It’s reminiscent in some ways of last year’s fantastic The Kings of Summer, but A Birder’s Guide to Everything is a little milder and offers a little less closure. The coming-of-age film stars Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road) as a high school student trying to cope with the loss of his mother. A road trip in pursuit of a rare duck takes some of the edge off the fact that his father is remarrying soon, and it actually seems to come straight out of the character, a bookish, uncomfortable boy who might be more at home connecting with another rare species than girls his own age. The bottom line, however, is that there’s not much of a bottom line here. It’s the same kind of teen angst we always get, with a soft resolution that drags down a nice spin on the familiar tale.
Director: Rob Meyer
Cast: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Ben Kingsley, James LeGros, Alex Wolff, Katie Chang, Michael Chen and Daniela Lavender