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Critic Reviews

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

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