Good Boys

Critics Consensus

Good Boys is undermined by an eagerness to repeatedly indulge in profane humor, but its appealing cast and ultimately thoughtful message often shine through.

79%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 213

86%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 11,863
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Movie Info

After being invited to his first kissing party, 12-year-old Max (Room's Jacob Tremblay) is panicking because he doesn't know how to kiss. Eager for some pointers, Max and his best friends Thor (Brady Noon, HBO's Boardwalk Empire) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams, Fox's The Last Man On Earth) decide to use Max's dad's drone -- which Max is forbidden to touch -- to spy (they think) on a teenage couple making out next door. But when things go ridiculously wrong, the drone is destroyed. Desperate to replace it before Max's dad (Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth) gets home, the boys skip school and set off on an odyssey of epically bad decisions involving some accidentally stolen drugs, frat-house paintball, and running from both the cops and terrifying teenage girls (Life of the Party's Molly Gordon and Ocean's Eight's Midori Francis).

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Critic Reviews for Good Boys

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (169) | Rotten (44)

Audience Reviews for Good Boys

  • Sep 03, 2019
    Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg seemingly recreate "Superbad" for tweens with Good Boys and it's pretty entertaining all throughout. There's no surprise the amount of outrageous humor, gags and innuendo instilled in this film but what's equally surprising is the amount of sentiment and heart the film produces all thanks to swell performances from its trio of adolescent stars. 4/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 24, 2019
    THE KIDS ARE ALL GREAT - My Review of GOOD BOYS (4 Stars) Sometimes a movie comes out and you can easily imagine the pitch which took place to get it greenlit. With Good Boys, I would guess Seth Rogen walked into the conference room at Universal, which, let's face it, is enough to get a movie made anyhow, and said five words, "Superbad Meets Stand By Me". The suits applauded wildly, told him they're in the "Seth Rogen business" and let him leave with a handshake deal and his free bottle of water. To fall prey to this conjecture, however, takes away from the pure pleasure of experiencing this surprisingly unique film. On paper, it sounds like every other teen comedy, except the leads are tweens, so to hear them swearing constantly gives it that extra kick. It's your typical "boys lose a drone to two teenaged girls, must purchase drugs for the girls in order to get drone back, and do so in time for the big make-out party" kind of scenario. Nothing special about the plot, but director Gene Stupnitsky along with co-writer Lee Eisenberg (both writers on The Office) have given us a story about kids, who genuinely act like kids, finding their true voices. It would have been so easy to succumb to the obvious tropes inherent in the film's plot, but the filmmakers seem way more interested in capturing children way out of their league and not having the answers to everything. It proves incredibly refreshing, especially for a big studio comedy. Anybody can adhere to a strict template, but the filmmakers color outside those lines enough to deflect comparisons to any of its predecessors. At the outset, we meet the "Bean Bag Boys", three best friends who like to ride their bikes around, play video games, and, yes, hang out on their bean bags. They talk a big game about sex, drugs and alcohol, but their youth spills out in a series of malapropisms and squeamish reactions. Their ostensible leader, Max, played by the very talented Jacob Tremblay (Room and Wonder), has a huge crush on a girl named Brixlee, and borrows his father's drone to capture footage of older kids making out so that he can learn to do the same at the big party. His pal Lucas (Keith L. Williams) has a moral compass which comprises of blurting out the truth at all costs. The third kid, Thor (Brady Noon) likes to brag about drinking beer and having had lots of sex, but at heart we know him to be a musical theatre prodigy and much more naive to the ways of the world than how he presents himself. As such, we're treated to a lot of scenes in which their bravado bumps up against their obvious inexperience. In a word, it's "delicious". Whether they're buying drugs at a frat house or trying to cross a busy freeway, Stupnitsky stays focused on his characters. Yes, he has them scream and cry. Yes, he mines humor from anal beads and sex slings. Yes, he pings on so many teen comedy moments we've grown to love, but he always reminds us that these are very young kids. They may swear - a lot - like literally every five seconds - but they also cry, need their parents, and move on from some hard moments faster than their teen counterparts. It's through this approach where we get scenes of genuine feeling and warmth. It may teeter towards mushiness, but Stupnitsky never forgets he's making a laugh out loud comedy too. With its shaggy plot, Good Boys feels like a hangout movie, but every scene seems to