Weird Science

1985

Weird Science

Critics Consensus

Hardly in the same league as John Hughes' other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.

56%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 32

69%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 124,498
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Movie Info

John Hughes's third directorial effort, Weird Science, follows in the tradition of his previous teen-centered films, Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith play the wannabe hipster Gary and his nebbish weak-willed best friend, Wyatt, a pair of high-school geeks who are hapless with members of the opposite sex. Using Wyatt's computer, they create what they believe is the ideal woman. A lightning storm brings that woman to life, and she takes the form of Kelly Le Brock. Lisa sets about building their self-confidence, but trouble begins brewing when Wyatt's cruel, military-minded older brother, Chet (Bill Paxton), begins to realize that something is not as it should be. Hughes would finish his cycle of high-school themed films with his next movie, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

Cast

Vernon Wells
as Lord General
Michael Berryman
as Mutant Biker
Ann Coyle
as Carmen
John Kapelos
as Kandy Bar Owner
Jill Whitlow
as Perfume Salesgirl
Theodocia Goodrich
as Lingerie Saleswoman
Wallace Langham
as The Weeny
Johnny Timko
as The Weeny
Mikul Robins
as The Weeny
Darren Harris
as The Weeny
Babette Props
as The Weeny
Michael Cramer
as The Weeny
Todd Hoffman
as The Weeny
D'Mitch Davis
as Bartender
Mary Steelsmith
as Girls in Bathroom
Robin Frohman
as Girls in Bathroom
Alison Carole Lowe
as Girl in Upside-down Bathroom
Kym Malin
as Girl Playing Piano
Jeff Jenson
as Metal Face
Prince A. Hughes
as Party Guest
Rick LeFevour
as Policeman
Rock Walker
as Policeman
Prince Hughes
as Party Guest
Joe Gieb
as Blob Operator
Kevin Thompson (II)
as Blob Operator
Doug MacHugh
as Wyatt's Father
Pamela Gordon
as Wyatt's Mother
Phillip Borsos
as Candy Bar Owner (uncredited)
Steve James
as Guy at Table
View All

News & Interviews for Weird Science

Critic Reviews for Weird Science

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (14)

  • The movie is the latest in the "Wouldn't it be neat if . . .?" school of movies.

    January 4, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Weird Science veers off into a typical coming-of-age saga without exploring any of the psychological territory it lightly sails over in the early going.

    February 27, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • This is ordinary stuff that's aged about as well as Mitchell-Smith's clunky computer.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Even 14-year-old boys may find it heavy sledding.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Weird Science combines two great traditions in popular entertainment: Inflamed male teenage fantasies and Frankenstein's monster.

    January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Think of Weird Science as a Vanilla Sky for John Hughes. It's anomalous to his usual genre but analogous to the trials and tribulations found in his other work.

