• PG-13, 1 hr. 43 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:    Stephen Chbosky
  • In Theaters:    Sep 21, 2012 Limited
  • On DVD:    Feb 12, 2013
  • Lionsgate Films

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Reviews

Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
Top Critic
October 9, 2012

Perks seems like the work of a much more experienced director, maintaining fidelity to the source material without sacrificing any cinematic qualities, triggering genuine sentimentality and nostalgia through interaction between sound and image.

Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
October 4, 2012

Sensitive teens and their older kin who pine for the '90s may want to take it for a spin on the dance floor.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
October 4, 2012

Regardless of the viewer's proximity to his or her own high school experience, "Perks" seems to get it right, precisely because it's not about a specific time or place.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Guy Lodge
Time Out
Top Critic
October 2, 2012

Watson holds her own with a character more annoying on paper than in reality, but it's the boys who most impress ...

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
September 28, 2012

It's an earnest indie about a troubled teen, Charlie (Logan Lerman), and his various troubled confederates -- but it does demonstrate that Watson can stand on her own.

Full Review | Original Score: B-
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
Top Critic
September 28, 2012

High school can be hell, but Stephen Chbosky's engaging new film argues that anyone can get by with a little help from their friends.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
September 28, 2012

Somehow, these imperfections fit. Somehow, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" shouldn't be flawless.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jen Chaney
Washington Post
Top Critic
September 28, 2012

This somewhat disjointed but refreshingly earnest movie ultimately establishes itself as a charmer.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
September 28, 2012

This is clearly a labor of love that was nurtured and sculpted from the beginning. The result is a film that feels exhilarating, fragile, funny and real.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
September 28, 2012

Well-soaked in the familiar brine of teen sensitivity.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

Here's how to make sure your novel arrives on screen with its soul intact: adapt and direct it yourself.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

As a director, Chbosky mirrors his central character's emotional state.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" finds an unexpectedly moving freshness in the old clichés by remaining attentive to the nuances of what happens within and between unhappy teenagers.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

Stephen Chbosky's script is insightful about the exhilaration of soul-piercing first love, and the misery of being swept into a relationship with someone who's forceful, determined and utterly wrong for you.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

Verbal play and smartass-ery weaves through Wallflower, but it's of the predictable variety rather than the wryly observant commentary we'd hope for, like when a bored teen drawls: "That works on so many levels."

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

This big-screen adaptation, written and directed by Chbosky, doesn't advance the source material, though it preserves the book's sensitive tone and affectionate characterizations.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic
September 27, 2012

All of my previous selves still survive somewhere inside of me, and my previous adolescent would have loved "The Perks of Being a Wallflower."

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
September 26, 2012

There is an honesty to "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," a genuineness of experience that makes the movie soar when it just as easily could have stumbled.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rex Reed
New York Observer
Top Critic
September 26, 2012

It is the remarkable Logan Lerman who negotiates his journey to Charlie's self-discovery with so much dignity and vulnerability that he steals every scene and carries the picture.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
September 21, 2012

An occasionally funny, sometimes grim and all-in-all fairly adult look at privileged kids with sometimes awful lives, marred by abuse, drugs, depression, bullying and homophobia.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
Top Critic
September 21, 2012

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower'' is the sort of lower- budget personal film you hardly see being released by a major distributor anymore, except during awards season.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

Likable, unsurprising and principally a showcase for the pretty young cast, notably Mr. Miller, who brings texture to his witty if sensitive gay quipster.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

Thanks to [Chbosky's] stars, the film - like the book - is a smartly observed study of a troubled teen's first year in high school.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Claudia Puig
USA Today
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

While there are humorous and poignant moments, this angst-filled story of tender kisses, awkward dances, friends drifting apart, kindly English teachers, unrequited crushes and drug-addled partying has a nagging sense of deja vu.

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Mark Jenkins
NPR
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

It's populated by characters who are just too good to be plausible.

Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

Screenwriter/director Chbosky deserves credit for insisting on adapting a story he knows best, and he takes a heartfelt, if hardly visionary, approach.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

Perks deserves points for going beyond the typical coming-of-age drivel aimed at teens. Logan Lerman excels as Charlie and Emma Watson makes a dream girl to die for, but the movie is stolen, head to tail, by Ezra Miller.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

A graceful and beguiling drama adapted from Stephen Chbosky's 1999 novel ...

Full Review | Original Score: A
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower," may not do anything groundbreaking, but it tells a familiar story in small, thoughtful ways.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Alison Willmore
AV Club
Top Critic
September 20, 2012

An earnest, big-hearted ode to friends as support and salvation, and to the talismanic quality a favorite song, treasured hang-out, or shared tradition can take on for a teenager.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
Top Critic
September 19, 2012

Fact is, much as you and I might want to protest that we were cooler than these kids, wherever and whenever we did our growing up, we probably weren't.

James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
September 19, 2012

It's sad, funny, warm, and nostalgic - kind of like high school, really.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
David Fear
Time Out New York
Top Critic
September 18, 2012

You can feel Chbosky's blood, sweat and tears oozing out of this highly personal project, but that holy trinity of fluids isn't enough to wash away the sense that you've seen this before-many, many, many times.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
Top Critic
September 18, 2012

I found the ultimate 'statement' of Wallflower to be a humane and encouraging one that the movie manages to deliver without getting overly precious.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic
September 17, 2012

It's nostalgia with an emphasis on nostos, pain.

Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
September 13, 2012

It's all frightfully familiar - as if teens sitting around the campfire need to be told the same story every night - until the last 15 mins., when this Cocoa Puffs movie reveals an underlayer of arsenic.

Rob Nelson
Variety
Top Critic
September 10, 2012

First-time writer-director Stephen Chbosky adapts his young-adult bestseller with far more passion than skill, which suits familiar scenes of adolescent awkwardness aptly enough.

Laremy Legel
Film.com
Top Critic
September 8, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower" captures the phenomenon of high school with all the tenderness and horror it deserves.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Jordan Mintzer
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
September 7, 2012

Heartfelt but rather generic.

Karina Longworth
Village Voice
Top Critic
September 4, 2012

Chbosky plays this CW serial stuff for maximum earnestness, stressing the teenage tendency to assume that every new thing they're feeling is unprecedented in human history, keeping the tone just-moist-eyed throughout.