Rocket Science (2007)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though Rocket Science appears to be a typically quirky indie, the well-rounded performances and director Jeffrey Blitz's clear affection for his characters gives the film its proper human spark.

Rocket Science Photos

Movie Info

Jeffrey Blitz's seriocomedy Rocket Science proves that many a handicap can be overcome, no matter how daunting the obstacle at hand may initially seem. Newcomer Reece Thompson plays Hal Hefner, a 15-year-old high-school student with a minor yet socially alienating (and painful) disability: he stutters uncontrollably. Determined to work through the problem, Hal opts for an extreme route -- he joins the school debating team, which sends him on a headfirst plunge into breakneck speech competitions -- and offers a much-needed boost toward correcting the problem. Blitz, like his onscreen alter ego, struggled with a stammer as a young man -- a disability he eventually surmounted -- which imparted him with a lifelong interest in speech and storytelling.
Rating:
R (for some sexual content and language)
Genre:
Art House & International , Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Box Office:
$601,787.00
Runtime:
Studio:

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Cast

Jonah Hill
as Junior Philosopher
Denis O'Hare
as Doyle Hefner
Jeanette Brox
as Townsend Prep Bad Girl
Anna Kendrick
as Ginny Ryerson
Vincent Piazza
as Earl Hefner
Nicholas D'Agosto
as Ben Wekselbaum
Aaron Yoo
as Heston
Margo Martindale
as Coach Lumbly
Elisabeth Noone
as Hazlet Coach
Josh Kay
as Lewis Garrles
Stephen Park
as Judge Pete
Maury Ginsberg
as Lewinsky
Dan DeLuca
as Stephen Douglas
Dan Cashman
as Narrator
Dionne Audain
as Abraham Lincoln
Lisbeth Bartlett
as Juliet Hefner
John Patrick Barry
as Gym Teacher
Lee Sellars
as New Jersey Debate Official
Judy Jean Berns
as Townsend Prep Bad Girl
Susan Duvall
as Hazlet Lunch Lady
Will Shaw
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Nick D'Agosto
as Ben Wekselbaum
Jeffrey Wei
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Carol Florence
as Connie Ryerson
Candace Burr Scholz
as Townsend Prep Debater
Virginia Frank
as English Teacher
Marilyn Yoblick
as Plainsboro Luch Lady
Emily Ginnona
as Honoria
Michael Kusnir
as Flemming
Jane Beard
as Fern Garrles
Herb Merrick
as Lewis' Dad
Betsy Hogg
as Crystal Hamish-Steinberg
Zack Arrington
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Jaime Chicas
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Katrina Hargrave
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Erin Loube
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Natasha Sattler
as Plainsboro Debate Team Member
Andrew Collie
as Hazlet Timer
Huong Huyah
as Lewinsky's Girlfriend
Katherine Ross Wolfe
as Glen Rock Debater
Susan "Tootsie" Duvall
as Hazlet Lunch Lady
Noah Mazaika
as Trophy Presenter 1
Will Parquette
as Trophy Presenter 2
Tara Richter-Smith
as Babysitter
David DeBoy
as Frank Ryerson
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News & Interviews for Rocket Science

Critic Reviews for Rocket Science

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (39)

Writer-director Jeffrey Blitz brings wit and pathos to the story of a compulsive stutterer.

Full Review… | February 26, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

There's a lovely, fragile movie here; if only Blitz had had the faith to let it stand on its own two feet.

Full Review… | September 27, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

Blitz continues to make a case for himself as a filmmaker with rich, realistic stories to tell.

Full Review… | September 10, 2007
Associated Press
Top Critic

The most complicated and original teenage characters we've seen in a movie in a very long time.

September 10, 2007
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
Top Critic

The merits of Rocket Science are endlessly debatable, and this is nothing to sneeze at.

Full Review… | August 29, 2007
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Quietly written and convincingly played, this coming-of-age story mines its rueful laughs from a thick vein of performance anxiety, in both senses of the term.

Full Review… | August 27, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Rocket Science

½

I spent the vast majority of this movie trying to decide whether, or not, I liked it. The characters were definitely interesting, but overall I don't think that this film hit on the point that it was trying to make. Not a bad movie, just not that special.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

A stutterer joins his high school debate team at the behest of a woman with whom he quickly falls in love. Anna Kendrick, whose performance in Up in the Air showed her to be a strong if somewhat stilted actress, is nearly perfect as the debater/femme fatale in this quirky independent dramedy. And though Reece Daniel Thompson doesn't achieve a Colin Firth level of tortured stuttering, he is nonetheless compelling. There are also some really funny and touching moments. I particularly laughed out loud at "There's now a cello in your house." However, the narration is overbearing. There is a constant musical score dominated by quickly strummed guitar chords that make me think these were added because they're required in independent films, not because the score accentuated the storytelling. Finally, there were several moments of over-editing. Contrast Rocket Science with A King's Speech, in which the camera stayed fixed on the King as he tried to spit out his words; in Rocket Science there are needless cross cuts to reaction shots that show little reaction. Overall, like many independent films, Rocket Science is one to watch for the performances and occasionally clever script, not for its direction.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

½

I had high hopes for this one, (and even bought the damn thing before seeing it based on a good review. Grrr). Didn't do a lot for me at all. It was kind of dull and didn't find the main character particularly interesting. Disappointing.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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