Complete A-Z list

Good Boys


Stars: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Josh Caras, Millie Davis, Izaac Wang, Chance Hurstfield, Will Forte

Director: Gene Stupnitsky

There are enough four-letter words on offer to qualify this coarse but very funny, ultimately unexpectedly endearing and surprisingly likeable comedy as a Channel Four Christmas Day presentation after the 9pm watershed.

Happily, it's far funnier and far better than you might think, thanks to Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky's ingenious laugh-raising pre-teen riff on Superbad (appropriately that film's producer, cowriter/star Seth Rogen co-produces here), cowriter Stupnitsky's to-the-point debut direction and perfect comic performances by Tremblay, Noon and Williams.

It's a major problem for 12-year-old Tremblay when he is invited to his first kissing party since he doesn't know how to kiss. He and his pals Noon and Williams come up with what they believe will be the perfect solution to his problem: using Tremblay's father's - off-limits, of course - drone to spy on a teenage couple kissing next door.

Cue mounting comic chaos. The drone is destroyed and, determined to replace it, the boys play truant and, hilariously haunted by various wrong decisions, including accidentally stolen dugs and fleeing from scary teenage girls Gordon and Francis, they boldly - and badly - to try and sort things out...

Ironically, for a film whose expletive-dictated rating would exclude youngsters from seeing it in a cinema, Tremblay, Noon and Williams never put a frame wrong, even when faced with close encounters of the embarrassing kind with sex toys, pornography, drugs, girls and cops.

It's vulgar, crude and outrageously bawdy. And also, thanks to spot-on key performances and strong storytelling, it's great fun.

Alan Frank

USA 2019. UK Distributor: Universal. Colour.
90 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 2, Swearing 2.

Review date: 19 Aug 2019