Coming of Age

[6.0] Three sixth-grade boys (Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon) embark on a serendipitous adventure, encountering plenty of sex and drugs on their way to a classmate’s party. Good Boys banks on our desire to see cute kids doing naughty things, which is a safe bet for sporadic gags, but Good Boys‘ gutter-wallowing becomes a little fatiguing after a while. The talented young …

[6.5] Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez star in this teen drama about a rich but troubled white girl and a poor but hard-studying Latino boy who fall in love. Before long, her party attitude begins to clash with his determination to succeed, especially after secrets are revealed about Dunst’s past. When her congressman father (Bruce Davison) encourages Hernandez not to see her anymore, Hernandez must …

[7.0] Seven religious children bury their dead mother in the rose garden and tell no one of her demise for fear they’ll be separated and put in orphanages. Relying on seances with their mother to guide them through difficult decisions, the children are able to survive on their own for a while. But when their estranged father (Dirk Bogarde) arrives, destroys their mother’s makeshift tabernacle …

[7.5] Gabe Jarret stars as a 15-year-old science prodigy who is accepted into a tech college where he’s immediately placed on a cutting-edge laser project with other college-aged brainiacs. Val Kilmer plays his roommate, a goofy prankster whose irreverent attitude belies his academic reputation. Kilmer encourages Jarret to come out of his shell and have fun once in a while. Some of that fun comes …

[7.0] Two academically high-achieving young ladies decide to party hard the night before high school graduation to make up for all the nights they spent studying and doing their homework. Booksmart is about the friendship between these two women and their determination to step out of their shells and connect with their classmates, including romantically. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are very well cast in …

[7.0] Thirteen-year-old Dean Stockwell (Kim, The Dunwich Horror) stars in this turn-of-the-century coming-of-age flick about a mischievous boy who mellows after years of preparatory school. Stockwell plays “Dink” Stover, who in the first act of the film is responsible for painting a horse green and blowing up a classroom before his family send him to a strict all-boys school where he quickly makes enemies of …

[5.5] Gary Grimes and Jerry Houser reprise their roles from the emotionally charged Summer of ’42 in this lackluster, somewhat pointless follow-up. Whereas Summer of ’42 was very much about a young man’s sexual awakening with an older woman, Class of ’44 is more of a slice-of-life movie with no overarching narrative goal. It sees Grimes and Houser’s characters off to college while their friend …

[7.0] Ben Silverstone and Brad Gorton star as closeted gay teens at a British high school. One is a journalism nerd and the other is a star athlete. They discover each other though an anonymous encounter in a public restroom and develop a secret romance. But while Silverstone’s character becomes more confident in his identity and comes out in a scandalous school paper article, Gorton’s …

[7.5] Nineteen year-old Tom Cruise made his star-making turn alongside Rebecca DeMornay in writer/director Paul Brickman’s directorial debut, Risky Business. Cruise plays a college-bound teen who’s forced to turn his parents’ upper class home into a brothel for one illustrious night in order to pay for accidentally destroying his father’s Porsche. DeMornay plays a call girl who proposes the whole endeavor. Along the way, they …

[7.0] Mickey Rooney headlines this slice-of-life picture about a New York town maintaining the home front during WWII. Rooney plays a highschooler working as a telegram delivery boy to help provide for his family while his older brother is in service. James Craig (The Devil and Daniel Webster) plays Rooney’s employer, who is also a surrogate father to Rooney’s character. (Rooney’s deceased father actually narrates …

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