The King of Staten Island

The King of Staten Island

The King of Staten Island

Judd Apatow co-writes and produces this comedy drama starring Saturday Night Live's Pete Davidson (also co-writing) that draws from his life growing up in the NYC borough. Co-stars Marisa Tomei as Davidson's mother and features Bill Burr, Steve Buscemi and Maude Apatow among the cast.

2020Rating: MA15+, Strong coarse language137 minsUSA
ComedyDrama

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Flicks

Flicks, Amanda Jane Robinson

flicks

The film does well to capture the particular atmosphere of living somewhere that’s never going to be a destination. Staten Island, no postcode envy. It’s unfortunate, then, that so much of the film is eclipsed by heavy-handed, go-nowhere plotlines, detracting from Davidson’s quick wit and skillful charisma. It’s tonally confused, and the lengthy improv scenes don’t always merit their duration. There are heartwarming moments throughout, there’s no doubt. And I get it, the meandering plot mirrors Scott’s lack of direction. I just wish Apatow had trusted Davidson to steer us through rather than constantly pulling at unnecessary threads.

3.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

It all adds up to a film that is very easy to like, but maybe not one you will really love.

Total Film

Total Film

press

There are low-key laughs, but as a comedy it’s no gutbuster; there are a handful of nicely observed character moments, but none of the catharsis you’d expect from a drama reckoning with sacrifice and legacy.

2.0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Admittedly, the subject matter is marginally darker and more personal than the Apatow norm. But its references to depression, manic behavior, and suicidal ideation feel shallow in a film that largely follows a conventional comedy arc, albeit at snooze-button speed.

IGN

IGN

press

Apatow has always had a gift for casting. Tomei is expectedly charming and poignant as Scott's beleaguered mom. As Scott's more ambitious kid sister Claire, Maude Apatow, who has grown up onscreen through her father's films, is fantastically focused and fiery, challenging Davidson to rise to her level with every shared scene.

Variety

Variety

press

For its compelling first hour, “The King of Staten Island” is content to ramble along with Scott in a way that’s both authentic and pleasurable.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

There's no doubt that King is lumpy... But it's also frequently winning, and oddly sweet, too; a drastically unhurried dramedy with room to grow

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

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.

4.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Davidson, with his gangly limbs and cartoonishly ripe features, plays Scott with roguish charm and a fidgety vulnerability. Scott is obnoxious, but he's redeemed by his transparency — a willingness to wear his wounds close to the surface, just beneath the veneer of jackassery.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

At 136 minutes, The King of Staten Island may strike some as needlessly drag-ass. But Apatow lets the movie breathe without losing its internal dynamism.

4.0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

“The King of Staten Island” might lack the lightning-in-a-bottle magic that made Apatow’s first movies such instant cultural touchstones, but this sweet film crystallizes the feeling of being too scared to escape your own shadow.

Flicks

Flicks, Amanda Jane Robinson

flicks

The film does well to capture the particular atmosphere of living somewhere that’s never going to be a destination. Staten Island, no postcode envy. It’s unfortunate, then, that so much of the film is eclipsed by heavy-handed, go-nowhere plotlines, detracting from Davidson’s quick wit and skillful charisma. It’s tonally confused, and the lengthy improv scenes don’t always merit their duration. There are heartwarming moments throughout, there’s no doubt. And I get it, the meandering plot mirrors Scott’s lack of direction. I just wish Apatow had trusted Davidson to steer us through rather than constantly pulling at unnecessary threads.

3.0
Stuff

Stuff

press

It all adds up to a film that is very easy to like, but maybe not one you will really love.

Total Film

Total Film

press

There are low-key laughs, but as a comedy it’s no gutbuster; there are a handful of nicely observed character moments, but none of the catharsis you’d expect from a drama reckoning with sacrifice and legacy.

2.0
A.V. Club

A.V. Club

press

Admittedly, the subject matter is marginally darker and more personal than the Apatow norm. But its references to depression, manic behavior, and suicidal ideation feel shallow in a film that largely follows a conventional comedy arc, albeit at snooze-button speed.

IGN

IGN

press

Apatow has always had a gift for casting. Tomei is expectedly charming and poignant as Scott's beleaguered mom. As Scott's more ambitious kid sister Claire, Maude Apatow, who has grown up onscreen through her father's films, is fantastically focused and fiery, challenging Davidson to rise to her level with every shared scene.

Variety

Variety

press

For its compelling first hour, “The King of Staten Island” is content to ramble along with Scott in a way that’s both authentic and pleasurable.

Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

press

There's no doubt that King is lumpy... But it's also frequently winning, and oddly sweet, too; a drastically unhurried dramedy with room to grow

The Guardian

The Guardian

press

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.

4.0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

Davidson, with his gangly limbs and cartoonishly ripe features, plays Scott with roguish charm and a fidgety vulnerability. Scott is obnoxious, but he's redeemed by his transparency — a willingness to wear his wounds close to the surface, just beneath the veneer of jackassery.

Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

press

At 136 minutes, The King of Staten Island may strike some as needlessly drag-ass. But Apatow lets the movie breathe without losing its internal dynamism.

4.0
IndieWire

IndieWire

press

“The King of Staten Island” might lack the lightning-in-a-bottle magic that made Apatow’s first movies such instant cultural touchstones, but this sweet film crystallizes the feeling of being too scared to escape your own shadow.