Winner: Coming Of Age Stories
As a touchstone of every adolescence, summer is the perfect time for coming of age stories. And this summer was studded with spectacular ones from a bevy of fantastic up-and-coming filmmakers. June saw the release of first-time feature director Jordan Vogt-Roberts’s vibrant and brilliant The Kings of Summer, which earned buzz at its Sundance Film Festival debut that has led to a 76% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Then July brought the ballsy and bittersweet dramedy The Way, Way Back, the directorial debut of The Descendants’ Oscar winning-scribes Jim Rash and Nat Faxon. Another Sundance selection, this one also netted an impressive box office, pulling $18 million domestic.

August brought a third Sundance-selected coming-of-age stunner with James Ponsoldt’s The Spectacular Now. Despite its limited release, this charming teen romance has already made $1.9 million domestically, and boasts an incredible 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, largely thanks to the heartbreaking performances of its young leads, Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley. Then, just this past weekend saw the release of a coming-of-age tale that is proving one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year. Daniel Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12 centers on a young woman who finally confronts her own inner demons while helping a girl at a foster care facility through hers. Fronted by the extraordinary Brie Larson, this indie drama has earned a 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. Basically, this summer we were spoiled for choice in this genre.

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