Measure of a Man (film)

Measure of a Man, also known as American Summer in the United Kingdom,[1] is a 2018 American comedy-drama film directed by Jim Loach and written by David Scearce, based on the 1977 novel One Fat Summer by the author Robert Lipsyte. The film stars Blake Cooper, Donald Sutherland, Judy Greer, and Luke Wilson.

Measure of a Man
Measure of a Man US Film Poster.png
Film Poster
Directed byJim Loach
Produced byChristian Taylor
Screenplay byDavid Scearce
Based onOne Fat Summer
by Robert Lipsyte
Music by
CinematographyDenson Baker
Edited byDany Cooper
  • Taylor Lane Productions
  • Weedon Media
Distributed byGreat Point Media, Lionsgate Films
Release date
  • 11 May 2018 (2018-05-11)
CountryUnited States


Set in the 1970s, a bullied teen (Blake Cooper) experiences a turning point summer in which he learns to stand up for himself.



In June 2015, director Jim Loach started pre-production for the film with screenwriter David Scearce, who wrote the screenplay, based on the 1977 novel One Fat Summer by Robert Lipsyte. The film went into production several months later when Donald Sutherland and The Maze Runner star Blake Cooper joined the cast on September 23, 2015.[2] Sutherland will play Dr. Kahn, a Wall Street executive who gives Blake Cooper's character, Bobby, a summer job on his estate.[3] On October 5, 2015, Judy Greer and Luke Wilson joined the film alongside Sutherland and Cooper,[4] to play Bobby's parents, and Liana Liberato joined the cast to play his sister, Michelle.[5]

Principal photography for the film took place in Rhode Island, United States.


The film had a limited U.S theatrical release by Great Point Media on May 11, 2018. Lionsgate released the film on August 7, 2018 on SVOD and DVD. Measure of a Man screened in competition on October 19 and 20, 2018 at the Alice nella Citta section of the Rome Film Festival. The film was released by Kinostar Filmverleih on June 13, 2019 in Germany.[6]


Critical responseEdit

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 50% based on 24 reviews, with an average rating of 6.12/10.[7] On Metacritic the film has a weighted average score of 53%, based on reviews from 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[8]

Michael O'Sullivan from The Washington Post gave the film a 3.5 out of 4 stars and said, "Measure of a Man is a funny, wise movie about bullying that speaks to kids and grown-ups alike".[9]

Richard Roeper at The Chicago Sun-Times gave it a 3.5 out of 4 stars and said, "It's a sweet and knowing and lovely and funny story, but occasionally the spell of warm nostalgia is broken by painful moments of family heartbreak and cruel bullying".[10]

Michael Rechtshaffen at The Los Angeles Times gave the film a positive review and said, "Measure of a Man offers decisive proof that fresh and different is overrated when you've got a strong cast, a beautifully written script and fittingly measured direction".[11]

By contrast, Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle gave a critical review, describing it as a film of "gestures and feints, in which we’re constantly being told of events and relationships rather than seeing or feeling them."[12] Dennis Harvey in Variety criticized it for bringing "no distinctive personality or plot angles to a very familiar set of misfit-hero woes and eventual, underwhelming triumphs," and further commented that the film's "conflicts come to no interesting fruition."[13]


Director of photography Denson Baker won the Features Gold Award at the 2018 New Zealand Cinematographers Society Awards.[14] Blake Cooper took home the Jury Prize for Best Youth Performance in a Feature Film for Youth at the 2019 Zlín Film Festival.[15]


  1. ^ American Summer
  2. ^ "Donald Sutherland to Star in Indie 'Measure of a Man'". September 23, 2016.
  3. ^ "Donald Sutherland Takes 'Measure Of A Man'; Indie Shoots In Rhode Island". September 23, 2016.
  4. ^ "Judy Greer And Luke Wilson Find Measure Of A Man". October 6, 2015.
  5. ^ "Luke Wilson & Judy Greer Join 'Measure Of A Man'". October 5, 2015.
  6. ^ "Kinostar - Measure of a Man - Ein fetter Sommer". June 13, 2019.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "'Measure of a Man' is a funny, wise movie about bullying that speaks to kids and grown-ups alike (2018)". The Washington Post. May 10, 2018.
  10. ^ "'Measure of a Man': In Bicentennial summer, a teen aims for some independence (2018)". The Chicago Sun Times. May 10, 2018.
  11. ^ "Fine cast, strong script propel nostalgic coming-of-age tale 'Measure of a Man' (2018)". The Los Angeles Times. May 9, 2018.
  12. ^ Mick LaSalle, Sutherland, Greer and Wilson wasted in ‘Measure of a Man’, San Francisco Chronicle, May 10, 2018
  13. ^ Dennis Harvey, A bullied kid's Bicentennial summer is no picnic in this bland teen coming-of-age flashback., Variety, May 11, 2018.
  14. ^ "NZCS Awards 2018 winner list".
  15. ^ "Results and motivations of the 59th Zlín Film Festival". June 14, 2019.

External linksEdit