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The King of Staten Island

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United States, Japan · 2020
Rated R · 2h 16m
Director Judd Apatow
Starring Pete Davidson, Bel Powley, Bill Burr, Marisa Tomei
Genre Comedy, Drama

Scott is a 24-year-old, unemployed, high school dropout living with his mother and sister on Staten Island. He dreams of becoming a tattoo artist but struggles with the lingering effects the death of his father has had on him, along with other physical and mental ailments.

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What are critics saying?


IndieWire by David Ehrlich

The King of Staten Island may not be the most flavorful thing that Apatow has ever served up, and it could be high time for him to consider a new recipe, but this wry and tender five-course meal of a movie still makes you glad that he’s not afraid to be himself — even when he’s telling someone else’s story.


The A.V. Club by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

Apatow appears to have moved on from using airless domestic and urban comforts as backdrops, and that’s probably a good thing. But The King Of Staten Island’s patience-testing failings, however well-intentioned, suggest that for now, he’s only found a new way to lose the plot.


Los Angeles Times by Justin Chang

The King of Staten Island works hard to strike its own artful balance of humor and heartache, qualities that both seem permanently etched in Davidson’s face. Part of the movie’s inevitable fascination is the question of how much is made up and how much might be rooted in lived experience.


IGN by Kristy Puchko

The King of Staten Island lumbers from one thread to another, seemingly uncertain over what it's about.


ScreenCrush by Matt Singer

At 137 minutes, The King of Staten Island is a long movie, but not too long. I never got bored or wanted Apatow to wrap things up. If anything I wanted to spend more time with some of the supporting characters, particularly Bel Powley as Scott’s longtime friend (turned occasional hookup partner) Kelsey.


San Francisco Chronicle by Mick LaSalle

Davidson’s appeal is essential to the movie’s success. If you know him only from “Saturday Night Live,” you’ll be surprised by him here. On “SNL,” he can be zany and annoying. Here he has a very particular quality that seems to be coming from a place of past pain. He has equanimity. Without making a fuss about it, he’s attentive to other people’s feelings. He just seems like a decent, thoughtful young guy, someone that you’d like to see come into his own.


Screen Rant by Molly Freeman

Davidson is a triumph in The King of Staten Island, delivering plenty of fun R-rated humor in an emotionally compelling story about growing up.


The Guardian by Peter Bradshaw

The King of Staten Island is not structurally perfect. There is a rather contrived crisis the purpose of which is to bring Claire, Scott and Ray together at last, but there is charm and gentleness in this new stepfamily. Powley’s performance and the final shots of the Staten Island ferry brought back happy memories of Joan Cusack in Mike Nichols’s 80s classic, Working Girl. There are a lot of laughs here.


Movie Nation by Roger Moore

We’re some 100 minutes into the picture before the grating, gauche Davidson — and his character, Scott Carlin — achieves “Well, we should cut the kid a break” status. Apatow pictures always run long, but here the thin laughs make us reach “All RIGHT already” far too soon.


Slate by Sam Adams

It has a loping, lowkey charm and doesn’t require too much of your attention, and the plot is predictable enough that you could miss substantial chunks of it and not lose your way. You’re in the passenger seat, and it’s a nice ride as long as you don’t care where you’re going.

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