The Wackness (2008)



Critic Consensus: Sympathetic characters and a clever script help The Wackness overcome a familiar plot to make for a charming coming-of-age comedy.

Movie Info

It's the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip-hop and wafting with the sweet aroma of marijuana--but change is in the air. The newly-inaugurated mayor, Rudy Giuliani, is beginning to implement his anti-fun initiatives against "crimes" like noisy portable radios, graffiti and public drunkenness. Set against this backdrop, Luke Shapiro spends his last summer before college selling dope throughout New York City, trading it with his shrink for therapy, while crushing on … More

Rating: R (for pervasive drug use, language and some sexuality)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Jonathan Levine
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 3, 2008
Box Office: $2.0M
Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site


Ben Kingsley

as Dr. Squires
Famke Janssen

as Mrs. Squires
Olivia Thirlby

as Stephanie
Aaron Yoo

as Justin
Talia Balsam

as Mrs. Shapiro
David Wohl

as Mr. Shapiro
Bob Dishy

as Grandpa Shapiro
Joanna Merlin

as Grandma Shapiro
Shannon Briggs

as Bodyguard #1
Roy Milton Davis

as Homeless Man
Alexander Flores

as Kid in Bar
Ken Marks

as Oliver
Kiah Fredericks

as Police Officer #1
Robert Armstrong

as Principal Edward
Douglas J. Aguirre

as Desk Officer in Pris...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Wackness

Critic Reviews for The Wackness

All Critics (129) | Top Critics (32)

Kingsley's shamelessly zingy performance adds welcome pep, and a delicate, achingly sincere summertime idyll on Fire Island offers notice of Levine's evident promise.

Full Review… | December 3, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

That first sight of Ben Kingsley sucking down a bowl will burn into your memory. You may be watching The Wackness but it's hard to forget that this is Gandhi putting Bic to bong in Jonathan Levine's silly, sappy and sympathetic coming-of-age memoir.

Full Review… | December 3, 2008
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The Wackness marks a step up in ambition, but it is also self-indulgent and needlessly complicated for what it ultimately delivers: a somber John Hughes picture scored to A Tribe Called Quest and Mary J. Blige.

Full Review… | December 3, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic

On the downside: There is a wackness to The Wackness, a saggy psychic undertow that drags down its lighter and smarter aspects.

Full Review… | December 3, 2008
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

The Wackness, for all its eccentricities and emotional pain, is really a sweet little film.

Full Review… | December 3, 2008
Detroit News
Top Critic

The characters are sympathetically drawn and the modest wisdom rings true.

Full Review… | December 3, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Wackness

There are no featured audience reviews yet. Click the link below to see what others say about The Wackness!

There are no audience reviews yet. Hurry, submit your review so you can be first!

The Wackness Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Wackness on our Movie forum!