Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Unsatisfied with their home lives, teenagers Joe (Nick Robinson) and Patrick (Gabriel Basso) venture out into the local woods to build their own house. They're joined, for reasons never quite explained to either them or us, by the distinctly odd Biaggio (Moises Arias), and the boys spend their days hunting and enjoying their freedom, while the search for them continues at home. Treated rather shabbily on its UK cinema release, The Kings of Summer cries out to be discovered on the home market. At first glance it’s a very well constructed coming-of-age tale, but what separates it from many of its ilk is a surprisingly zany tone, which often sends it spinning off into surreal moments of comedy, and the results can be very funny indeed. The three young leads are great, but with all the adults played by comedians, it’s here that many of the biggest laughs are to be found, with Nick Offerman especially memorable as Joe’s uncompromisingly foul-mouthed father. But the comedy doesn’t come at the expense of the emotional investment, and these are characters we really come to care about over the course of what is a first rate indie drama.