• PG, 1 hr. 46 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Martha Coolidge
    In Theaters:
    Aug 1, 1985 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jun 11, 2002
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


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Real Genius Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humor is relentlessly cruel, smug, and disconnected from any sense of how human beings might behave in similar situations.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 30, 2007

TV Guide's Movie Guide

This disappointing teen comedy from director Martha Coolidge is another entry in the rash of teens-goofing-with-science films.

Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide | Original Score: 2/4

May 30, 2007

Top Critic IconTop Critic

What lifts the production above the run-of-the-mill is swift direction by Martha Coolidge, who has a firm grasp over the manic material.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 30, 2007


The movie gets stuck as a run-of-the-mill teen revenge comedy.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 30, 2007
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It does make you wonder if the drive of the US education system is ultimately to develop better weapons of mass-destruction, though Coolidge's movie is too hazily good-natured to capitalise on the tougher aspects of the material.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette

great fun and full of 1980s relics, from the now-antiquated computers to the box of Donkey Kong cereal to a finale set to Tears for Fears...

Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette

October 13, 2005
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall

goofy and very funny

| Original Score: 3/5

April 18, 2005
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

Young Kilmer in no-brainer comedy

| Original Score: 3/5

October 19, 2004
Brian J. Arthurs
Beach Reporter (Southern California)

Supreme guilty pleasure

| Original Score: 4/5

December 18, 2003
Janet Maslin
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What the film needs, instead of these familiar teen-movie trappings, is a cleverness and eccentricity to match that of its characters. For the most part, these are qualities that it lacks.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2.5/5

May 20, 2003
Widgett Walls

See it. If you have seen it, see it again. It's a moral imperative.

| Original Score: 4/5

October 14, 2002
Clint Morris

A guilty pleasure....ooodles of fun

| Original Score: 3/5

September 17, 2002
Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Pure '80s genius.

| Original Score: 4/5

August 7, 2002
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Like Risky Business, this not only rose above the 1980s teen comedy genre, but stuck it to the Reagan administration as well.

| Original Score: 4/5

July 26, 2002
David Sanjek

This picture remains blissfully aloft, borne by engaging actors and a warm heart.

Full Review Source: PopMatters

July 12, 2002
James Brundage

Everyone plays their part in making this a very funny movie.

Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com | Original Score: 4.5/5

January 1, 2000
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Real Genius contains many pleasures, but one of the best is its conviction that the American campus contains life as we know it.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 1, 2000
Emanuel Levy

| Original Score: 1/5

June 19, 2005
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews

| Original Score: 3/5

November 19, 2004
Kevin Carr
Film Threat

| Original Score: 2/5

August 10, 2004
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