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Ping Pong Summer

6/10
Family . Comedy
 

In 1985 a summer vacation in Ocean City, Md., changes the life of a shy white teen who's obsessed with table tennis and hip-hop music.

 
Actors: Helena May Seabrook , Robert Hambury , Robert Longstreet , Marcello Conte , Emmi Shockley , Quinn McColgan , Judah Friedlander , John Hannah , Amy Sedaris , Lea Thompson , Susan Sarandon , Maddie Howard
Directors: Michael Tully
Country: USA
Release: 2014-06-06
More Info:
  • Glenn Heath Jr.

    A heartfelt retro flashback littered with pop-culture iconography and much slang, it focuses on the importance of friendship and loyalty rather than social standing.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Kyle Burton

    An affectionate love letter to a bygone era of growing up, Ping Pong Summer brims with specific pop culture minutiae, making it easy to assume the movie has been intended as a farce, but it has more going on beneath the surface.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    A sweetly amusing ode to the underdog sports movies that proliferated during that widely derided decade.

    Variety Full Review
  • Katherine Vu

    It's a throwback film in both style and sentiment, and what it lacks in depth, it make up for with warmth.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    What Ping Pong Summer lacks in conviction or ingenuity, it makes up for in heart. The nostalgia that the entire film is built upon doesn’t seem misplaced.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    The film coasts on its time-capsule fetishism and affable supporting turns from Susan Sarandon and Lea Thompson, but it never achieves the emotional punch of like-minded comedies such as "Adventureland" and "The Way, Way Back."

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Simon Abrams

    The film's relentlessly quirky style of comedy is consequently very self-conscious. Every joke in Ping Pong Summer is a variation on a theme: 1985 was the most awkward time to be alive.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    This sweet, offhanded but lovingly observed remembrance is a real kick. It takes us back to the way things used to be, especially for 13-year-old guys, and specifically in the arcade rooms of 1985, filled with upright video games with glowing screens and big-haired girls in neon.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Justin Lowe

    Rose-tinted as the film’s perspective may be, Ping Pong Summer is still a lingering, entertaining glance back at an era that Americans just can’t seem to get enough of, whether in music or movies.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Chris Michael

    It's gawky and awkward, but just like Rad's breakdancing worm, this one gets better as it goes along.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Peter Hartlaub

    Writer-director Michael Tully simultaneously pays tribute to his own 1980s childhood and the cliched movies he grew up watching, and the result is one of the most honestly dishonest movies you'll ever watch.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Ping Pong Summer may not be an instant classic, but it knows its time and place. There’s a humble honor in that.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Gary Goldstein

    Despite the visual and cultural accuracy, Ping Pong Summer is missing an elemental magic and vibrancy; a kick factor that makes the picture's endless pop throwbacks (break dancing, cassette tapes, giant boom boxes) seem more tackily forgettable than sweetly nostalgic.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Certainly nails the era, right down to a lengthy pan across a none-too-appealing dinner buffet.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Jeannette Catsoulis

    This gentle comedy, while entirely unmemorable, releases a genuine warmth that deflects harsh judgment. It doesn’t, however, excuse characters that are little more than props for embarrassing fashion or delivery systems for dated slang.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Carla Sosenko

    Granted, there’s something charming here — Ping Pong Summer itself feels like an underdog — and there are retro touches that children of the ’80s will smile at (remember smelling the liner notes of cassettes?). But ultimately, those are too few and far between.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Calum Marsh

    We all have childhoods to remember. Art needs to do more than just remind us.

    Film.com Full Review
  • Nathan Rabin

    The film’s reliance on formula and stereotypes wouldn’t be so frustrating if that formula worked and provided the glib pleasures the filmmakers are going for; instead, Ping Pong Summer feels stilted, undernourished, and oddly sour.

    The Dissolve Full Review
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