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Young Adult Review Critics


Dave White Profile

A bigger chill. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

For once, I'm glad I'm not Charlize Theron. Read full 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.

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While on sardonic turf, it's scathingly funny. Then it veers from biting wit to pitiful. At one juncture, the story threatens to spin off into "Fatal Attraction" territory.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Their scenes together are the film's best, with Theron and Oswalt, who have very different tempi and temperatures as performers, parrying and thrusting with great expertise.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A cockeyed comic triumph that flashes between bright and dark like a strobe light of the spirit. And Ms. Theron, as Mavis Gary, a self-styled author rather than a mere writer, succeeds sensationally at something much harder than playing ravaged.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Young Adult bumps along with nasty swerves, middle finger proudly in the air, toward an ending blessedly free of anything warm, fuzzy, or optimistic. Now that's adult entertainment.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Young Adult reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Scathingly funny "mean girl" story has lots of drinking.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this black comedy from the writer of Juno has mature themes about self identity, what it means to be an adult, and how some people never grow out of their high school stereotypes. There's also a lot of drinking; the main character, Mavis (Charlize Theron), is often drunk and even crashes her car after getting wasted. What's more, she's unapologetically mean, rude, judgmental, and self absorbed. Strong language is frequent ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," and "bitch" are used in nearly every exchange), and the product placements continuous. Mavis has a couple of one-night stands and kisses a married man; some scenes show her barely dressed.

  • Families can talk about how Young Adult portrays the ultimate "Mean Girl" character. Is Mavis likable? Do movie characters need to be appealing? Teens: Do you know anyone at your school who acts like Mavis?
  • What are Mavis' redeeming qualities? Does she learn any real life lessons? How does she "grow" in the movie?
  • How does high school status affect the characters in the movie? Did any of them outgrow their high school roles?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: While the characters' behavior is often far from admirable, there's a message about being truly happy with the life you have -- not the one you wished you had.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Mavis is almost entirely unsympathetic and says and does things that no one would consider role model behavior; she's unapologetically mean, rude, judgmental, and self absorbed, Matt tries to be the voice of reason, but Mavis won't listen to him. The only positive role models in are Buddy and his wife Beth, who are in a loving relationship and don't turn Mavis away even when she acts so unhinged around them.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Mavis crashes her Mini Cooper after drunk driving. Matt tells a horrifying story about how he was disfigured by bullies in high school.

  • sex false3

    Sex: There are a couple of kisses, and one love scene shows lots of Theron's skin -- she's wearing only panties and strapless bra cups. Mavis has a couple of one-night stands -- one after an awkward date and the other after an emotional confrontation.

  • language false4

    Language: Lots of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--hole," "d--k," "p--y," "hell," "oh my God" (as an exclamation), and the more.

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Prominently featured brands include Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Apple, Diet Coke, McDonald's, Hampton Inn, Mini Cooper, Volkswagen, Chipotle, Keeping up with the Kardashians, Jeep, General Mills, Wii, Dynex, Philosophy, Hello Kitty, and Playtex.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Mavis drinks and drinks and drinks. She's always on her way to getting drunk on beer, wine, or the homemade liquor that Matt distills himself. She also drinks and drives.