100

New York Daily News

By Joe Neumaier
The focus in James Ponsoldt’s affecting, intelligent drama is a pair of teenagers, and in them is so much complexity and heart that this casually paced gem feels rich in scope. They’re two of the most carefully created figures on screen this year, and yet their normalness takes us by surprise.
Full Review
100

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
Original, truthful and moving.
Full Review
100

RogerEbert.com

By Roger Ebert
What an affecting film this is. It respects its characters and doesn't use them for its own shabby purposes. How deeply we care about them.
Full Review
100

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
A marvel of well-rounded characters, strong performances and disarming chemistry, this deeply felt film is like a loving elegy to the end of childhood. It's easily one of summer's best films.
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100

Chicago Sun-Times

By Richard Roeper
Here is the best American movie of the year so far.
Full Review
91

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
The Spectacular Now doesn't shrink from being an all-out teen movie (it has hookups and a senior prom). Yet it's one of the rare truly soulful and authentic teen movies. It's about the experience of being caught on the cusp and not knowing which way you'll land.
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90

Wall Street Journal

By Joe Morgenstern
A movie of uns — unforced, unhurried, unpretentious. Though it's sometimes underdramatized, this story of adolescents on the brink of adulthood is refreshingly, and endearingly, unlike the overheated features that have come to define the genre.
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90

Village Voice

By Alan Scherstuhl
Director James Ponsoldt gives us long, loose, single-shot courtship scenes, each a marvel of staging and performance.
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90

Variety

By Rob Nelson
Skillfully adapted from Tim Tharp's novel, evocatively lensed in the working-class neighborhoods of Athens, Ga., and tenderly acted by Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley, this bittersweet ode to the moment of childhood's end builds quietly to a pitch-perfect finale.
Full Review
88

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
The Spectacular Now's DNA contains elements of the John Hughes teen dramadies of the '80s. There's also a little Cameron Crowe - in fact, replace the soundtrack with something more dynamic and it might be easy to mistake this with a Crowe film.
Full Review
82 out of 100
Universal acclaim
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.