The Kings of Summer (2013) Review

Coming of age films are relatively rare but they’re as good as they are rare. Something about weird kids running away to build a house in a forest screams funny quirky indie film, that’s exactly what this is and it doesn’t disappoint. The Kings of Summer is a great and quirky coming-of-age indie movie full of charm and strong performances. Nick Robinson and Nick Offerman play a great father and son duo and hit big laughs and deep feels multiple times. The film is very funny but also has real drama to its story and the actors involved will surprise you in their talent. Equal parts comedy and drama it’s a really good ride, I hope you all get a chance to see it. I’ll go into much more detail below but for now bookmark this if you are waiting to see the film, leave any comments below, if you have seen the film then check out the spoiler sections and I will look forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts.

“Yes, I experienced a childhood on the planet Earth. I’ve heard the story of the boy who cried wolf.”



Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends – Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) – who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family – whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create – is something you can’t run away from.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended

Story: 90%     Acting: 95%     Characters: 90%     Dialogue: 95%

Comedy/Adventure/Drama: 90%     Style/Sound: 85%     Visuals: 85%

Total: 90%


The story is about three guys trying to go it on their own because they can no longer take their parents anymore, that is quite simple but what separates this is how the parents drive them too it. I mean what teenager hasn’t at some point considered how irritating their parents can be and wanted to escape, it’s a staple of being a teenager. Patrick doesn’t have anything seriously wrong with his family life, just overbearing mum and dad who just get on his nerves. Joe has a more understandably and sad reason, after his mum died his father wasn’t really his favourite and the relationship just soured over the time of her passing. Biaggio is a complete mystery, seems to be from an immigrant family and has a father who shaves and gives very stoic advice, that’s all you know and he is bonkers.


The cast is mostly made of comedians with the likes of Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Megn Mullally and Mary Lynn Rajskub, however the mix is still 50/50 when it comes to the drama and the comedy. My favourite character is frank played by Offerman, he delivers some really funny lines in this and his normal deadpan performance works so well as a fed up single father. Highlights of this performance would have to be the delivery guy and the police turning up at his door, I tried of laughter at some of his lines. Joe and Patrick are best friends and as the story progresses it is very much strained, there is an outburst scene that is really well done and demonstrates some real acting talent from these youngster (what am I 50?). However my favourite moment of drama or at least something I would say was very touching was the conversation between Joe and Frank in the hospital, a lot is revealed and was a very touching father son moment.



The best reviews I found would be these:

“There is little wrong with the film, at least in a major way. Maybe it’s too short. Maybe Robinson’s beard looks weird. But there’s a lot of high-quality content going on-screen; from the witty humour (among many other things) to the set design. The house built out of stolen goods and material from the woods is the stuff of a fifteen year-old boy’s imagination. Many young teens think about making an awesome house like that, but these boys actually do it. No rent; no rules. Count me in.” Daniel’s Film Reviews. Full Review

“I can’t recommend this enough, folks. I hope you get a chance to see this one the big screen or at the very least give it a rent. It’d likely end up in my top 10 of 2013. It’d make an excellent diversion to the big blockbuster Summer movies hitting theaters in the next few months. Great script, performances, scenery and soundtrack — it’s got all the ingredients to make an entertaining film. But mostly, watch it for the funny and engaging story of friendship and family. ” Flix Chatter. Full Review

“The fact of the matter is that The Kings of Summer is a story that I can relate to, even though I’m a girl and I never ran away from home, and that is certainly something that makes this movie special.” Mettel Ray. Full Review



My favourite scene would have to be either the wonton guy argument or the ridiculously aggressive passive aggressive argument Frank has with the police officer about ‘the boy who cried wolf’. Offerman works best against characters who are absolute fools.


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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

32 responses to “The Kings of Summer (2013) Review”

  1. movierob says :

    great review Tim. I can’t say I liked this as much as you did, but it was an enjoyable and interesting movie with a great message.

    Keep em coming


  2. Zoë says :

    Dammit I must get off my lazy ass and watch this. As always, an EXCELLENT review!


  3. sidekickreviews says :

    I like the deadpan line from the trailer “it’s a classic kidnapping, they took our children and the can goods and pasta” Great review, I’ll be checking out this movie soon!


  4. angie chui says :

    I just saw this on video and it was awesome. 😀 Great review


  5. daviruz says :

    Off to go look for it then. Nice review there Tim.


  6. Three Rows Back says :

    Great read Tim. Sterling job. Like many others, I need to catch this soon.


  7. Victor De Leon says :

    Need to see this, Tim! Nice review, my man.


  8. Glittering-Diamonds says :

    I have never heard of this film before but I want to see it now 🙂 good review.


  9. ruth says :

    Wahoo! Glad to hear you love this one Tim. Thanks again for the link. This movie is on my Top 20 but it was on my Top 10 in the first half of 2013. Nick Offerman is such a hoot, that wonton scene is absolutely hysterical!


  10. CMrok93 says :

    Nice review Tim. Not my favorite coming-of-ager from last year, but still a sweet, simple and rather entertaining look at growing-up, being your own person and accepting the fact that you may need some help along the way.


  11. jjames36 says :

    Good review. Definitely a lot to like here.


  12. Mark Walker says :

    Fine work here Tim. I’m hoping to catch this soon. Sounds like something I’ll really enjoy.


  13. mikeyb @ screenkicker says :

    I keep hearing so many great things about this that i really want to see it now. I’m averse to overly quirky movies but this one seems to work. Great review Tim


  14. thomasjford says :

    Nice review Tim, I gave the film 9/10 I think, it was one of my favourites of 2013. I’m a sucker for a coming of age movie!


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