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REVIEW: 'Good Boys' is raunchy, hilarious movie for grownups
REVIEW

REVIEW: 'Good Boys' is raunchy, hilarious movie for grownups

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The kids in this raunchy coming-of-age movie really are “Good Boys.” But just because the movie is about sixth-graders doesn’t mean this is a family film.

It is “R”-rated for foul language and sexual situations. One of the funniest movies of the year is for grownups, who will remember this awkward, terrifying age regardless of how old they are now. It’s sort of a “Superbad Jr.”

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky and written by Stupnitsky (“Bad Teacher”) and Lee Eisenberg (“Year One”), at the beginning, you’ll see a school desk with writing on it, including “Thor=Sippy Cup,” a plot point later on.

Jacob Tremblay (“Room”) is Max, a 12-year-old whose body may be maturing but who has no idea how to manage the transition. His dad (Will Forte) walks in on Max one day and shares a hilariously frank talk with his son before he takes off on an out-of-town trip.

He warns Max not to use the drone, which is a work resource. Max agrees not to touch the expensive, cool device.

Max hangs out with his buddies who include Thor (Brady Noon), a kid with a gorgeous voice who longs to be involved in musical theater. He plans to audition for the school production of “Rock of Ages.”

His other pal is Lucas (Keith L. Williams), a good-hearted kid who screams when is tartled, which is pretty often. He doesn’t want to lie and enjoys playing by the rules.

The Bean Bag Boys, as the call themselves, want to avoid the school bullies and, someday, maybe even kiss a girl. When they are invited to a kissing party by the coolest kid in school, they realize they have a dilemma: Neither has kissed a girl before.

How are they are they going to learn the ways of romance quickly? They decide to use the drone to spy on an older neighbor girl and her boyfriend.

We know the drone incident will become a disaster. What we don’t know is exactly how much misfortune using it will bring to the trio.

Stephen Merchant has a cameo role as a guy who wants to buy a rare trading card from the boys but ends up scoring something far less appropriate. Lil Rel Howery (“Get Out”) and Retta (“To the Bone”) are terrific in cameos as Lucas’s parents.

The three leads are phenomenal. I love the way their characters recognize the changes that lie ahead for them, and the courage each displays at different times.

By turns coarse and sweet, it’s one of the funniest movies of the year.

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Film critic/reporter since 1985 at Quad-City Times. Society of Professional Journalists, Broadcast Film Critics Association and Alliance of Women Film Journalists member. Member of St. Mark Lutheran Church.

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