.
Cameron Williams - The Popcorn Junkie
Anthropological rather than aspirational.
Ed Whitfield - The Ooh Tray
...a narrative treadmill; you get the sense Mavis is still out there somewhere, lonely and lost as when we first met her.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Young Adult is much funnier and infinitely more savage than Cody's earlier collaboration with director Jason Reitman, the cute but rather cosy Juno.
Lisa Mullen - Sight and Sound
This is one of the best contemporary dramas to come along in years.
Dominic Corry - Flicks.co.nz
Theron is excellent and heartbreaking as she experiences her midlife crisis and sees how much she's misread the world around her.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Go see. Squirmingly funny.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Here is a film that could have been awful but is so carefully nuanced that it is one of the most satisfying of the year.
- This is London
A mouthwateringly sour anti-romantic comedy directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody...
Robbie Collin - Daily Telegraph
Daring and different but just way too dark.
Jonathan Crocker - Little White Lies
Always painful to watch, Young Adult has all the charm and purpose of a confused teenager.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Every successful film-maker has one flop in him, and Young Adult is Jason Reitman's.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
The film is well directed and acted but even though it's about little things making people happy, it lacks the kind of current that would make a glider soar.
Graham Young - Birmingham Post
In showing Mavis a warmth and kindness she really doesn't deserve, the heroic misfit personifies the story's underlying moral message and adds emotional depth to an otherwise slight affair.
Sloan Freer - Radio Times
From the Juno team of screenwriter Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman comes this likable but odd - seriously odd - character portrait.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Cody delivers a stinging repudiation of that sentimental piety that is also Hollywood's biggest and most fatuous lie: that home is always best, and monochrome Kansas is better than dazzling, multi-colour Oz.
As coming-of-age stories go, Reitman and Cody's Young Adult is a stone-cold sobering one of sheer brilliance, packed with ironic laughs and painful honesty and observations.
Lisa Giles-Keddie - Real.com
Directed by Jason Reitman, this is original, bracing and darkly comic with a strong performance from Theron but it's not as funny or psychologically probing as it should be and there's no escaping the fact Mavis is pretty grim company.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
Mavis is not entirely irredeemable. Perfectly balancing credibility and mental instability, Theron gives her surprising depth.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
Sharply directed and superbly written, this is a hugely enjoyable and refreshingly unpredictable black comedy with a terrific central performance from Charlize Theron.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
There is a raw honesty here rare in movies, and it's very funny too - excruciating at times.
Cath Clarke - Time Out
a cruelly funny portrait of the scars, both physical and psychological, left by high school experience
Anton Bitel - MovieScope
Theron gives a fearless performance in a dark comedy of no manners that's as acerbic and mordant as Juno was warm and embracing.
Neil Smith - Total Film
Cody has a great eye and ear for the way women like Mavis can pep-talk themselves out of their depth, and she's shrewd about the chasm between her character's worldly exterior and emotionally immature heart.
Siobhan Synnot - Scotsman
Smart, honest, sickeningly funny and supremely well judged in the writing, direction and acting.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
Director Jason Reitman's films are a breath of fresh air in a world packed with stale sitcom plots, over-amped action movies, vegan vampires and worshiped wizard fantasies.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Theron never appeals for audience sympathy as this awesomely self-absorbed character, delivering a performance rich in telling observations and flawless comic timing.
Philip Concannon - The Skinny
Diablo Cody continues to exorcise adolescent demons and Charlize Theron delivers her best performance in years.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Like the rollers inside the old cassette tape that Mavis plays over and over in her dilapidated car, her own wheels are likewise spinning round and round but getting her nowhere, to the same old, endlessly looping song.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Mavis Gary is an absorbing individual and credit goes to Academy Award winning writer Diablo Cody for creating her.
Matthew Toomey - ABC Radio Brisbane
Young Adult's Mavis Gary is undergoing a manic break from reality of Charlie Sheen proportions. And much like Sheen's own bizarre breakdown, Mavis' is hilarious, terrifying, and deeply depressing all at once.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
As a gloriously dark ode to the decade that gave us grunge and scrunchies, it's a wickedly guilty pleasure. For Theron, it's her most daring performance yet.
