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Unmissable 5 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

Michael Cera
Steve Buscemi
Jean Smart
Ray Liotta
Justin Long
Zach Galifianakis
Portia Doubleday.
Miguel Arteta.
Gustin Nash
C.D. Payne.
Running Time
89 minutes

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Youth In Revolt
Michael Cera gets the vehicle he's always deserved.

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Languishing at a trailer park with his mom (Smart) and her deadbeat lover (Galifianakis), Sinatra-loving teen Nick Twisp (Cera) meets Francophile beauty Sheeni Saunders (Doubleday) and resolves to win her heart by developing a suave alter-ego, François Dillinger, who instigates an escalating series of unlawful events.

Youth In Revolt
Back in 2006, when Michael Cera was cast as Nick Twisp in Dimension Films’ adaptation of C. D. Payne’s epic 1993 coming-of-age novel, Youth In Revolt, it was, he said, a dream come true — the chance to portray a cult hero of US teen fiction who was “exactly like me! This kid with the cynical world-view of an old man!”

Although ultra-absurdist, over-literate and pathologically priapic, Payne’s 500- page picaresque was ideal adaptation material because no matter how ludicrous Twisp’s misadventures became, they were all in the service of a classic teen dilemma: how far should a nice guy go to win over someone who’s tired of nice guys? Who knew that in 2010, Twisp’s dilemma would perfectly mirror Cera’s own?

If his turns in Arrested Development and Superbad revealed a compellingly strange take on adolescent awkwardness, misguided one-note roles like Year One saw Cera cruelly marked FAIL in 2009. Thankfully, Youth In Revolt reconfirms what all the initial fuss was about. Acting opposite such indie-com stalwarts as Zach Galifianakis, Steve Buscemi (his teen-dating father), Fred Willard (the Twisps’ union-active landlord) and Justin Long (Sheeni’s stoner brother), Cera gives his most nuanced performance to date, casually slipping from trademark nervy cuteness into a rather delicious, new thin-lipped misanthropy.

Inspired by Sheeni’s love of all things French and cruel, Twisp’s “supplementary persona” is the film’s dark heart, a Tyler Durden sidekick who sports Wayfarers, tight, white slacks, button-down shirt and pencil moustache, and dispenses Gallic contempt in order to win the girl’s heart. In the hands of Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl), the scenes between Nick (Cera) and François (Cera) possess a surreal feel, in which we’re encouraged to see the funny side of a schizophrenic loon, engineering druggings, blackmail and arson in order to get the girl.

It may cram in too many of the book’s set-pieces, but ultimately this is Cera’s film and he gives his best performance so far.

It’s chaotic and episodic, but this is Cera’s star turn. Superbad meets Fight Club? That’ll do it.

Reviewed by Andrew Male

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Youth In Revolt
Empire Star Rating

RE: Youth in Revolt: Film Review

saw this a few weeks ago enjoyed it and found it entertaining, but did not think it was anything special, and certainly not as good as the Empire review / hype my girlfriend found it pretty boring, I find she is a useful barometer for my film reviews, as a film fan I tend to enjoy most films unless terrible, whereas she gives a more balanced viewpoint as a typical consumer (i.e. not a film nut) 3/5 from me ... More

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Posted by hampstead bandit at 20:51, 20 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Youth in Revolt: Film Review

I'm saying nothing ... More

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Posted by BOHEMIANBOB at 17:17, 20 September 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Youth in Revolt: Film Review

I must admit that the film is somewhat lacking. Cera's performance isn't really up to the challenge of carrying the film with very much a drab and one note presentation. There is no real change when he is scared from when he is angry, from when he is pretty much every other supposed emotion. Few of the characters have any redeeming features and it is difficult to emote with them or sympathise with the situation. The script. It is neither drama or comedy and sadly it is not a very s... More

