Real Genius - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Real Genius Reviews

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½ April 30, 2016
Coolidge does a good job of taking a very off-beat script (especially for the '80s) to a higher plain. In the end, the mix of genres and tones doesn't always work, but when it does, the film soars. And Val Kilmer's energy and the way he explores the space around him is truly noteworthy.
½ February 7, 2016
University geniuses work for unscrupulous professor to unknowingly produce technology to make a laser weapon which he has sold to the US military. The "Tanning Invitational" party looked like a great time. Film works on the back of Kilmer's charisma and the likability of 15 year-old whiz kid Jarret (Mitch). William Hathaway again in top form as a jerk character. Forgot he was in this film.
½ January 28, 2016
Incredibly entertaining with a great cast of characters, an awesome 80s score, a fun plot, and an all-around fun movie to watch.
½ September 26, 2012
It amazingly captures the feel of an actual physics lab. Sure a 5 megawatt laser doesn't look like that and defense contracts are not strange and secret taboos, but the writers did their homework. That combined with some hilariously eccentric characters, this film is a lot of fun!
September 14, 2007
8/21/2015: An entertaining movie, but pretty awful at the same time.
December 10, 2011
One of my favorites.
½ June 6, 2015
I'm thinking this film must have been an influence on "The Big Bang Theory," telling the comic misadventures of a bunch of young scientists. Gabriel Jarret plays a 15 year old genius who enters college early to work on a high tech experiment at a Caltech-like university. He gets to room with a legendary fellow student genius, Val Kilmer, in my favorite role of his (yes, even better than Doc Holliday), who ends up being a a goofball and not the serious minded scientist Jarret was expecting. But what makes this film so good are many of the same things that are charming about "The Big Bang Theory;" a group of smart outsiders who find fellowship within their own small group and more importantly it's a group of very likable characters. I've always felt "Real Genius" was my favorite non-John Hughes 80s Teen film. Directed by Martha Coolidge, who's films are always marked by well developed characters (i.e. "Rambling Rose" or even "Valley Girl"), draws some very likable, well defined characters here, particularly, Jarrett, Kilmer and Jarrett's love interest Jordan, played by Michelle Meyrink. Even the villain of the film, William Atherton, strikes the perfect tone as a credible antagonist, but not an over the top sneering Mr. Rooney from Ferris Bueller or the ridiculous frat boys in "Revenge of the Nerds." Jon Gries, Patti D'Arbanville and Ed Lauter also appear in the film. Coolidge also give a bit part to the gorgeous and sadly underused Deborah Foreman, who starred in "Valley Girl" with Meyrink. Thomas Newman provides one of his very catchy 80s scores and then top it off with a memorable use of Tears for Fears at the end of the film, all adds up to this being one of the best teen comedies of the 1980s.
March 1, 2015
Real Genius is Real fun. A must see! It's A moral imperative!
½ February 13, 2015
Not that funny. Val Kilmer proved his comedic acting talents in Top Secret!. Watch that instead.
½ September 13, 2014
Young Val being silly, which is fun.
August 22, 2014
I've watched this movie more times than any other movie including those that I favor more. I'd die for a great sequel -- have even considered making one myself. There is -- and all the cult followers of it will agree -- a unique kind of cosmic magic that happened with this movie similar to a few dozen other movies like THE BREAKFAST CLUB...I've memorized it back and forward and love ever frame.
So I'll....hammer later!

Watch this movie
October 22, 2009
not bad for an 80's movie. I would say the jokes work about half the time. Saying there all geniuses so they can invent anything is pretty much a cop out creatively, not that its a serious film by any means.
August 6, 2014
classic for its time
½ March 11, 2010
(First and only viewing - 4/18/2010)
½ June 18, 2014
Val Kilmer is so great in this.
April 8, 2014
The definition of good hearted clean fun. The perfect Saturday afternoon movie. Val Kilmer is classic in his role as the ultimate cool nerd - Chris Knight.
February 26, 2014
Have always loved this movie.
February 3, 2014
Fun, typical '80's genre film.
½ October 21, 2007
Definitely the poorer cousin to other "genius kid lets ambition get in the way but saves the day just in time whilst getting the girl" films of the 80s. Great to see a young Val Kilmer in action doing what he actually does best, comedy. There are plenty of montages featuring a great soundtrack - all the trademarks of a nostalgic classic.
½ August 28, 2013
An extremely hilarious 80's movie. I try to talk like Val Kilmer does in this movie, he's so hilarious!
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