Booksmart

Critics Consensus

Fast-paced, funny, and fresh, Booksmart does the seemingly impossible by adding a smart new spin to the coming-of-age comedy.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 285

77%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 3,924
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Movie Info

The story follows Dever and Feldstein's characters, two academic superstars and best friends who, on the eve of their high school graduation, suddenly realize that they should have worked less and played more. Determined never to fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night.

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Critic Reviews for Booksmart

All Critics (285) | Top Critics (45)

Audience Reviews for Booksmart

  • Jun 20, 2019
    Seemed to drag just a tad, but the leads were both charming and hilarious. Beanie's facial expressions alone are worthy of the price of admission. Does not stack up to Superbad as the reigning champ of the genre, but is a worthy addition nonetheless.
    Spencer M Super Reviewer
  • May 30, 2019
    An utterly charming and downright hilariously written and performed coming-of-age high school comedy. The script is so witty and the characters so easy to love, that you wish you could be their friends too. Olivia Wilde steps into the directors helm for the first time and puts a decidedly edgier and outlandish stamp to the usual realistic-ish coming of age high school films. What results is frequently funny and soon quite heartwarming. Probably my favorite of the year thus far. Rating:90
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • May 28, 2019
    From Ferris Bueller's Day Off to Superbad (just to name a couple), the teenage comedy sub-genre has been around forever and are usually among the best of their respective years, in comparison with broader comedies. Booksmart is the latest comedy to hit the big screen and while I see it having trouble catching on with a wide audience, this is easily my favourite film of the year, so far. If you're a fan of comedies at all, but also enjoy great performances and characters, then this movie may end up being loved by you as it was by me. Let's dive into why I believe this movie deserves to be called one of the best of the year. Following two high school seniors, as they are on the brink of graduation, they realize that everyone around them, even those who are popular, have gotten into good schools, the same way they have. Feeling the need to do everything they missed out on in terms of partying, they decide to cram it all into one night. How similar these two behave, while also being incredibly different on the inside is really what sold this film for me, but having two of the best young actresses didn't hurt either. Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein are easily two of the most impressive young actresses I've seen on-screen in quite some time. Their performances sold these characters in such a raw and realistic way, that I found myself engrossed in every moment this film had to offer. The characters themselves were already written well by Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman, but the devotion to these characters is what sent it over the edge for me, which is how I see many viewers feeling. Also, I would just like to add a little nod to Skyler Gisondo's portrayal of the character Jared. Although receiving very little screen time, his few scenes had me laughing quite hard. I always enjoy seeing him in films. The biggest star of this film; However, is Olivia Wilde in the director's chair. Normally I don't call too much attention to directors, simply because a positive review is really only positive due to the wonderful directing job anyways, but Wilde is someone to watch out for. I've always liked her as an actress, but I'm always shocked when an actor or actress decides to take a chance behind the camera and shine brightly. Her work here from some clear decisions on set to how she pulled amazing performances from everyone involved should not be taken lightly. In the end, Booksmart may have felt like another ordinary comedy about teenagers finding themselves, but from the screenplay to the direction, to how everything plays out so impressively well on-screen, I found myself very impressed. Hilariously throughout the majority of the runtime, while also being very dramatic and heartfelt when it needed to be, this, as of now, has to be my favourite film yet of 2019. Highly recommend checking this one out.
    KJ P Super Reviewer
  • May 26, 2019
    SUPERGOOD - My Review of BOOKSMART (4 Stars) So many great films have come from the "Teens Hanging Out All Night" genre. From AMERICAN GRAFFITI to DAZED AND CONFUSED to SUPERBAD, they've careened from one crazy real time scenario to another and left us taking that ethereal walk of shame in the morning. Now, just in time to queer up this tradition, comes BOOKSMART, the feature directorial debut of actor Olivia Wilde, and written by a committee of women (Katie Silberman, Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, and Sarah Haskins), and it's a hilarious, charming, slyly subversive addition to the canon. BFFs, Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein), start their last day of high school at the top of their class after a lifetime of hard studying. While their peers seemingly partied their futures away, these two social outcasts seem to have laid the groundwork for what lies ahead. Of course, the rude awakening occurs in the first act, when Molly learns her classmates have all either gotten into prestigious colleges or scored great jobs while simultaneously enjoying all their hormones and boundless energy have to offer. Now, with one night left before graduation, Amy and Molly decide to have one wild night together. The basic plot may seem…well…basic…but the chemistry between our leads and a stellar supporting cast make it sing. From the opening scene, in which Amy and Molly literally dance into our lives, this film shines with a verve and spirit often missing from teen comedies. Amy, an out lesbian who has yet to have sex, and Molly, the assured, balls out Class President, make a truly wonderful comedic team. While Amy can't get up the nerve to ask out her crush Ryan (Victoria Ruesga), an always happy skateboarder, Molly has been blind to all of the students she's looked down on, and only together can they really find their happy places in life. The journey may seem trite as we literally watch them hope from party to party in search of the ultimate one, but the emotions ring true while never turning to mush. Feldstein, in her young career, has already stood out in NEIGHBORS 2 and LADY BIRD, but with her first starring role, she seizes the moment and attacks every second with a similar sense of danger to that of her brother Jonah Hill and, dare I say, that of the late, great John Belushi. She also delivers emotionally in several key scenes which brought this silly comedy to a higher level. By the end, she wasn't the only person with tears in her eyes. With such stiff competition, Dever goes toe-to-toe with Feldstein and makes Amy an equally wild, fully fleshed-out character. Whether it's watching them pull crazy faces in a speeding car or feeling the discomfort of a very public fight, you want to follow them anywhere. With such archetypes as these two, you would expect Feldstein to carry the gross-out comedic aspects, but Dever steps up here and winningly sells scenes such as the unforgettable moment she lets her fingers do the walking. Trust me, you'll know it when you see it. BOOKSMART populates itself with a ton of fantastic supporting characters, from Lisa Kudrow and Will Forte as Amy's doting parents, Skyler Gisondo (THE SANTA CLARITA DIET) as a rich kid who carts around a hot mess called Gigi (a hilarious Billie Lourd) and awkwardly crushes on Molly, to Molly Gordon (ANIMAL KINGDOM) as a student with a bad reputation but with more layers than you'd expect. Diana Silvers has a sly way with her lines as another potential love interest for Amy and I loved what Jessica Williams did with a small amount of screen time as a teacher who clearly refuses to morph into an adult. I also loved Noah Galvin (THE REAL O'NEALS) and Austin Crute as a hilarious pair of gay theater queens who have never met a RuPaul catchphrase they didn't sell to the back rows. Olivia Wilde, who, along with her cinematographer, Jason McCormick, don't reinvent the wheel, but display a propulsive, sometimes beautiful cinematic sensibility. One gorgeously shot underwater sequence really stood out as did the overall pacing, which starts off at 11 and never slows down. She could have dialed back on the endless music cues and some of the whiplash energy which prevented some of the jokes from landing. This would have allowed the film to breathe more, but I chalk that up to first-time director excitement she must have felt when she cut the film together and saw that she had something special. The film reminded me of last year's BLOCKERS but without as much of a parental presence and with a much more cinematic eye. Both featured strong young female characters who took a big bite out of life, but BOOKSMART has its own unique charms. It's not perfect, but it's a blast. As a whole, BOOKSMART earns its place in the pantheon of its predecessors all the way up to the way it undercuts its big emotional moment for one final, funny exchange as it smash cuts to black.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer

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