The Reel Review


Pete Davidson (Saturday Night Live) stars in this semi-autobiographical, dark comedy about Scott, an emotionally-stunted 24-year-old stoner living with his widowed mom (Marisa Tomei) on New York’s Staten Island. When mom gets her first boyfriend after 17 years, Scott gets the boot and is forced to finally grow up.

Pete Davidson and Steve Buscemi in The King of Staten Island.

Director Judd Apatow (Trainwreck, Knocked Up), who co-wrote the film with Davidson and his good friend Chris Sirus, injects the film with his now trademark crude humor, and some of it is really clever and funny. But at close to two and a half hours, the film’s lackadaisical pace and a not-so-compelling main character results in a cute story that often drags.

Marisa Tomei and Pete Davidson in The King of Staten Island.

And although Davidson is pretty adept at channeling his can’t-be-bothered, carefree persona, the superficial comedy feels like a missed opportunity at a story that could have been more impactful. Tomei and Bill Burr have great onscreen chemistry and Steve Buscemi nails his few moments as the fire captain. As coming of age stories go, it’s a predictably pleasant film.


• Pete Davidson, who grew up on Staten Island and does have Crohn’s Disease, was seven years old when his firefighter father died during the collapse of the World Trade Center’s twin towers on 9/11.

• Maude Apatow (Euphoria), who plays the younger sister, is the daughter of Judd Apatow and actress Leslie Mann (Blockers). 

• Pete Davidson’s real life grandfather Stephen plays his grandfather in the film.

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