Good Boys Review

Good Boys
When sixth-graders Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams) and Thor (Brady Noon) are invited to a ‘kissing party’ by the coolest kid in their class, their innocent attempts to learn more about the opposite sex ahead of the bash begin a misadventure that takes them way out of their depth.

by Ben Travis |
Updated on
Release Date:

16 Aug 2019

Original Title:

Good Boys

They grow up so fast, don’t they? One minute Jacob Tremblay was that adorable kid on the Oscar trail for Lenny Abrahamson’s Room – and now four years later in Good Boys he’s swearing up an absolute storm, being grossed out by porn, and kissing a sex doll he mistakenly thinks is used for CPR. If the idea of naive, inquisitive pre-teens dropping F-bombs and boastfully misusing sexual terminology raises a smile, there’s plenty to enjoy in this largely sweet, often funny Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-produced nice-kids-in-big-trouble comedy.

Good Boys

Here Tremblay is Max, leader of the Beanbag Boys — a trio of childhood friends who have just moved up to middle school. With puberty and personal growth on the horizon, the tight-knit union between Max, compulsive truth-teller Lucas (Williams) and loudmouth Thor (Noon) is on the verge of loosening slightly. Each has their own preoccupation — Max has his eye on girls, more specifically his crush Brixlee (Millie Davis), Lucas is in denial about his parents’ surprise separation, and Thor is desperate to shake off his wimpy image (he’s cruelly nicknamed ‘Sippy Cup’ for not wanting to drink a beer) while also wanting to embrace his love of musical theatre. The surprising level of character development is dialled into a shaggy-dog plot where the Beanbag Boys are forced to replace Max’s dad’s (Will Forte) expensive drone and prepare for their first ever ‘kissing party’ — leading them into the path of mean-girl party-drug-taking teen duo Hannah (a fresh-from-Booksmart Molly Gordon) and Lily (Midori Francis).

Good Boys undeniably plays out at times like Superbad: The Early Years.

If the combination of gross-out gags, sweet meditations on friendship, and odyssey of increasingly extreme hijinks sounds familiar, Good Boys undeniably plays out at times like Superbad: The Early Years — particularly the dynamic between the loud, brash Thor and skinny, gawky Max, closely modelled on Jonah Hill and Michael Cera’s 2007 double act. Good Boys at least twists that formula by shifting the age group down a few years — and some of its best moments come in focusing on a leading trio so young they haggle over bedtimes, are in awe of rival playground gang the ‘Scooter Squad’, and, in the film’s best running gag, are repeatedly flummoxed by child-proof packaging.

The jokes rarely stretch beyond the Beanbag Boys’ misconceptions around sexual language and grown-up situations (“Girls shove it up their butt to stop babies from coming out,” says Max when confronted with a tampon), and the shock value of seeing youngsters behaving badly. Still, the screenplay, from director Gene Stupnitsky and co-writer Lee Eisenberg, who have pedigree on The Office US, gets good mileage out of the conceit with regular witty lines and a well-handled set-piece involving a paintball massacre in a frat house. A final-act swerve into more melancholic, sentimental territory goes on a little long, but isn’t enough to dampen the fun. Treading the line between the crass and the cute with care, Stupnitsky ensures that despite all the chaos, the central trio remain good boys.

Its kids-say-the-funniest-things gags become one-note, but Good Boys has consistent laughs, winning performances, and a dollop of sweetness to boot.
Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us