The Kings of Summer (2013)

Comedy, Drama
Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman
Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land.
Thanks to charming performances and endearingly off-kilter spirit, The Kings of Summer proves to be a slight, sweet entry in the crowded coming-of-age genre.
  • CBS Films Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 23 Aug 2013 Released:
  • 24 Sep 2013 DVD Release:
  • $1.3M Box office:

Trailer:

If you loved Stand By Me… This is for you. Moises Arias steals the show!!!9/10
Three unhappy teenagers run away from the sophisticated city life and take refuge in nature, where they plan to build a makeshift home and live off the land, to finally be masters of their own destiny. Once you arrive at your destination, you make it reality, however, realize that the wild is much tougher as the imagined.

Biaggio (Moises Arias), the very rare embodiment of social awkwardness and complete and total lack of personal sophistication teenager, that invokes a combination of amazement, bewilderment, and pity simultaneously from the common viewer. It's a role that cannot be explained...only watched. He is quite possibly one of the best comedic performances I have ever seen a young performer give. It's a wonderfully bizarre role that fully encompasses both the awkwardness and the sincerity of a social misfit. The role is so over-the-top that it's amazing that Arias can make it look so natural and genuine. His acting was spot on and absolutely hilarious. Loved it!
A coming of age film for our generation8/10
"Why live when you can rule."

There have been several coming of age films that have been released over the years, but very few have actually stuck with me. The Kings of Summer is one of those few movies that appealed to me and had me emotionally involved with the characters. First time director Jordan Vogt- Roberts takes us through a range of emotions from nostalgic and heart breaking moments to laugh out loud buddy moments. It lives up to the standard of other great coming of age tales like Stand By Me. There is something about a group of young teens exploring the woods and their transition to adulthood that simply appeals to me. The scenery was also breathtaking and I absolutely fell in love with those woods. I could see what was so appealing for these kids and their need to feel independent. It does have that sort of familiar indie vibe to it, but thanks to some great performances the movie stands out above most of them. Moises Arias had me laughing throughout the entire movie playing this quirky character that reminded me a lot of Fogell in Superbad. His comedic timing was perfect and he had the funniest lines in the film. The screenplay by first timer Chris Galletta was also really well developed. I will be looking forward to his next work because his script made it easy to go through such different ranges of emotions. This film felt like a simple sweet feel good movie and it is one that I would recommend to my friends especially if they love the woods.

Joe (Nick Robinson) has just finished his freshman year in High School and isn't looking forward to spending his Summer with his widowed father Frank (Neil Offerman) who makes his life miserable just because he's miserable. His best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) doesn't enjoy living with his parents any better. His parents (played by Marc Evan Jackson and Megan Mullally) are over protective and seem to want to manage every single detail of his life. Not wanting to spend their entire summers abiding by their parents rules the two kids decide to run away and build their own home in the nearby woods and survive in the wild by hunting and gathering food. This way they can be free to do what they want and make their own rules. Joe and Patrick also bring along a strange friend named Biaggio (Moises Arias). The three seem to be having the time of their lives without anyone telling them what to do and having guests over whenever they want to until a girl named Kelly (Erin Moriarty) gets in the way of their friendship and disrupts the balance of their kingdom.

The Kings of Summer works thanks to some great performances from the trio of friends who bring a sense of nostalgia to the viewers' senses simply by playing and running around in the woods with swords and sticks. Those unscripted moments in which the kids simply goof around with one another are the best. Arias is really hilarious and he seems to steal every scene here. Robinson also gives a strange performance in the lead role. The film is easy going with likable characters and some wonderful cinematography. It is just great to look at and it completely surprised me at times with some of the turns the story took. It wasn't one of those predictable coming of age films and I really had a fun time. I wouldn't be surprised if The Kings of Summer ends up in many peoples' top 10 list at the end of the year because it is a crowd pleaser.
A fantastic coming of age comedy8/10
Debut feature director Jordan Vogt-Roberts' Kings of Summer (nee Toy's House) is a coming of age story of 2 best friends who decide to build a house in the woods to escape their families and their enigmatic friend Biaggio who accompanies them.

The three kids give great performances and all seem so natural in their characters; Moises Arias is exceptionally funny as the oddball Biaggio. I caught the third ever showing at Sundance London followed by a director's Q&A and he remarked that many moments are just the kid's messing around and sometimes unaware they are being filmed. The montage scene of the kids playing in the woods and banging on the pipe that opens the film was filmed all in one day with just the kids, the D.P and director and is so naturally the sort of nonsense a group of teenagers would get up to.

An amazing supporting cast including the always wonderful Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Megan Mullally and Mary Lynn Rajskub perfectly deliver the material; it's an impressive cast for such a small film.

Debut writer Chris Galletta delivered a cracking script that delivers on the laughs and also has some strong emotional moments as the boys inevitably fallout over a girl and we see the kid's fractious relationship with their parents.

A great mix of classic coming of age tales such as Stand By Me and the indie comedies of recent times that hits the comedic and dramatic notes without ever being saccharine, annoyingly quirky or overly morbid as so many indie comedies fall into.

I highly recommend the film; it will transport you back to your terrible but wonderful teenage years and is genuinely hilarious, I can't imagine a single person not loving this film.

Rating- 8/10
A comedy, with all the right mixes of emotion.8/10
Toy's House was an interesting film following what most teenage kids wish...A kid who finally breaks free from his parents control. Joe Toy and his friend Patrick get fed up with their parents and decide to build a house in the woods to live in.

I really enjoyed this movie. It seemed to have the right mix of comedy and drama to keep you engaged the whole movie. Watching a couple of teenage boys try and survive in the woods was a lot of fun, and Nick Offerman as Joe's dad was a lot of fun as well. The biggest thing to note, is that while this is billed as a comedy, it was definitely more than that. The emotional aspect of this movie was everything you come to expect from a movie that has to sale itself with a great story, like most films at Sundance, which made it all that more fun.
It starts off slowly but is worth your time.7/10
"The Kings of Summer" is a film you need to accept on its own terms. It's not a Hollywood production, it has a relatively low budget and it has a few plot problems. Sure, the characters might not be 100% believable or even really that likable--but, if you sit back and watch it with modest expectations, you'll find the good easily outweighs the bad.

The film is about two disaffected teens. Both hate it at home and they want to get out...but how? When one comes up with an insane plan to move into the woods and build their own shack, the other, reluctantly comes along for the plan. There is a third--and that kid, Biaggio, is a real cipher. He's bizarre and in the film mostly for comic relief--though I found myself liking him the best of the three. But when he disappears, no one seems to notice...he's that sort of a kid. But the two main characters are initially happy and their running away seems to be working out well...at least for a time.

Overall, this is a film that folks who only enjoy traditional movies will probably NOT like very much. As for me, I have a higher than normal tolerance for the unusual and found a lot of nice performances and moments in the film. Worth seeing and clever.