Skip to Content

“The King of Staten Island” Is Equally Heartfelt And Hilarious- Movie Review

Disclaimer: I am seriously obsessed with Pete Davidson. When I saw the first trailer for The King of Staten Island, I already knew that I would immediately shell out the $19.99 to rent it the moment it came out. I was not disappointed and I have zero regrets.

Genre: Comedy/Drama

The King of Staten Island is actually semi-autobiographical, which is something that the average viewer might not know. I didn’t realize this until Scott (Pete Davidson) has a conversation with his mother about his firefighter father who died on the job, something that happened to Davidson in real life. Further, Davidson’s character’s name ‘Scott’ is actually named after Pete’s actual father. I’m melting!

The story revolves around Scott, a 24-year-old guy who still lives with his mother, Joy (Marisa Tomei), and hasn’t achieved much up to this point in his life. We see his younger sister Claire (Maude Apatow) go off to college, while Scott spends most of his days hanging out with friends, smoking weed and hooking up with his childhood best friend Kelsey (Bel Powley). Scott does have a dream, though. He wants to become a tattoo artist.

When Scott’s mother starts dating a fireman 17 years after the death of his father, Scott is incredibly upset. Ray (Bill Burr) is an opinionated loud mouth who doesn’t get along with Scott at first. The two have a few arguments before a blowout fight that makes Scott’s mother send them both packing. This sets off a chain of events that will ultimately allow Scott to heal from the grief of his father’s death and take real steps toward his future.


I did not expect this movie to be so tender! When you have main characters like Pete Davidson and Bill Burr, you already know that the movie will be hilarious. What was surprising, though, was how emotionally-driven The King of Staten Island is. Davidson’s self-deprecating humor is apparent, like when he tells Kelsey that she deserves someone way better than him. Something that is also apparent is the legitimate heartache that still plagues Scott’s life, even 17 years after losing his father. The emotional journey this film takes you on is beautiful and will have you laughing all along the way. To me, “The King of Staten Island” is optimistic while still acknowledging the very real struggle of grief. And though there is this optimism, in Davidson’s personal style, Scott is still a realist to the point of cynicism.

My favorite part of the storyline is how Scott’s mother and Ray get together. Without giving away any spoilers, I’ll just tell you this: it is Scott’s fault and involves a tattoo. It’s seriously so funny.

“Knock knock”

“Who’s there?”

“Not your father!”

-first 10 minutes of the film

Cast & Crew

The King of Staten Island was written by Judd Apatow, Pete Davidson, and former SNL writer Dave Sirus. Again, of course, this film is hilarious. It is also directed by Judd Apatow, which is significant because Apatow is notorious for elevating budding comedians to the big screen. This includes names like Steve Carell, Amy Schumer, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Kristin Wiig, and Jason Segel.

The cast is great. Beyond Pete Davidson and Bill Burr (who turn out to be amazing actors), we have Steve Buscemi who plays Papa, a veteran firefighter who takes Scott under his wing. Machine Gun Kelly plays a tattoo artist, and Jimmy Tatro plays a firefighter nicknamed Savage. I loved Maude Apatow in HBO’s Euphoria, and she plays her role as Scott’s sister just as well. Additionally, for all of my Hannah Montana stans, Moises Arias plays Pete’s best friend! Possibly most important is Marisa Tomei, who wonderfully elevates the story in her role of Scott’s mother with her superb acting.

Rating & Premier

The King of Staten Island is rated R for language, drug use, sexual content, and some violence/bloody images. The film premiered on June 12th and is available On Demand everywhere.

This has been the scoop on Pete Davidson’s new movie The King of Staten Island. Watch this amazing cast before they get award-nominated! Also, check out more of our reviews!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.