illustrate the challenge of acting older than you are, whether it's proving yourself in a beer sipping challenge or playing spin the bottle. These kids can't quite handle alcohol or even making eye contact with people they're attracted to, and these scenes prove to be gems because of such sly observations. Much credit goes to the cast, with our three leads finding so much heart in their foul-mouthed characters. Noon, who sings beautifully, feels like a character who's coded as gay, but it's never explored outright. I half-expected a "10 Years Later" card to pop up at the end, showing us his new queer life, but, again, Stupnitsky stays true to the ages of his characters, refusing to let them seem more evolved than expected. Regardless, Noon wonderfully plays Thor as a cross between the Artful Dodger and a pre-teen version of Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind! Williams has such a wild, nerdy energy but finds real emotions in his scenes with his divorcing parents, played perfectly by Retta and Lil Rel Howery. Finally, Tremblay could have easily coasted as the ostensible romantic lead, but he displays a real gift for comedy with his wide-mouthed reactions and steady stream of "F*cks"! Put all three kids together and you have a completely believable trio of best friends. They'll outgrow each other for sure, maybe move on, but will undoubtedly grow into fantastic adults as a result of this friendship. Forget the original pitch. Good Boys seems destined to join the list of teen classic comedies as that movie that made you simultaneously do spit takes while saying, "Awwwwww".
    Glenn G Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2019
    Nowadays, good mainstream comedies are very hard to come by. It seems like fewer and fewer are released each year. Since the year 2000, I would argue that the last recent comedy that will go down as a classic was 2009s The Hangover. Yes, we have received great comedies like Bridesmaids, 21 Jump Street, and even Horrible Bosses to name a few, but none of those truly feel like they will be talked about by a wide audience in about 20 to 30 years. While Good Boys isn't worthy of that discussion either, I would absolutely say that it comes the closest out of any film that has come out this year.  Trying to make it to a party, Good Boys follows three young boys as they raunchily go about their day, discovering new things, cursing like crazy, being wrapped up in a stolen drug plot, and being chased by older girls. These kids find themselves in one ridiculous scenario after another, which makes for a very entertaining time at the movies. You don't go to movies like this hoping that it will be dramatically resonant with the audience, but it's always nice to see a comedy take the time to add that extra layer, and Good Boys definitely does that.  Jacob Tremblay has the most screentime here and he is fantastic as always. Since his appearance in the film Room, I have and will always continue to follow his career. He is a ridiculously talented young actor. Setting him aside for a minute, I would like to shed light on Keith L. Williams and Brady Noon who play his best friends, or how they refer to themselves, "The Bean Bag Boys." They have done work in television and film, but nothing that I ever recall seeing. With that said, there are multiple occasions where they steal the show and prove they're worthy of long-running careers in comedy as well, at least for now. Now to comment/criticize the main type of comedy this film always goes for, which is the constant profanity, sex jokes, and adult-oriented humour. Good Boys is the type of film that feels like it's trying to capture the exact same vibe as Superbad, but replacing actual young adults with little kids. Personally, I found this aspect to be very effective, but the screenplay definitely took liberties in the fact that they have so much knowledge about certain things. I can see many viewers being turned off by the actions these characters take throughout the movie, but it worked for me, and let's be honest, it's just a movie.  In the end, I thought Good Boys was hilarious from start to finish. It takes the time to slow down for a few dramatic moments, but they almost feel forced at times, due to the fact that the movie is usually going for comedy 100% of the time until the third act. I think the fact that this movie tries to be like so many other teen comedies actually hurts it in the long run, since they're little kids, but when I was watching it, I really wasn't thinking about that. Good Boys is a really solid comedy that had me laughing throughout, but it's not without its issues. If you're simply looking for a good laugh, definitely check it out.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2019
