Young Adult may be the year's most engaging feel-bad movie.
-Tom LongFull Review
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 KennedyFull Review
As good as Theron and Oswalt are, and they're very good, Young Adult doesn't give them enough room to breathe.
-Peter HowellFull Review
A low-key, indie-style comedy that plays precariously close to an unfunny sociopathic case study.
-Liam LaceyFull Review
There's enough grit in the film's gears to keep the forward motion from ever getting too smooth.
-Michael O'SullivanFull Review
The comedy of discomfort, so long defined by Curb Your Enthusiasm and its ilk, gets a new hue with Young Adult.
-Chris VognarFull Review
Theron is thrillingly nasty as Mavis.
-Steven ReaFull Review
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 MorrisFull Review
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 GoodykoontzFull Review
It's enjoyable as a character study, of a character most of us wouldn't want to meet.
-Moira MacDonaldFull Review
Every time you're ready to write off Hollywood comedies, along comes a picture like Young Adult to keep hope alive.
-Rene RodriguezFull Review
It trades in discomfort and unease, not catharsis. That's an achievement worthy of admiration, if you can endure it.
-Robert LevinFull Review
Theron does a fairly convincing job. It's the movie surrounding her that isn't quite so convincing.
-Peter RainerFull Review
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 MondelloFull Review
"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 WhittyFull Review
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 LumenickFull Review
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 LaSalleFull Review
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 SharkeyFull Review
Screenwriter Diablo Cody has crafted a precisely drawn portrait of a surly, emotionally stunted woman.
-Claudia PuigFull Review
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 CovertFull Review
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 CorlissFull Review
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 MorgensternFull Review
The movie suffers from the sort of self-pitying fog that can envelop a writer when he dives into his own malaise.
-J. R. JonesFull Review
Patton Oswalt's dark duet with Charlize Theron is funny, touching and vital. But fair warning: The laughs in Young Adult leave bruises.
-Peter TraversFull Review
"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 NeumaierFull Review
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. ScottFull Review
Theron nails the specifics of her character, all the distress signals, from the nervous hair-pulling to the relentless default sarcasm.
-Michael PhillipsFull Review
As I absorbed it, I realized what a fearless character study it is. That sometimes it's funny doesn't hurt.
-Roger EbertFull Review
Charlize Theron delivers one of the most impressive performances of the year.
-Richard RoeperFull Review
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 ReedFull Review