    August 9, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Weird Science

  • Nov 10, 2018
    It should be obvious, if you're someone with an even basic knowledge of 80s comedies, that John Hughes is a legend of this era. He's written and directed some of the more iconic teen comedies of the era like Ferris Bueller's Day, Pretty In Pink (which he only wrote), Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club (a movie that I love). I would include Some Kind of Wonderful in the aforementioned list but, honestly, it isn't as iconic or as memorable as those that I just mentioned. But that's not all he did, not by a long shot. He also wrote the first three National Lampoon's Vacation movies (two of which I very much enjoyed), Planes, Train and Automobiles (which I loved as well), Uncle Buck (a really fun movie) and the first three Home Alone movies. I feel like I shouldn't count the third installment, but the first two were massively successful and made Macaulay Culkin into a massive star, at least for a little while. So, yes, when you look at John Hughes' track record, it's actually pretty fucking strong all things considered. That's not to say his track record is perfect. I wasn't in love with Home Alone, even if I would consider it relatively solid, European Vacation didn't really float my boat either. Baby's Day Out was fucking awful. An interesting little tidbit about Baby's Day Out, it flopped in the U.S, but it was a major hit in South Asian countries which, apparently, according to his Wikipedia entry, so take this with a grain of salt, led to a franchise based on that movie. This is strange to me. Regardless, this brings us to Weird Science and where it fits in with some of the movies I just mentioned. It doesn't rank near the bottom with Baby's Day Out, to be sure. I feel that it just falls somewhere near the middle of the pack, along with European Vacation and Home Alone. The thing that, to me, stuck out about a film like Breakfast Club is how it actually cared about and nurtured these characters that were all stuck in detention. How these characters are explored and how they grow closer together throughout this day. It was, really, quite the excellent script. I can't speak to Sixteen Candles or Pretty In Pink, neither of which I've seen (despite wanting to), but I imagine that it's also fairly successful at exploring these teens' lives in the 80s and making them into likable, believable characters that you can relate to in your own way. Weird Science, on the other hand, has absolutely none of that and, honestly, it doesn't really even feel like this guy was the same guy that wrote and directed The Breakfast Club, which was released earlier in the SAME year. You know the concept, two unpopular dorks find a way to create the perfect woman who, somehow, has magic powers like she's some sort of 80s I Dream of Jeannie. I realize the 80s were a considerably different time, in more ways than one, but I can't imagine how this concept would be taken in this day's landscape. I mean there's been movies that have followed a relatively similar concept, like Ruby Sparks, in which an author creates this character that comes to life. But Ruby Sparks was released in 2012, things are VERY different in 2018. But, at the very least, Ruby Sparks explored some interesting ideas regarding its concept of creating the perfect woman, at least in the case of that movie and this one. And that's not even the worst part of this movie. Look, if I was Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan-Mitchell Smith (17 and 16, or maybe slightly younger, respectively, and I got to make out with, let's be real here, a smoking hot, and 25-year-old, Kelly LeBrock, I would not say no. It's just that, let's just say, it hasn't aged particularly well either. Though, to be fair, I think that Kelly makes out only with Ilan. I'm not taking points away from the movie based on an outdated and the making out, but it's just stuff that has not aged well when compared to, say, The Breakfast Club. Regardless, this is a fairly decent movie I would supposed. But I do think that the sci-fi approach to its narrative and the fact that Lisa can do whatever she wants ends up limiting the type of story you can tell with these characters. I guess that this was obviously meant to be something a little lighter and not so interested with exploring the lives of its teen leads, but Wyatt and Gary just aren't that intriguing as characters. Wyatt is bullied by his older brother Chet and Gary, well, I don't know what's wrong with Gary. They have self-confidence issues and having Lisa around helps them come out of their shell, which is all fine and dandy. I've got no problem with that, but I never really cared about Gary or Wyatt, I think Lisa is the main draw of the movie, obviously. And not only is this because, as I mentioned, Kelly LeBrock is a stunner, but she is legitimately very charming in this role. It would be interesting if this was a darker movie and seeing how Lisa, with her powers, gets more and more out of control, pushing things to the point that Wyatt and Gary need to do something about her. I mean, really, that would make it a horror movie, but it'd still be interesting to me. I think the main problem I had, even if I'm giving this a decent rating, is that the movie just isn't that funny. I think if you're gonna swap out the heart and soul of a movie like The Breakfast Club, you need to substitute with some top-notch comedy and this movie fails to do that. There are some funny moments, to be sure, like the whole biker gang (which was ripped straight out of Mad Max) invading Gary and Wyatt's party, which leads to them standing up for themselves, is pretty funny. And drunk Gary, at least before they get him out of the club, is also funny. Another one of the gags that stuck out in my mind was when Lisa made Gary's parents forget their entire meeting, where she insisted on taking Gary to the party, she fucked up with Gary's dad so bad that he fails to remember who his own son was. It's not great, but it's a fairly funny bit. But that's all that I can remember that really stuck out in my mind. It's just not that consistently funny. Gary and Wyatt do learn a lesson, maybe not the lesson they SHOULD learn (that they shouldn't create women to fulfill their every desire and/or wish), but they do learn a lesson and, of course, they both get the girls they want at the end. The romance subplot, if it could even be called that, is the bare minimum. It's not particularly good or that satisfying considering that these two new couples barely know anything about the other. I don't know what else you want me to say, but John Hughes' magnum opus, this is not. I've seen worse, particularly earlier during this month, but I can't really recommend this. Doesn't have the heart and soul of some of Hughes' best and the comedy that it substitutes that heart and soul with is lacking. Kelly LeBrock is great, but she's the only great thing about this movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 18, 2016