Posted by sanchia at 12:03, 19 September 2010 | Report This Post

Youth in Revolt: Film Review

outh in Revolt: Film Review's the thing. If you dress a rhino in a clown suit, it's still a rhino. If you place a cowboy hat on a panda, it's still a panda. And whatever film Michael Cera stars in, he's still Michael Cera. Now don't get me wrong, I've been a fan of Cera up to now. His geeky persona has lent itself well to a litany of films. I got quite a kick out of Juno and Superbad, not to mention the fact that he was the best thing in the disappointing Year One. The problem is that... More

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Posted by Matthew Pattinson at 18:17, 08 August 2010 | Report This Post

I don't get how this got FOUR stars. it is definitely not Superbad meets Fight Club, the characters are all really annoying as is the script. It's not that I hate this kind of quirky, indie type film, I loved Juno and Superbad, but this is a crap attempt at that kind of film. Seen it all before and done much much better. Irritating film. ... More

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Posted by Katamarang at 12:26, 05 August 2010 | Report This Post

Youth In Revolt: Genius!

This is the kind of film I love watching, it was funny, it had a good story and it was an overall feel good film. One of Cera's best performances by far, although I would like to see him expand and try something completely different like a proper badass villain. Not a film that I can see sequels from, thank God, but still a great little indie film. ... More

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Posted by LUCASLITTLEWOOD at 19:26, 19 July 2010 | Report This Post

Whats Wrong With The People Below?!

This movie is great, you get exactly what you expect from everyone involved here. Michael Cera is again fantastic as the guy who cant get the girl...untill the end of the movie. Another apearence from Zach Gilifinakis (the hairy guy from The Hangover), one in which isnt exactly funny but great to seem again anyways. Go see this film, it doesnt dissapoint! ... More

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Posted by BenJones44212 at 21:00, 09 March 2010 | Report This Post

Should be #51 of your worst movies ever made....

This was/is one of the ABSOLUTE WORST movies I've seen in the theater in a long long time. How on Earth did the credible Empire magazine find it in their hearts to give this a hefty four star rating??? With the exception of the few scenes of Cera acting beyond his usual self with just a "couple" of decent lines this was boring, terrible storytelling, dialog was messy and unbelievable, even Ray Liotta seemed wasted here. Best bit: he flips over the cereal bowl at the breakfast ta... More

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Posted by Jokershideout at 06:31, 07 February 2010 | Report This Post

Only funny scenes were shown in trailer

Although there were glimpses of a 4 star comedy these were few and far between and the comedy stars who appear were non-existant . Although Cera was funnier than usual he was still predictable and boring. If you consider going to see this film watch the trailer because it shows the few funny scenes that there were without the pointless story. ... More

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Posted by LFCLavery at 23:29, 06 February 2010 | Report This Post

Another great Cera peformance

Funny, unusual, well acted film. Michael Cera is great as usual but this is not quite his normal role. Would recommend! ... More

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Posted by kristyw at 22:13, 06 February 2010 | Report This Post

Saw this yesterday and really enjoyed it, although I'm a big Michael Cera fan and it definitely helps. Great to see him playing a different type of character with the Francois Dillinger bits, and playing him very naturally as well. ... More

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Posted by robbycripwell86 at 19:31, 06 February 2010 | Report This Post

A hilarious film quirky and fun if a little wierd Michael Cera is very good this is better than Juno in my opinion. I expect great things from Michael Cera I cant wait to see what else he can do. ... More

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Posted by Bighousewill at 18:38, 06 February 2010 | Report This Post

RE: Youth In Revolt

I like Cera, a lot, but this film just doesn't cut I don't think. The problem with the teen flicks now is that they are all trying to be too much like du know, it's getting sort of old.   The story wasn't a half bad concept (haven't read the book so I'm not sure how much credit it actually gives it)... but I thought it felt like something was missing. Besides, the trailer makes it out to be a different story then it actually is, and that was annoying. Seen much better. ... More

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Posted by ravagee at 10:26, 05 February 2010 | Report This Post


Not bad at all, especially the 'Francois' bits. I am slightly partial however, as I would watch Cera in anything, even if he appeared in an episode of crimewatch. Roll on arrested development. ... More

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Posted by spamandham at 19:13, 04 February 2010 | Report This Post

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