The Spectacular Now | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 95 minutes · 2013

Comedy drama
Tim Tharp's lauded young-adult novel forms the basis for this nuanced and unsentimental coming-of-age film directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed), from a screenplay by partners Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer). Miles Teller stands out as a charming high school senior with little ambition but a large capacity for alcohol; he bobs along like driftwood on a whiskey sea until he befriends the class wallflower, who helps him with math. In return he tutors her in distilled spirits, and a romance gradually develops. Shailene Woodley is heartbreaking as the naive new girlfriend, and Kyle Chandler is indelible as the boy’s long-lost, wasted dad, the proverbial tree from which the apple falls.

See our full review: Coming-of-age grows up in <i>The Spectacular Now</i>

Coming-of-age grows up in The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt's exceptional teen movie is his most fully realized exploration yet. »

Director: James Ponsoldt
Producer: Michelle Krumm, Andrew Lauren, Shawn Levy, Tom McNulty, Scott Neustadter, Michael Weber and Marc Shmuger
Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Leigh, Mary Winstead, Kyle Chandler, Kaitlyn Dever, Bob Odenkirk, Andre Royo, Dayo Okeniyi, Gary Weeks, Masam Holden, Nicci Faires and Whitney Christopher

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