The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt (2013)

15 Certificate


Our Score
Handing early starring roles to both Miles Teller (Whiplash) and Shailene Woodley (Divergent), this heady, dark relationship drama scored great reviews in its American homeland but was denied a cinema release in Britain. What audiences missed was one of the best young adult films in years, with Teller as the hard-partying Mr Personality of high school and Woodley, the wallflower he suddenly takes an interest in. What she doesn't know (but we do) is that he's chiefly interested in her as a way of making his ex (Captain Marvel's Brie Larson) jealous. John Hughes's angsty 1980s movies are clearly a reference, though the plot is a twist on A Star Is Born - he's a teenage alcoholic on the skids, and she's a bright button who will surely realise she deserves better. One descent into an ill-advised backstory is the only real mark against it but even this is more than redeemed by performances from Teller and the even better Woodley, so fresh they feel improvised. A spectacular wow.


A teenage loner wakes up one morning to find a classmate passed out drunk on her lawn. They form an unlikely friendship, and he offers her help in constructing a new persona for herself that will boost her confidence - but begins to fall in love with the act she is putting on. Drama based on the novel by Tim Tharp, starring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson.

Cast & Crew

Sutter Keely Miles Teller
Aimee Finecky Shailene Woodley
Cassidy Brie Larson
Ricky Masam Holden
Marcus Dayo Okeniyi
Tommy Kyle Chandler
Sara Jennifer Jason Leigh
Tara Nicci Faires
Director James Ponsoldt
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourGuidance: Swearing, sex scenes.