The Perks of Being a Wallflower

2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Critics Consensus

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a heartfelt and sincere adaptation that's bolstered by strong lead performances.

86%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 160

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 138,431
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Movie Info

Based on the best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up. Starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a moving tale of love, loss, fear and hope-and the unforgettable friends that help us through life. -- (C) Summit

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Cast

Logan Lerman
as Charlie
Ezra Miller
as Patrick
Mae Whitman
as Mary Elizabeth
Kate Walsh
as Mother
Nina Dobrev
as Candace
Paul Rudd
as Mr. Anderson
Joan Cusack
as Dr. Burton
Melanie Lynskey
as Aunt Helen
Tom Savini
as Mr. Callahan
Leo Miles Farmerie
as 7-Year-Old Charlie
Isabel Muschweck
as 9-Year-Old Candace
Nicholas Braun
as Ponytail Derek
Jordan Paley
as Rocky MC
Patrick De Ledebur
as Senior Bully
Brian Balzerini
as Linebacker
Tom Kruszewski
as Nose Tackle
Emily Callaway
as Mean Freshman Girl
Chelsea Zhang
as Shakespeare Girl
Jesse Scheirer
as Freshman Boy
Julie Schaefer
as Twin Girl
Mark McClain Wilson
as Emergency Room Policeman
Atticus Cain
as Emergency Room Doctor
Stacy Chbosky
as Young Mom
Laurie Klatscher
as School Principal
Jennifer Enskat
as Sam's Mom
Morgan Wolk
as Candace's Friend
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News & Interviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Critic Reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

All Critics (160) | Top Critics (43)

  • Even making allowances for a certain amount of Hollywood gloss, there's something wrong with a film about misfits where everyone is this good-looking and poised.

    Nov 29, 2012 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 9, 2012 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…
  • Chbosky directs the movie with the care and conviction of someone who knows that this is his big story being told once and for all.

    Oct 5, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Sensitive teens and their older kin who pine for the '90s may want to take it for a spin on the dance floor.

    Oct 4, 2012 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Oct 4, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    John Anderson

    Newsday
    Top Critic
  • Seek out the infinitely superior The Myth of the American Sleepover for an original and moving take on similar material.

    Oct 4, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

  • Apr 01, 2017
    While a toast to those surviving not-fitting-in while in high school and to nerds everywhere, this is at heart basically a message film warning about what it is in life that makes outsiders feel the way that they do (i.e. usually victimization). Take away the message and what remains is another coming-of-age drama, one decently actualized. Expect lots of classic rock dance tunes.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 25, 2015
    Dealing with the problems of approaching adulthood in high school, friendship, love and a whole bunch of themes more could make for a horribly dry or self-important film. This one has its pretentious moments that make you wonder if there ever were three friends with such a glamorous gang doing such "crazy" things. But overall it works, thanks to a script that is taking its characters and their problems seriously without forgetting the humor. It also helps that the young actors are excellent, even Lerman who was mostly really dull in other films. There are moments of genuine truth, catching the hopes, fears and opportunity of adolescence rather perfectly, and a pretty surprising twist towards the end, that thankfully doesn't ruin the film's ultimately optimistic attitude. Viewed at the right age this could be a long-time companion, much like the friends in the movie. Well done.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • May 22, 2014
    Solid film. Wish that this had come out when I was younger so I could have had it as kind of a guide to the tempestuous years of high school. Any teenager can relate to the lessons taught in this film (except for the Rocky Horror Picture Show stuff, which was really fucking weird). The story is relatively interesting, and the characters grow on you surprisingly quickly. The messages sent by the film are important and clear. The only real issue that I had with this movie was the ending (SPOILERS) involving Charlie's aunt. The film just basically glosses over the most depressing part of the story like it was close to nothing, just a time when Charlie lost it for a bit. She nearly ruined his life, but she was so fucked up mentally and do desperately in need of help, implied by the movie to some extent that she was being abused, either physically or sexually, and so she took it out on Charlie. Even though she becomes a monster, she didn't have anyone around to help her out, so in the end, to some extent, it wasn't even her fault, so it's hard to hate her. Her death was almost merciful compared to her torturous existence. Plus Charlie ends up finding out that the person he loved and respected above almost all others, a pillar of his life, isn't who he thinks she was, and that she nearly ruined his life. But the film barely talks about this, and leaves a surprisingly upbeat film with a much darker and depressing ending segment. The film doesn't end after this revelation, of course, it has a couple of scenes later to wrap the film up, but the gravity of Charlie's Aunt's actions completely overshadow this. The viewer is probably still stunned until the ending credits roll. So this film would've been amazing if it had handled the ending better. As is, it just remains a great, very likable and watchable film.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Apr 21, 2014
    <b><i>"We can't choose where we come from, but we can choose where we go from there."</i></b> Based on the best-selling novel of Stephen Chbosky, who also made the peculiar decision to direct his own vision, <i>The Perks of Being a Wallflower</i> treats with delicacy and freshness the ups and downs, challenges, personal tragedies and the accomodation of life priorities in that unique life stage called "coming-of-age" with strong performances by a young cast that adequately personifies the main ideas that the novel attempts to transmit. A blast-from-the-past soundtrack reminds the audience of the good old days of the 80s, were the coming-of-age transition of adolescents acquired a particularly strong change in tone compared to their past generations, given a pervasively increasing pop-culture filtering through the masses, an increased access to information, and the scandalous generation to which their parents belonged to, considering the anarchic and somewhat misguided liberalism of the 60s. Despite being nothing special, and miles away from the degree of character analysis and unique humor that John Hughes would be capable of employing three decades before - especially considering the uneven change in tones that the film acquires in the last 20 minutes, one of them including a John-Hughes-like style - the film plays by the book (heh) and can be sufficiently recommended for people looking for an experience that, despite having being told countless times before and having a lack of passion towards the treatment of the multiple subjects it deals with, has messages that resonate today and that can be applied to modern youth, although in limited areas given the film's thematic scope. For me, the most important fibers that the film correctly tackles are two: 1) How, with each passing generations, adolescents are forced to face more mature real-life facts at a sooner age, modifying their scope about their roles as human beings. This is summarized with the opening quote of this review. And at least the basics of a recycled plot like this one is properly delivered by this adaptation: likeable characters, character variety, situations not so far from the truth, and the lack of adulthood/parental closeness. 2) How certain memory remnants about our life background can have repercussions in the present day, triggering certain psychological reactions in us, which have the power either to destroy us, or to help us discover more about ourselves. The divisive hate against this film is very unjustified. Not a single review I have read so far has given solid arguments for defending their hate convincingly. 65/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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