Pete Davidson Impresses Critics in King of Staten Island Reviews: 'You'll Be Surprised'

The King of Staten Island will be available to rent online on June 12

Pete Davidson gets personal in his first major film, The King of Staten Island, and his efforts seem to have paid off!

The Saturday Night Live comedian, 26, brings a semi-autobiographical story to fans — one that mirrors his grief as he grappled with the death of his father. In the movie, Davidson plays Scott, a 20-something aspiring tattoo artist living at home in his New York City borough hometown, still coming to terms with the loss of his firefighter father, who died 17 years prior.

In real life, Davidson's dad — who's name is Scott — was a N.Y.C. first responder who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The comedian was 7 years old at the time.

On Monday, the largely positive first reviews for the film dropped ahead of the comedy's launch on VOD platforms on June 12. All have good things to say about Davidson's work in the film, which he also co-wrote.

The King of Staten Island
The King of Staten Island. Universal Pictures

"Davidson's appeal is essential to the movie's success," writes San Francisco Chronicle critic Mick LaSalle. "If you know him only from Saturday Night Live, you'll be surprised by him here."

Brian Truitt of USA Today agrees, writing, "Davidson is who he is - and sometimes is forced to apologize for it. You won't be sorry seeing his performance in King of Staten Island, a testament to the distinguished actor he could be."

Justin Chang of The Los Angeles Times also sings praises of Davidson's star-making performance, writing, "The King of Staten Island works hard to strike its own artful balance of humor and heartache, qualities that both seem permanently etched in Davidson's face."

As does Screen Rex's Hannah Lodge, who writes, "You never really escape the feeling that Davidson's playing himself in The King of Staten Island, but that's what makes his performance work so well."

The King of Staten Island will be available to rent online on June 12.

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