Ed Gibbs - The Sun Herald
A sardonic story in which we get to see inside all the characters with extraordinary clarity. This is what makes Young Adult special - and so satisfying
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
Often funny in a bleak way with laugh out loud moments, Young Adults is a brilliant dark comedy that churns up the sediment in the underbelly of humanity
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Often hilarious and true, but saddled with too much unexamined anger.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
Tragicomically stares on at this lost alcoholic, drifting through a hollow strip-mall world but groping back for her teenage days in narcissistic nostalgia.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
This is how you do dark comedy, with an emphasis on the dark. The result is at once off-putting and the best work that either Reitman or Cody has yet accomplished.
Ian Buckwalter - DCist
Charlize Theron is fabulous as the seeking-her-old-boyfriend Mavis. She's depressed and depressing and kind of wears you down.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
Terrific, thought-provoking script with a lot of depth by Diablo Cody brilliantly directed by Jason Reitman who gets wonderful performances by Thereon, Wilson, Oswalt, and Reaser.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
If Up in the Air had a certain cavalier attitude in its direction, Young Adult is downright lazy.
Gabe Leibowitz - Film and Felt
Though there is much humor in "Young Adult," its lasting impression is one of sadness and disappointment-it's the anti-"Juno."
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
it is as if Cody spent so much creative energy getting inside Mavis's head that she forgot to write characters around her
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
The kind of pitch perfect black comedy studios seem to have abandoned. It's nice to see Paramount embracing such a smart effort again.
Pete Hammond - Back Stage
Wickedly funny, the kind of semi-dark comedy that really gets right up to the line of mean-spiritedness.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
The film is often very funny, but the humor is bitter and the film isn't full of life lessons learned -- though it may be said to be littered with life lessons for the taking.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
What's missing is any semblance of a compelling story, as well as the wit and humanity that marked Reitman's first three pictures.
Stephen Silver - Patch
This is a surprisingly downbeat piece of filmmaking for a modern studio film, for which we should be very grateful. Whether that makes it in and of itself an entirely worthwhile endeavour is debatable.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
...smart and it has a couple of genuinely fine performances and some sharply observed comic moments, but in the end it's just not enough. It's not funny enough. It's not tough enough. It's not story enough.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
One of the year's most perplexing spectacles - a film about a walking, talking trainwreck that's nothing short of a trainwreck itself.
Rick Kisonak - Film Threat
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody reunite, but it's Charlize Theron who saves the day
Robert Denerstein - Movie Habit
The narrative drives forward for a powerful 94-minute runtime but it leaves little opportunity to really invest in what's going on.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
This prickly and challenging film smartly confronts our expectations of the character-driven drama, and thanks to Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt's impressive performances, has the makings of a cult favourite.
Shaun Munro - What Culture
Theron, no stranger to subverting her super-model surfaces, fearlessly embraces Mavis' ugly inner child, presenting her as a boozy black hole of self-absorption, sexuality and unfulfilled neediness.
Jeff Meyers - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
The film's messiness is a virtue.
Dan Lybarger - KC Active
Theron is excellent in the central role, yet the real ace here might be Oswalt.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Theron gives a terrific performance. She elevates the movie by demonstrating her versatility. She almost makes you feel sympathetic towards this blonde, beautiful and sharp-witted anti-heroine. Oswalt deserves consideration for supporting actor...
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
Cody once again reveals herself as a talented writer with a flair for sharp humor and a keen sense of originality.
Beth Accomando - KPBS.org
Young Adult one of the freshest and most original movies around right now, though caveat emptor: This may not be enough to make it likable.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
An earwig of a movie: It won't leave my head. And it contains two of the best performances of 2011. (Both Theron and Oswalt deserve the Oscar nominations that likely won't be coming their way.)
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The new collaboration from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody stumbles through the dark end of town.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
What ultimately makes Young Adult worth the trip is Theron’s uncompromising performance, which dares to make Mavis unlikeable and, in the process, earns our pity and, more disturbingly, our identification.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
'Young creators old enough to know better.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody are taking a huge leap of faith with their latest collaboration, the offbeat and sometimes scintillating Young Adult.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
I liked Theron and Patton in their parts, and was entertained by little bits and moments here and there, but as an overall effort I felt this comes in below the standards set with 'Juno' and 'Up in the Air' (Content Review for Parents also available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
Though it has its flaws, Young Adult is a smart, thoughtful and quietly, curiously entertaining film.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Theron is amazingly, absolutely fabulous
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Clear-eyed, fearless and ferociously funny, "Young Adult" is mature filmmaking.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Theron's performance is bravely unselfconscious and, lest we forget, frequently very funny.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Young Adult exemplifies the definition of "meh"... and that's even worse than a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad film.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
A kind of Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf for the reality-TV generation.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
A character study of uncommon originality and perceptiveness with a protagonist as fascinating as nearly any seen in 2011.
