The King Of Staten Island – Movie Review – (Spoiler Free)

The King Of Staten Island Now Available On VOD.

The controversial Pete Davidson can turn off a lot of people. Originally I was one of those people until I began to watch many of his TV interviews that brought light onto his real life. He is a likable dude who had a difficult upbringing due to a tragedy at seven years old when his firefighter Dad died in service during the September 11 attacks. The only other movie I have seen Davidson in the lead role was a movie called Big Time Adolescence which I recommend is on Hulu. Now add The King of Staten Island to your watchlist.


In The King of Staten Island, Judd Apatow directs Saturday Night Live breakout Pete Davidson in a bracing comedy about love, loss, and laughter on Staten Island. Scott (Davidson) has been a case of arrested development ever since his firefighter father died when he was seven. He is in his mid-20s, having achieved little, chasing a dream of becoming a tattoo artist that seems far out of reach. As his ambitious younger sister heads off to college, Scott still lives with his exhausted ER nurse mother (Marisa Tomei). He spends his days smoking weed and hanging with the guys. When his mother starts dating a loudmouth firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr), it sets off a chain of events that will force Scott to grapple with his grief and take his first tentative steps toward moving forward in life.

This movie is not your typical Judd Apatow flick, and if you compare it to his other pieces of work, it sits as an outlier. Instead, it is a humorous character study that allows Pete Davidson to shine as his authentic self and prove that he is ready to leave SNL. It is an eye-opening, honest, and sincere movie that is loosely based on Davidson’s actual life.

The King Of Staten Island

Comedian Bill Burr, featured throughout, makes a solid case to be cast more frequently in future movies. His strong performance and the always lovely Marisa Tomei hits another “mom role” out of the park. Of course, it helps that this film is extremely fresh and original. Still, I feel that its lengthy runtime and more enjoyable first half hurt it in the long run. It is far more comedic than the second half, which goes into a total drama and ends on an awkward note.


I give The King of Staten Island a 7/10 and recommend ensuring you have ample time to sit through the whole movie since it sits at 2 hours at 17 minutes.

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Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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