Good Boys (2019) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

Good Boys (2019) is a raunchy comedy that had me leaning over laughing at several moments. The premise isn’t one that’ll work for everyone’s comedic sensibilities, but I couldn’t help but laugh as these teens said horrible things and mistook sex toys for martial arts weapons. It’s definitely not high-brow cinema, but there is a message that I think comes across in a positive way by the end of the film that makes it feel a little more substantial. 

These kids are far from Good Boys, but entertaining to watch.

“The Bean Bag Boys” – aptly named because they have bean bags – which includes Max (Jacob Tremblay), Lucas (Keith L. Williams), and Thor (Brady Noon), are desperate to learn how to kiss.  Along their journey to learn, things spiral out of control, as one dumb choice lead to other dumb choices. Their friendship that was supposed to last forever is tested, and the three young boys face quite a bit of stress all a result of sixth grade popularity. 

I think all three of the young leads do terrific jobs in this film. Tremblay is no surprise at this point, of course, with excellent performances in Room (2015) and Wonder (2017). He is a child actor that generally churns out great work…but on that note, let’s forget the disaster that is The Predator (2018). Noon was solid in his role as Thor, though his character is probably the easiest to dislike as he is a try-hard. Williams’s role as Lucas is definitely the most likable and sympathetic, but I can’t deny his performances had the most flaws. I’d first seen him in Sadie (2017), and felt similarly about his performance there. When Williams is on point, he is terrific – and truthfully, gets the best laughs throughout the film. However, there are several moments in the film where he clearly rushes his lines or doesn’t land the punchline well, and it does feel as though it is his performance and not the writing. He isn’t as natural nor as comfortable as his two counterparts – or at least not consistently. 

With that out of the way, Lucas deserves a big ol’ hug. He is such a sweet kid, and when his parents – played by Lil Rel Howery and Retta – tell him they’re getting a divorce, it is one of the funniest versions of this scene that I can remember, aside from Step Brothers (2008). Lil Rel tells him that nothing’s going to change, and then proceeds to explain how it will in fact change with two taco Tuesdays – except one will be on Wednesday, which was a line that absolutely cracked me up. However, for this film, finding oneself bent over in laughter as a result of a scene isn’t that unlikely. Stephen Merchant has to have my favorite cameo in this movie, and his character’s scene is hilarious. 

Final thoughts…

Good Boys is definitely good. It’s not a movie that I would recommend for everybody, though. If you don’t mind bad language, sexual innuendos, and stupid jokes, then you’ll probably have a good time with this movie. I give Good Boys a Decent Watch rating.

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