[Theron gives] a fierce, fearless performance that deserves attention, even if Young Adult remains underdeveloped.
Matt Stevens - E! Online
The cast is uniformly good - this is a hallmark of director Jason Reitman, who has an uncanny ability to put the right actor in the right role and to get the right performance. Even tiny roles stand out.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Theron shows lively comic chops and Oswalt is truly eye-opening: cynical, self-mocking, and sympathetic.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Theron and Oswalt play their scenes with an unflinching earnestness worthy of all the award-season buzz.
Graham Killeen - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
It's funny, in a can't-look-away-from-the-train-wreck way, and it's brutally honest. But it's not pretty.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
The egg of a great idea that never really hatches. It's built on an outlandish premise, and after 93 minutes of talking and emoting and frittering around, all we're left with is that same nutty premise.
Christopher Lloyd - Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Young Adult is comedy at its darkest, with the added discomfort of making the worst person in the movie also its most magnetic. That's a daredevil act for everyone involved, including the audience.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
There isn't much on the surface of this prickly comedy, but the sharp script slices through American culture so astutely that we continually see ourselves in characters who are clearly losers.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
It's enjoyable as a character study, of a character most of us wouldn't want to meet.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
A bracing comedy-drama that's a sharp gender-bending dissection of the Peter Pan syndrome.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Mavis is a beautiful, terrible person, and, like Matt, we can't help but be both drawn to and repulsed by her.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
Doesn't have anything resembling the structure or character insight of Juno and simply does not come together at all, despite having a rock-solid concept behind it.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Every time you're ready to write off Hollywood comedies, along comes a picture like Young Adult to keep hope alive.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
[Diablo] Cody proves that she's more than just a pop culture vending machine [with this] darkly comical tale about becoming an adult without actually growing up.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
[A] surprisingly sympathetic portrait of a bitch on the brink.
Alicia Potter - Boston Phoenix
Disheartening and dysfunctional, it's distinguished primarily by its remarkable performances.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Scathingly funny 'mean girl' story has lots of drinking.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
This result is a risky, high-wire act of a film that is as discomfiting as can be and is all the funnier and sadder because of it.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Watching Charlene Theron prep her face in unflattering detail, with foundation, extensions and god knows what else, you can't help but think about Dr. Frankenstein putting together his monster.
Radheyan Simonpillai - AskMen.com
Mavis is a sort of anti-Joan of Arc fueled not by the voice of angels, but rather that of the reality show stars that form her preferred and constant background noise.
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
It's good to see that Cody can work in multiple registers, but shorn of her stylistic tics, her writing both retains its fierce intelligence and reveals a sort of casual meanness that's a bit jarring.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
Mavis, as wonderfully played by Charlize Theron, is conniving, miserable, self-loathing and pathetic.
JimmyO - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
You can typically always hear Diablo Cody's unique, pop-culture writing style directly through her characters. But not this time. Mavis' journey from immaturity to immaturity parallels Cody's maturation as a writer.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
If Diablo Cody isn't careful, she could end up like M. Night Shyamalan.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
"Young Adult" is a sheer waste of the talents of Theron and Wilson. It's surprising that director Jason Reitman didn't recognize that.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
A very strange little movie, almost at odds with itself, and out of place in the universe. It's not entirely satisfying, but it is interesting.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
It trades in discomfort and unease, not catharsis. That's an achievement worthy of admiration, if you can endure it.
Robert Levin - The Atlantic
Director Jason Reitman unleashes an unfiltered Charlize Theron and the results are gut-wrenching, hilarious and powerful.
Matt Patches - Hollywood.com
Theron does a fairly convincing job. It's the movie surrounding her that isn't quite so convincing.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
In a less acid romp, Mavis would learn life lessons in the final reel, but director Jason Reitman makes it a point not to let her off the hook.
