Online Film Critics Society

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Reviews: The Spectacular Now (2013)

spectacular_nowReviews for this film from our members:

  • [New – 1/20/14] | Rick Aragon @ Rick’s Cafe Texan
    • Excerpt: Simply the best film of 2013. The Spectacular Now is the type of film future generations will watch and relate to…
  • Edwin Arnaudin @ Ashvegas
    • Excerpt: Emotionally involving to an unexpected degree, Ponsoldt’s film makes viewers ache for this troubled soul on his compelling, roller-coaster quest to grow up.
  • Jason Bailey @ Flavorwire
    • Excerpt: The Spectacular Now, James Ponsoldt’s new teen drama (based on Tim Tharp’s novel), gets it exactly, positively right. I was in high school something like two decades ago, but there are scenes, moments, and dialogue in this film that ring so true that it all comes rushing back, a flood of memories and emotions and a little bit of pain.
  • David Bax @ Battleship Pretension
    • Excerpt: James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now is a really good movie sandwiched between the opening and closing sequences of a really bad movie.
  • Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat @
    • Excerpt: A wonderful immersive film into the emotional lives of two vulnerable teen-agers in love as they move forward in their tenuous relationship.
  • Laura Clifford @ Reeling Reviews
    • Excerpt: Everything about this film is special, director James Ponsoldt (“Smashed”) pitching the material so acutely that he’s able to bring us to the brink of tragedy and pull back into an ending full of open-hearted hope.
  • Tony Dayoub @ Cinema Viewfinder
    • Excerpt: …like a teen romance with an old soul.
  • Mark Dujsik @ Mark Reviews Movies
    • Excerpt: The Spectacular Now is a wonderful drama about damaged people and the cyclical nature of emotional injury.
  • Bill Graham @ Critics Associated
  • Susan Granger @
    • Excerpt: Strikes a compassionate, bittersweet note of unaffected authenticity
  • Mark Hobin @ Fast Film Reviews
    • Excerpt: Every so often a movie comes along that captures adolescence with such ease, you feel as though you’re watching real life. The Spectacular Now is such a movie.
  • Dustin Jansick @ Way Too Indie
    • Excerpt: Two terrific leads make familiar plot devices feel fresh again.
  • MaryAnn Johanson @
    • Excerpt: Stark and gritty, this may be the most down-to-earth teen romance ever, filled with touches of unpredictable, inescapable reality.
  • Jeremy Kibler @ The Artful Critic
    • Excerpt: Love Drunk: “Spectacular Now” a rare, lovely, honest treasure that actually understands teens
  • Benjamin Kramer @ The Voracious Filmgoer
  • Mike McGranaghan @ The Aisle Seat
  • Ryan McNeil @ The Matinee
    • Excerpt: One of the summer’s best films tells a story of young love, and the trouble with living for the present.
  • Mark Pfeiffer @ Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema
  • Jerry Roberts @ Armchair Cinema
    • Excerpt: What a wonderful movie this is. What a breath of fresh air after an onslaught of superficial teen movies about mad slashers and party animals. What a joy it is, for once, to experience a love story about two teenagers whose passion is driven by mutual attraction.
  • Stephen Saito @ The Moveable Fest
    • Excerpt: Combine the director of “Smashed,” the writers of “(500) Days of Summer” and one of the best acting ensembles imaginable and you get one of the year’s finest films.
  • Don Simpson @ Smells Like Screen Spirit
    • Excerpt: It is the incredibly powerful final act that really puts the “wow!” into The Spectacular Now. This is a story that could go a million different ways, but this film’s conclusion abides by the same surprisingly high level of realism that commands the rest of the film.
  • Cole Smithey @
    • Excerpt: “The Spectacular Now” is the work of inexperienced screenwriters. We know this because of their handling — or rather mishandling — of the film’s underlying theme of teen alcoholism.
  • Josh Spiegel @ Sound on Sight
    • Excerpt: So it’s somewhat gratifying to watch The Spectacular Now, which captures a troubled teenage life confidently and honestly through its portrayal of a romance on the edge of a nervous breakdown.
  • Thomas Spurlin @
  • Frank Swietek @ One Guys Opinion
    • Excerpt: This might not be a spectacular movie, but compared to the stuff Hollywood usually churns out about teenagers, it’s a breath of fresh air.
  • Kent Turner @ School Library Journal
Updated: July 10, 2015 — 10:55 am

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