    Remember those awkward teenage years? Well if you don't here's a work that'll fully immerse you in all those forgotten feelings of being out-of-place. Penned and directed by John Hughes it's a cross between Bewitched and Frankenstein wherein two youths fabricate their dream woman on a computer and she comes to life, complete with a full set of do anything powers. It's really bad/sad, the stretches Hughes makes, all in the name of wish fulfillment for 12 to 14 years olds boys. You will feel awkward again ... just watching it.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • May 03, 2014
    "She blinded me with science!". I often get this film's title theme song confused with that song, which is a pity, because this film's theme song is decidedly cooler than Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me with Science", or at least tries to be. It's hard to edge up a lyric this obviously intended for a teeny flick, no matter how hard Steve Bartek tried with some groovy guitar work, but hey, Oingo Boingo must have been doing something right, because this film's theme song is arguably more notorious than the film itself... probably because jerks like me keep getting it confused with "She Blinded Me with Science". I like how a week after this film came out and boosted Oingo Boingo's popularity a bit, we saw the release of "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure", the first feature that Danny Elfman scored, because it shows us that 1985 was quite the year for Elfman, as well as for Bill Paxton and Robert Downey, Jr. Jeez, I'd say that this film must have some pretty solid notoriety if it broke stars like those out, but then again, their popularity was inevitable, and it's not like this film was able to save Ilan Mitchell-Smith's potential stardom. Come to think of it, after "National Lampoon's Vacation" and John Hughes' first two films, Anthony Michael Hall was showing big signs of stardom, up until this film came along, so maybe this thing is more like a curse, at least to those in the lead cast. I'm not saying that these kids are Robert Downey, Jr., (Maybe Bill Paxton; it's always hard to remember if he's all that good) but they weren't too shabby in this film, even though their science can't quite blind you to the film's problems. As you can imagine, natural shortcomings are there in this extremely inconsequential fluff piece, which thin the film down as near-useless in its lack of flare, and even in its limited uniqueness. I might be able to embrace the silly story a little more if it hadn't already been done to death, in the 1980s, alone, with this film continuing to fall into near-embarrassing tropes as a sci-fi comedy of its nature and as an '80s fluff piece that has only so far to go, and gets there aimlessly. While not especially lengthy with its 94-minute runtime, this film reflects just how thin its narrative concept is with storytelling that goes dragged out to an aimless, perhaps downright unfocused point, by sheer, repetitious filler. Filler is overtly abundant, and material, well, not so much, at least when it comes to exposition, as the film hardly puts any effort into fleshing out characters whose engagement value seriously needs development if you're to get invested through all of the obnoxious aspects that, before too long, begin to make up characterization. Characters are well-handled enough by John Hughes and their portrayers to engage just fine, perhaps as saving graces for the final product, but make no mistake, they're hard to get attached to, because they're just so obnoxious, though far from the only obnoxious element in this film, which is nothing short of corny in concept, with a scripted execution by Hughes whose flat spots in dialogue, humor and plotting reflect a considerable laziness. In a lot of ways, actually, the film is plain lame, as Hughes tries too hard to make a stereotypical '80s fluff piece, and ends up with a cheesy idea whose lazy execution all but means mediocrity. The film comes so close to falling flat, and in the hands of a lesser filmmaker, it would have, but even at his laziest, Hughes drives the final product far enough to entertain thoroughly enough for you to forgive a lot of flatness, with the help of some technical proficiency. The film isn't quite as driven by technicality as you might expect when looking at the very fantastic premise, but what effects it does have contain a fair bit of lively color which adds to nifty visuals in something of a memorable fashion. Technical style, no matter how limited, stands, livening things up with a color that is also found in the film's substance, for no matter how thin and utterly ridiculous, to the point of obnoxiousness (Yeah, keep in mind that when I described it as "fantastic", I wasn't referring to quality), this film's premise has a bit of intrigue to it that can't work without an interpretation that works. Mind you, John Hughes' script barely works, being derivative, messily paced and, of course, cheesy in a lazy manner, but with all that said, there are, in fact, more than a few genuinely memorable dialogue and set pieces which amuse, despite cheesiness that is sometimes obnoxious. More obnoxious is, of all things, characterization, and that might overpower the other colorful aspects of writing, to the point of shaking up the final product something fierce, but performances compensate through plenty of charm, with the beautiful and sexy Kelly LeBrock capturing enough of the seductive presence and sense of instability to make the Lisa character unpredictable as a flawed fantasy girl, while young leads Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith, despite being a little hammy at times, carry plenty of enjoyable energy that sells their characters' eccentricities as more fun than obnoxious. By no means are the performances all that balanced, but they're more realized than the characterization, which is not the only limp element in a script that, in spite of highlights, carries shortcomings that would ruin the film if it wasn't for another performance, an offscreen one. Hughes' scripting feels barely inspired, thus, it's Hughes' directorial inspiration, however limited, that saves the film, because on top of playing with the aforementioned technical and visual style, Hughes plays with snappy editing by Chris Lebenzon and Mark Warner and other colorful elements, in addition to charming performances, with enough color to entertain thoroughly enough to transcend much messiness. The film is messy, make no mistake, but that just goes to show Hughes' abilities as a filmmaker, for there is enough color to Hughes' storytelling and certain peers to make a fun final product that, well, still might not be for everyone. When the experiment is finished, a silly and thin narrative idea is executed in too unoriginal, aimless, underdeveloped and obnoxiously cheesy of a fashion for the film to hang onto decency, ultimately secured by the lively style, humor highlights, acting and direction that color up John Hughes' "Weird Science" enough to make a fair, if sloppy project. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Aug 05, 2013
    Kinda funny and silly. Two loser cook up their perfect woman, and she teaches them to man-up. Her loyalty to them is sweet and true. It's nice to see the typecast Anthony Michael Hall playing a confident-ish jackass. Bill Paxton as the meathead older brother is ridiculous. Young Robert Downey Jr. is douchey in a serviceable way.
    Alice S Super Reviewer

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