    The summer of 2019 has been a barren wasteland for comedies. That's not to say there haven't been funny movies released, but this summer has been a disappointment for any real success stories in the ha-ha department. Good Boys is the last best chance the summer has for a breakout comedy. It's produced by Seth Rogen, it's written and directed by writers from The Office, and the concept of a ribald sex comedy from the point of view of adolescents who don't know anything about sex is a promising start. I might need to revise that last sentence.  Sixth grade is a whole different world, at least according to the pint-sized stars of the movie, affectionately nick-named "The Beanbag Boys." Max (Jacob Tremblay) is eager to tell his crush Brixlee how he feels and is given an epic opportunity when he's invited by the "cool kids" to their party. Oh, and it's a kissing party. Max is afraid of ruining his chances by being a bad kisser and generally giving away his inexperience. His two good friends are here to help but also dealing with their own problems. Lucas' (Keith L. Williams) parents are getting divorced and he's trying to put on a brave face about his fear of change. Thor (Brady Noon) is debating between embracing his passion for singing and theater or abandoning it to avoid being bullied. The three friends venture out on a wild day of adventures to make sure Max gets the girl.  Before viewing, I was worried that Good Boys was going to basically be one joke on repeat, namely the kids saying something inappropriate and that being the joke. To the film's credit, the dialogue exchanges and comic set pieces are not built around lazy shock value. There are some easy jokes to be had for sure, especially the kids misunderstanding sex toys as weapons and regular toys, but the movie doesn't rest on these as its only source of funny. The kids curse freely but I found their salty language more endearing than shock value, and that's how the film treats it as well. The joke isn't that you wouldn't expect children to speak this way, it's more on their general naivete and urgency to be seen as their vision of what it means to be an adult. Much of the comedy comes from the kids looking to rush ahead without the personal wherewithal and maturity to understand what it means to exactly be a grownup.   Because of this storytelling approach, Good Boys can feel like a high school comedy transplanted into a middle school setting. The kids are stressed about a big party with their reputations and chance at popularity on the line. They can finally make their move and score big with their crush. It's amusing to watch and recognize certain high school movies archetypes retrofitted into 12-year-olds filling the roles. However, there's also a predicated distance with this approach. It's a view of childhood not quite ready for the adult world but it's also told through the ironic lens of adulthood, where the audience can smile knowingly. It works in so much as a framing of the characters in a "oh, boys, if you only knew" manner that delivers more smiles and chuckles than it does side-splitting laughter. It's a funny movie, sure, but it's not hysterical.  The best part of the movie for me was the fun camaraderie between the three boys. They feel very naturally like awkward friends ready to be embarrassed from one another at any moment but then call for their help the next. We have the Superbad dynamic of the timid nerdy kid, the awkward lovesick kid, and the outspoken loudmouth. Obviously given their ages, some of these characteristics are toned down (the boys are more horrified by sex and porn than aroused) but the types are still identifiable. The kids feel and act like kids and each of them works within their character lane and stays true to that. Their frantic worry and problem-solving was a consistent source of entertainment. I was surprised how far the film adds for a resolution, bringing in a bittersweet post-script that feels like it might have been pulled from a more grounded version (fear not, it still ends on a sex joke). You do get a strong sense of what this friendship means to the kids, even as they confront the question of whether or not their friendship is built to growing apart. By the end of the movie, I felt enough attachment to the three kids and happy that they were finding their way even if that meant the prospect of change.  Structurally, Good Boys is too episodic and missing a clearer sense of direction. It can feel listless at times, drifting from one comic set piece that emerges to the next. Initially the driving force is learning how to kiss properly for the kissing party, but they quickly abandon the resource of the Internet absurdly early. The majority of the movie tracks the boys trying to get back a captured drone from two older teen girls they had been spying on. It can feel like the movie is stalling and doesn't know what to do with its time. Sometimes it's less noticeable when it finds an off ramp into something funny. The movie never gets too crazy save for a trip to a frat house that goes into stylized violence. Other times it feels like the story and scenarios were thrown together without the needed connective tissue to better justify why things are happening. It's like the movie is shrugging about establishing cause-effect and doesn't care about hiding it. Good Boys is a cute summer comedy with a sweet heart and an attempt at a dirty mind. It's not built for more than a relatively fun 90-minute trifle; perfectly enjoyable as a single serving but not anything you'll feel the need to come back to. It can feel a little too laid back in its plot, tone, and comedy scenarios. It's not enough to ruin the relative good times but it keeps Good Boys as only a minor success. Nate's Grade: B-
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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