Ray Pride is Newcity film critic and a contributing editor of Filmmaker magazine. He is also a photographer: his history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images is forthcoming. Previews on Twitter (twitter.com/chighostsigns) as well as daily photography on Instagram: instagram.com/raypride. Twitter: twitter.com/RayPride. (Photo: Jorge Colombo.)
For their first feature, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts and writer Chris Galletta confect a summer coming-of-ager in suburban Ohio. Easy-pleaser fillips of pretty include sylvan interludes of sophomoric lyricism. A trio of runaway teens build a house in the woods. They get away from the parents and live free as real men in nature, with secret trips to Boston Market. The leader is Joe (Nick Robinson), who likes a girl who goes for Patrick (Gabriel Basso), splitting up these best of friends until a snake bite expels them from their Edenic lair. The third boy is Biaggio (Moises Arias), a preciously weird classmate who insinuates himself into the adventure. His eyes, ears and nose evoke a cartoon Kafka critter with off-planet affect. He utters cryptic oracular one-liners that I particularly liked. With Nick Offerman, Marc Evan Jackson, Megan Mullally, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Erin Moriarty, Alison Brie. 92m. (Bill Stamets)
“The Kings Of Summer” is now playing at River East, Landmark Century and Century Evanston.