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Adult World Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Frank Scheck

    The film’s true MVP is Cusack, delivering a wittily subtle and acerbic turn that well displays his gift for deadpan comedy. He elevates the material whenever he’s onscreen, providing hints as to the more interestingly subversive film Adult World might have been.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Variety Ronnie Scheib

    The improvisational zeal with which Cusack approaches his role (absent from his miscast villainous turn in “The Paperboy”) is particularly fun to watch.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Bruce Ingram

    Adult World does have some smart, funny and wincingly painful things to say about the desire to make art vs. the desire to be famous for it.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Adult World captures beautifully, and with a great deal of self-deprecating humor, what it's like to feel trapped in a place you think is too small to hold you.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

So-so coming-of-age film set in porn rental store.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while Adult World is indeed set in an adult DVD store, there's not much actual sex in the movie. Yes, there are a few bawdy discussions about the various types of videos available at the shop and plenty of sex toys visible in the background, but the film focuses on a (fairly) recent college grad with no means to support herself (besides her parents) who needs a job until her dream of becoming a paid, published, famous poet comes true. There are a few scenes that show people getting pretty drunk or smoking pot, and occasional swearing (mostly "s--t" with one well-timed "f--k").

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about dreams. What point is the film trying to make about life goals? Does this movie treat young adulthood realistically?
  • Why is this movie set in an adult DVD shop? Would the movie have been very different if it were set in a library or a tool shop?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: It's important to follow your dreams, but as Amy learns, the real world can be tough on dreams. Despite some very discouraging setbacks, she finds a way to temper her initial expectations while still seeking fame as a young poet.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Amy is young and naive, and at the start of the film it's hard to take her seriously. During the course of the film, she learns some important lessons about the real world, with the help of a jaded, older poet who isn't especially nice to her, but is honest and tries to steer her in the right direction.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Some bickering between friends, and in one heated argument, a girl throws books and other objects across the room and then destroys a guitar. A girl watches her car get stolen and is later unable to stop someone from shoplifting from her store. She also tries to put her head in an oven and a bag over a her head in an attempt to channel a suicidal, edgier poet.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Surprisingly tame for a film set in an adult video store. A girl is shown in her bra while kissing a boy, and later a couple is shown kissing and then later seen in relaxing in bed after sex. The scenes at the store show numerous sex toys in the background, and there's some discussion about the various genres of DVD that are sold. A drunk girl propositions a guy, who turns her down.

  • language false2

    Language: Some occasional swearing, including numerous variations of "s--t," "ass," "bitch" and one well-timed "f--k."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: One scene includes people drinking Jack Daniels whiskey.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some characters smoke cigarettes, and later indulge in "medical marijuana" in a non-clinical setting. A young woman gets very drunk, chugging whiskey straight from the bottle.