Essential reporting in volatile times.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to Herald-Dispatch.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media


Pete Davidson in “The King of Staten Island.” MUST CREDIT: Mary Cybulski/Universal Pictures

Movies and More reviewer John Gillispie shares his thoughts on “The King of Staten Island,” which is rated R and available on DVD.

Seventeen years after the death of his firefighter father, a young man struggles to find a positive direction for his life in “The King of Staten Island,” which is directed by Judd Apatow.

Scott (Pete Davidson) lives with his mother (played by Marisa Tomei) and his sister, who is graduating from high school and getting ready to leave home for college.

Scott has a dream of opening a combination tattoo parlor and restaurant. He has practiced tattooing on his friends, including Igor (Moises Arias), but some of his artwork has not turned out very well. Scott has a girlfriend named Kelsey (Bel Powley), but isn’t taking the relationship as seriously as he should.

When his mother starts dating a divorced firefighter named Ray (Bill Burr), Scott doesn’t like the changing dynamic in his household.

Despite Scott and his friends cursing, using drugs and making some other bad decisions in the film, there is still some humor to be found in some of the scenes. It is easy to be impatient with these characters. However, as the film moves along, Scott begins to take life more seriously, and I enjoyed the movie more.

Steve Buscemi plays a firefighter who knew Scott’s father. He tells Scott some stories about his father that help the young man get a better mental picture of who his father was.

“The King of Staten Island” has a running time of more than two hours and could have been a little bit shorter, yet the extra time allows for quite a bit of character development.

After the end of the film, viewers are shown the dedication to Pete Davidson’s firefighter father Scott Davidson, who passed away on Sept. 11, 2001.

John Gillispie is the public relations director for the Huntington Museum of Art.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.