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High School (2012)

tomatometer

11

Average Rating: 3.9/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 16

No consensus yet.

audience

49

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 8,078

My Rating

Movie Info

The day after soon-to-be valedictorian Henry Burke (Matt Bush) takes a hit of the chronic for the first time, his school principal (Michael Chiklis) institutes a zero tolerance drug policy and administers a mandatory drug test for all students. Henry has two options: fail and lose his college scholarship, or team up with his stoner friend Breaux (Sean Marquette) to beat the system. They steal a high powered ganja from law student-turned-drug-dealer Psycho Ed (Adrien Brody) and spike the school's

R,

Comedy

Erik Linthorst, John Stalberg

Sep 4, 2012

$82.7k

Anchor Bay Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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May 31, 2012:
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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (38)

A stoner comedy with a slightly musty vintage aroma.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

High School sucks harder than it blows.

June 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If it ever opens at a theater near you, remember: Just say no.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'm betting director John Stalberg Jr. also debated calling it "Bake Sale," revolving as it does around the mass-dosing of the student body with pot brownies.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The only good news for everyone involved: The worst moment in your career is surely behind you.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a bit crude, a lot illogical and you might have to be in a certain state of mind to enjoy a film this silly.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

High School definitely won't be everyone's flavor of pot comedy, but it's certainly a fun trip and a clever spin on the genre.

September 26, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Surprisingly solid and funny... It's rare for a stoner comedy to have so much ambition.

August 25, 2012 Full Review Source: CraveOnline
CraveOnline

A hot mess whose sub-par direction mostly neutralizes its fantastic comedic premise. High School is a willfully 'stupid' stoner comedy, yes, but it also illustrates the gap between stupid done right and merely indulged too far.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Shared Darkness
Shared Darkness

HIGH School isn't exactly Harold and Kumar-level genius, but it is worth the legal risk.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com
CinemaBlend.com

After an amusing start, this film seems to forget it's a pot comedy.

June 13, 2012 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

While the movie is insistently unfunny, it's almost tragic how badly director John Stalberg Jr. fumbles the potential for a wacked-out farce, refusing to let loose with the boys as they scramble to maintain order.

June 13, 2012 Full Review Source: BrianOrndorf.com
BrianOrndorf.com

Starts with a viable premise, then veers off into something more mundane.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Low-key but amiable comedy, which borrows from many other movies, but still has its own spirit.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A pot comedy that won't reward even the most easily satisfied stoner.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

One of the broadest, silliest (yet somehow still endearing) stoner comedies in a while, indulging the adult members of the cast with particular gusto.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: NOW Toronto
NOW Toronto

High School suffers from an increasingly stagnant, wheel-spinning midsection that triggers its transformation from passable comedy to interminable disaster.

June 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Quickly grows old with no likable characters or anything else, much less genuine wit or humor, to engage.

June 6, 2012 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

It's about a 'high' school, and once you've gotten that you've pretty much figured out this stoner comedy.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: amNewYork
amNewYork

A stoner comedy that runs out of gas.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

W're left with poorly reasoned scenes and storylines that dangle like a pothead's unfinished sentences.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

Might look better through a haze of the right kind of smoke. But unassisted it's just too sloppy and puerile to be more than sporadically funny.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

... the low-brow script feels thrown together from a series of frat-house tweets.

June 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinemalogue.com
Cinemalogue.com

Audience Reviews for High School

High School isn't funny considering it's a film about stoners. You can't smoke enough bud for this film to be funny. There are only two reasons to watch this film, Adrian Brody and Michael Chiklis. They are the only two who give out performances worth watching. They both play over the top characters. They are the only reason I stuck with the film until the end. See it if you want. I wish I would have puff - puff - passed on this bad excuse for a stoner film.
March 19, 2013
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

"Future going up in smoke? Make sure it's some primo shit."

A high school valedictorian who gets baked with the local stoner finds himself the subject of a drug test. The situation causes him to concoct an ambitious plan to get his entire graduating class to face the same fate, and fail.

REVIEW
It's not just the film's stoner antics, but the wonderfully natural dynamic between protagonists Henry and Travis (Matt Bush and Sean Marquette) that make this film such a delight! At it's heart, that's what "High School" seems to be about: two very different guys finding friends in each other in the midst of a sticky situation. Many equally memorable moments are offered thanks to the expert talents of Michael Chiklis and Adrien Brody. Chiklis (as pompous Dr. Leslie Gordon) exudes a deliciously-villainous disdain throughout the film. His inflated sense of righteousness, and Shakespearean presence, make him a truly love-to-hate personality. As Psycho Ed, Adrien Brody is just so damn fun to watch! One moment his crazed behavior had me in a laughing fit; next, his insane anger had me scared for Henry and Travis' safety. Dr. Gordon and Ed are uniquely accomplished performances that add so much to High School's entertainment value.
September 24, 2012
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
Lorenzo von Matterhorn

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon13.gif[/img]

I liked the premise of High School more than I enjoyed the actual product. I think the problem is simple, it's constantly wanting to combine gross out humour and old style stoner comedy but ultimately it never proves that it's pure and energetic enough for that. The incredibly poor performances and it's staggeringly cliche ridden script doesn't do it any favours and so consequently the film never really manages to express much comedic charisma at all. On a positive note I found loads of good laughs in the first half of the film, it actually appears that when the screenwriters were penning it they actually tried to make a good comedy and not your average teen comedy flick. The unknown cast do an okay job of handling the characters but the flaw in all of it is that they're never actually funny. However when it comes to Adrien Brody's character, he scores comedic timing brilliantly, more than everyone else and he plays a role that only has a very limited contribution in the film. I just laughed so hard at him, he's a great actor, and there are a handful of good jokes at the side accompanying him but that's about all there is to it. There's little you can say about High School really, apart from, it isn't very funny.
September 4, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

While making his first visit to high school detention, Henry(Matt Bush) reacquaints himself with Travis(Sean Marquette), a former childhood friend. After which, they share a little marijuana. And then Henry finds out it is the worst possible time to try illegal drugs for the first time when after a debacle at the spelling bee, Headmaster Gordon(Micharel Chiklis) announces drug testing for all students, which could not only ruin Henry's run at valedictorian, but also more importantly his scholarship to MIT. So, Henry and Travis hatch a scheme to get everybody at school stoned and thereby ruining the drug test results, followed by a visit to Psycho Ed(Adrien Brody) for supplies.

First off, "High School" has its heart in the right place, even if its humor is not. In general, it argues for not putting students under huge pressure by holding them to perfection, which is worse when applied to athletes who face the possibility of a 15,000 word article in Sports Illustrated if they screw up. Specifically, the movie smartly takes aim at the war on drugs and any kind of drug testing.

So, it is sad to note in the opening scene, the movie establishes exactly how crude its sense of humor is, doing little to differentiate itself from your garden vulgarity of teenage comedies, replete with contrived nudity, even with a neat turn from Adrien Brody. And while stoner logic might be fine and good in some places, it is real life logic that the movie has trouble with, as there is no way two guys could bake 1,000 brownies in a single night. In any case, it would have been more fun to see them struggle to bring their plan to fruition than its aftermath.
November 9, 2013
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

    1. Psycho Ed: What?
    2. Henry Burke: Hmm?
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Psycho Ed: That's the alarm.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (2)

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