Rocket Science Reviews

Top Critic
Cliff Doerksen
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
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Jen Chaney
Washington Post
February 27, 2008
Writer-director Jeffrey Blitz brings wit and pathos to the story of a compulsive stutterer.
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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
September 28, 2007
There's a lovely, fragile movie here; if only Blitz had had the faith to let it stand on its own two feet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
September 10, 2007
Blitz continues to make a case for himself as a filmmaker with rich, realistic stories to tell.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
September 10, 2007
The most complicated and original teenage characters we've seen in a movie in a very long time.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
August 30, 2007
The merits of Rocket Science are endlessly debatable, and this is nothing to sneeze at.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
August 27, 2007
Quietly written and convincingly played, this coming-of-age story mines its rueful laughs from a thick vein of performance anxiety, in both senses of the term.
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
August 24, 2007
Borrowing from too many movies to count, Rocket Science botches that brew in an unwieldy slew of adolescent-angst clichés.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 24, 2007
Rocket Science flies beyond the standard teen preoccupations, moving into territory that combines humor and eccentricity with fragile hope and ambition, making for a film that embraces every awkward angle of adolescence.
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
August 24, 2007
Rocket Science is not a revelation on the lines of Thompson's Spellbound, one of the great convergences of luck and the ability to make the most of it. But it does suggest that Blitz and Thompson have futures worth investing in.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
August 24, 2007
Buoyed by a script rife with poetry, a handful of dynamic performances and Eef Barzelay's near-perfect score, Rocket Science mildly shames the potty-mouthed Superbad. And I liked Superbad.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 24, 2007
All of the acting is first-rate, but Thompson is fantastic. He makes Hal both sympathetic and hilarious, never giving in to self-pity but, in a refreshing take, not above the occasional scream (or cheer).
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 24, 2007
Darker than Little Miss Sunshine, tougher than Napoleon Dynamite, Rocket Science asserts a claim to cult-movie status that's hard to argue with.
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Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
August 24, 2007
Blitz gradually drops the glib pose and deepens the emotions in the film -- until, by the end, you find yourself unexpectedly close to tears.
| Original Score: 4/5
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David Ansen
Newsweek
August 24, 2007
One of the pleasures of Blitz's film is that it immerses us in the fraught, competitive pressures of the high-school debate world-like Spellbound, it gets the details right.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
August 17, 2007
[Director] Blitz has succumbed to that most pernicious of Sundance afflictions: pandemic quirkiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
August 17, 2007
A smart, funny, unpredictable film...a more accurate reflection of high-school life than is usually portrayed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 17, 2007
Honest and surprisingly lucid at its core.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 17, 2007
It may gross as little as Welcome to the Dollhouse or as much as Clueless, but whichever it does, it's in the same league.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 16, 2007
A strong contender to become a student classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 16, 2007
Jeffrey Blitz's Rocket Science doesn't quite work but is worth seeing anyway.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
August 16, 2007
Rocket Science not only feels our collective pain, it makes us laugh wickedly at the memories.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
August 14, 2007
I thought it was cloying, self-congratulatory and irritating.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
August 10, 2007
Self-consciously quirky on the outside, this gentle teenage fable has an affecting, openhearted core.
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Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
August 10, 2007
Rocket Science has the makings of either a tragedy or a crowd-pleasing underdog story, but writer-director Jeffrey Blitz instead takes the movie on a different, and ultimately more rewarding, direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 10, 2007
Smart, witty and blessedly unpredictable.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
August 10, 2007
The thing the film lacks -- besides originality -- is a character arc that keeps the audience interested.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
August 10, 2007
A quirky comedy-drama that gets the bulk of its humor from the well-placed non sequitur. It never seems to be going where you think it is, and that includes its oddly endearing dialogue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
August 10, 2007
It's a high-concept idea that Blitz executes without the usual payoffs.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
August 10, 2007
Tender but hardheaded.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
August 9, 2007
Overall the movie coasts on quirkiness.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 9, 2007
This summer's designated Sundance crowd-pleaser, Rocket Science, is a quirkily disarming high-school comedy that calculatingly follows in the footsteps of Napoleon Dynamite, Election and Rushmore.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
August 9, 2007
Why filter such a personal story through the attitudinal tics of Wes Anderson and Napoleon Dynamite, especially if you're going to do it with about one-third the skill?
Full Review | Original Score: C
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
August 9, 2007
Blitz's one-man revenge of the nerds continues with this narrative-feature debut, a smartypants comedy about a kid with a lot going on inside and a sadly undependable mouthpiece with which to let it out.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mark Holcomb
Time Out
August 9, 2007
Blitz gets too much mileage out of a pair of kooky (or kookily) Korean neighbors, but even that's mitigated by his unapologetic affection for the movie's cast of misfits, all of whom are somehow beautiful in their irredeemable f---ed-upness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
August 7, 2007
The problem with Rocket Science is that the character at the center of the drama isn't very energetic or, truth be told, interesting. This makes it difficult at times to remain engaged in the unfolding tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 9, 2007
Blitz captures the melancholy, the rage, the wackiness and drama of adolescence, and he gets winning performances out of his young stars.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
January 25, 2007
Launches into the audience-pleasing stratosphere with a brainy, unpredictable story orbit.
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Justin Chang
Variety
January 21, 2007
This unusually voluble comedy is as eloquent about love, self-realization and adolescent angst as its protagonist is endearingly tongue-tied.