All Summers End ★★★½

All Summer's End is a coming of age movie with a twist. Tye Sheridan plays Conrad, a 16 year old boy who strikes up a romance with Kaitlyn Dever's Grace. However, after a prank pulled by him and his friends goes horribly wrong, Conrad is faced with immense guilt as his romance with Grace blossoms.

Tye Sheridan and Kaitlyn Dever give very strong performances in a movie whose script lacks just a tad bit of polish. There are some bit of dialogue here and there that could have used a more subtle touch. Such as the scene where Conrad and Grace talk about how they view their parents now that they are older. The initial embers of their romance in the film's opening scene leaves a little to be desired as well. Grace point blank tells Conrad she thinks he could be her first true love. But this is only after the first scene we see of them together, so I found it a little hard to buy. However, their chemistry throughout the movie helped make up for it.

The movie's strongest asset is in the way Sheridan internalizes his character's inner conflict. I've really enjoyed his career thus far and All Summers End is a great addition to his acting portfolio.

The movie suffered a bit from a couple extraneous plots that don't resolve themselves too cleanly. Conrad's mother is sdescribed as a single mother who smothers Conrad to fill the emotional void she feels. Though this thread does lead to some interesting drama between her and Conrad, it isn't explored very clearly in the grand scheme of the movie.

There's a big conflict between Conrad and his two friends with whom he pulled off the prank. One of the friends, Hunter (Austin Abrams), in particular plays the part of the arrogant, angry teenager a little too much. And the script doesn't take the conflict quite where I expected it to, however it's still somewhat satisfying.

Pablo Schreiber plays the older version of Conrad, who contributes to the film a Stand By Me style narration. Although the convention doesn't quite reach the emotional impact of Rob Reiner's classic coming of age Stephen King adaptation, it still serves its story and its protagonist well.

All Summers End finishes its story in such a way that we get a complete picture of how this pivotal, tragic summer of young love and tragedy impacted Conrad. The movie doesn't hold the audiences' hand, guiding us into any conventional happily ever after story. But there's a nice warmth to the conclusion that comes from an unexpected place.