Bob Mondello - NPR
A harsh but insightful and often very funny take on what happens when you cling to that popularity well after its value has faded.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
There is admittedly some slight novelty value in a film that trains an unforgiving eye on a female who, at the age of 37, tries to relive the last good period of her life, some twenty years ago when she was the prettiest girl in school.
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Young Adult is a great title, promising a film about arrested development. But this story about a highly-unappealing material girl never quite materializes.
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
Young Adult is the most brutally funny movie of the year - a truly fearless and subversive joy from start to finish.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
"Young Adult" finally stumbles not because it tries to make us like Mavis, but because everyone else in it seems to, no matter what she does.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Young Adult may be the year's meanest studio movie and I mean that as a compliment.
Ethan Alter - Television Without Pity
For a mass-market film, this is a considerable risk. It's good to know there are filmmakers still willing to take it.
Kurt Loder - Reason Online
It's an imperfect film, to be sure, but the movie's refusal to sacrifice its leading lady on the altar of Here's How to Behave feels downright revolutionary.
Starring Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt, it has all the deliciousness of watching reality TV, because it's a train wreck where the main offender learns nothing at all.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
When every character is so unappealing, it's difficult to find much to be entertained by while sitting through the 94 minute running time.
Rebecca Murray - About.com
Young Adult shatters whatever goodwill we might have had for these people in one scene; the defeatist results thereof are just salt on the wound.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
Proves Cody to be a screenwriter of immense observational skill and depth, finally ditching her pop tart crutches to shape a stark story of self-destruction, spun endearingly by a game cast and a blessedly unobtrusive director.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Young Adult offers intriguing points of view about a lot of subjects: The perils of nostalgia; the mythology of midlife crises; the value of community; and the futility of self-loathing come immediately to mind...
S.T. VanAirsdale - Movieline
A dark comedy that confirms Diablo Cody as a screenwriter of importance, eliminates the last shred of doubt that Jason Reitman is a major director and gives Charlize Theron her best showcase since "Monster."
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
"Young Adult" succeeds mostly because of Charlize Theron really gets what makes this kind of lost 'It' girl tick...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Charlize Theron proves her comic chops as a narcissistic writer out to break up her old boyfriend's marriage in this entertaining new collaboration between Juno writer Diablo Cody and director Jason Reitman.
Kevin Lally - Film Journal International
Re-teaming with her Juno director Jason Reitman, Oscar-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody refreshingly favors sour over sweet.
Annlee Ellingson - Paste Magazine
What really sinks this disappointing reunion is a narrative as stunted as Mavis' emotional development.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
...a comedy of sorts
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
A dramady about beauty and change in the life of an attractive messed-up woman.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
A poor man's Fatal Attraction.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Asks us to root for a bad person to stop being so bad. Yet Mavis does nothing to suggest that she earns this attention.
Matt Pais - RedEye
It's an empathetic but bravely brittle portrait of an aging queen bee that showcases a nuanced performance from Theron as a woman too used to being admired to admit how lonely and desperate she's become.
Alison Willmore - AV Club
Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman prove a canny team when it comes to capturing frank yet polished modernity.
R. Kurt Osenlund - Slant Magazine
It's a vintage example of the better angels emerging from the demented mind of a Diablo.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
While one might be tempted to call it mature, that word suggests a capacity for self-evaluation and unsentimental levity.
Stephen Garrett - Time Out
The second teaming of Diablo Cody and Reitman, a serio comic fable about the maturation of a delusional femme, is elevated considerably by Charlize Theron's full-bodied, multi-nuanced, Oscar-caliber performance.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Slashingly funny..A darkly funny trip down a one-way street. You know where it's headed - but you can't help enjoy ride anyway.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
"Young Adult" never finds its pitch of sardonic satire. Still, see the film for Patton Oswalt's great performance. Sadly, it's the only thing the movie has going for it.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Doesn't flinch from deep-seated scars and long-lasting regret, and it's only funnier for exploiting and exploring the grand delusions of its utterly pathological, pretty-on-the-outside protagonist.
William Goss - The Playlist
Cody's snappy, spot-on writing and Reitman's clear-eyed direction should suit audiences looking for a black-as-night dramedy with bite.
Kate Erbland - Boxoffice Magazine
In addition to its fine performances, it has some wryly amusing scenes. But, mostly, it's a missed opportunity.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
An impressive departure for both Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews