Assassination of a High School President

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 10


Audience Score

User Ratings: 99,810
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Assassination of a High School President Photos

Movie Info

A teenage take on Roman Polanski's post-noir classic Chinatown, The Sophomore stars Reece Daniel Thompson, Mischa Barton, and Bruce Willis in the tale of a Catholic high-school newspaper reporter who stumbles upon a disturbing conspiracy. Prompted by the most popular girl in school to investigate the theft of the SAT exams, an ambitious young fact-finder discovers that the school's president -- a disillusioned Gulf War veteran -- and the top jock are responsible for the crime. As if this information wasn't unsettling enough, it appears that both have been operation under the direction of an even higher power.

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Bruce Willis
as As?l Kirkpatrick
Mischa Barton
as Francesca Fachini
Melonie Diaz
as Clara Diaz
Josh Pais
as Padre Newell
Luke Grimes
as Marlon Piazza
Kathryn Morris
as Hem?ire Platt
Joe Perrino
as Dutch Middleton
John Magaro
as Cipriato
Robin Lord Taylor
as Alex Schneider
Vincent Piazza
as Ricky Delacruz
Tanya Fischer
as Sam Landis
Zoë Kravitz
as Valerie Torres
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Critic Reviews for Assassination of a High School President

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for Assassination of a High School President

  • Jun 05, 2012
    "Assassination of a High School President" is a mixed bag. When it tries to be like the great hardboiled noirs of the past, it's good, but when it detours into romantic/raunchy comedy territory, it doesn't work. The coarse dialogue and vulgar content seem out of place and out of context. Reece Thompson is so-so in the lead role, but he doesn't always hold our attention. No, the standout performances come from Bruce Willis, who gets most of the good lines, and character actor Josh Pais, who had me laughing every time he came onscreen. Overall, "Assassination of a High School President" is just too unfocused. It could have been something really great, but instead, it's concerned with being filthy and commonplace.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • May 15, 2012
    Clara: Forget it, Funke. It's high school.  "Politics, popularity, paranoia, pharmaceuticals. Are you in?" Assassination of a High School President is a really cool film in my opinion. It blurs the line between a typical set in high school movie and a noir; like Brick, but not nearly as serious. It doesn't take long to find out that this is using movies like Chinatown and All the Presidents Men for material. There's a lot of dialogue, references, and scenes that tell us just that. I liked the movie for that. It took serious conspiracy stories and threw them in a high school setting with a lot of stuff we would find familiar. The standard high school movie plot devices and characters that is. We are given a main character, Funke. He is a geek; unliked and unknown. He's also a writer for the school newspaper, although he has yet to write a single article. When the SAT's go missing, he finds who he thinks is the culprit and writes a story on him. The person he fingers is none other than the high school president. Soon, like in many other high school set films, the geek has been reborn as a "cool" kid and he's banging the hottest chick in school. From there the story keeps developing and the conspiracy widens and widens. It almost seems serious, except that it isn't. We're reminded of that by characters that take every serious situation and make it into a joke and by Bruce Willis who plays the principle in such a ridiculous and comical way. This isn't a great movie by any standards and I can see why many people didn't like it. It didn't really do anything original or noteworthy, but it seems like everyone involved thinks it is original. But all it is is a movie that has been done before thrown into a new setting. With that said, I loved it. There was nothing about it that I didn't like. I thought it was funny, well thought out, and smart in a stupid way. I liked the references and I didn't think there was a bad scene in the movie. Plus I couldn't stop laughing at the party scene where they are playing pong and a kid says "I got winner" and collapses onto the table, is then picked up and says he wants another toothpaste cigarette. It's funnier if you watch it, I swear.  All in all, this movie really surprised me. I didn't expect it to be nearly as fun or good as it was. Most of that came because of the lackluster reviews, but part of it was my own guess. I was wrong and I am really glad I took a chance on it. It's a movie I couldn't help falling in love with and I'm sure I will watch it many times in the future and get the same kick out of it I did the first time around.
    Melvin W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 10, 2011
    "Assassination" has a few important and unique things going for it. The writing is the first thing you recognize. With the main character also narrating the film, some of the voice overs are so uniquely written, you cannot help but keep watching. The other achievement is the mish-mash of cast. There are unknowns mixed with big stars and they all come together brilliantly. I started the film because of my love for the actress Emily Meade, and though she only graced the screen for about 2 minutes, I still stuck it out. The plot of the film is rather mulled over, but there is so much character and eccentricity that it is easy to let the story slide to the wayside.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2010
    In "Assassination of a High School President," Bobby Funke(Reece Daniel Thompson) has dreams of getting a scholarship to the prestigious summer journalism school at Northwestern University. The only problem with this is that he does not currently write for the school newspaper but feels a profile of school president Paul Moore(Patrick Taylor), with the help of Paul's girlfriend Francesca(Mischa Barton), will get him the much needed attention. First, however, the SAT's are stolen with Principal Kirkpatrick(Bruce Willis) out for blood. Funke does some more digging and breaks the cardinal rule of journalism forbidding using stuffed unicorns to elicit information to unmask the culprit... I know I am not the first person to unfavorably compare "Assassination of a High School President" to the superior "Brick," even if it is slightly unfair since Funke is the only one who feels like he is in a detective movie. That's not to mention the movie references which include "Chinatown," "The Usual Suspects" and possibly "The Caine Mutiny" which pushes "Assassination of a High School President" uncomfortably towards parody. It is a shame and unnecessary because when it hits its eccentric stride(led by an uncharacteristically unhinged performance from Bruce Willis), it is actually quite fun to watch. That's not to mention its keen observations of high school life where the only thing worse than being at the low end of the social ladder is to be at the top.
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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