Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Rocket Science Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… unpredictable, hilarious and dour … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    One of those terminally annoying, depressive-yet-coy Sundance faves in which the tale of a mopey teen misfit unfolds behind a hard candy shell of irony.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Catapulted by an endearing lead performance by Reece Daniel Thompson as a stuttering high-school student, Rocket Science transcends the predictable high-school yarn and arcs into usually unexplored domains of self-discovery and personal growth in a coming-of-age film.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It is smart, witty and blessedly unpredictable.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    I suspect a lot of high school students will recognize elements of real life in the movie, and that the movie will build a following. It may gross as little as "Welcome to the Dollhouse" or as much as "Clueless," but whichever it does, it's in the same league.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Rocket Science reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Debate-team teen comedy is clever, unpredictable.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this quirky teen comedy is pretty mild for an R-rated film (think Rushmore rather than Superbad). It does include some language ("s--t," "ass," etc.), shots of teens kissing, a couple of conversations about sex, and one scene of the protagonist drinking, but for the most part it's a clever, unconventional teen flick that follows a misfit, stuttering guy who joins the school debate team.

  • Families can talk about the appeal of "misfit" teen heroes, from Max Fischer in Rushmore to Napoleon Dynamite. What characteristics do these kinds of characters have in common? What characteristics do their movies have in common? Is it more fun to watch movies about this kind of teenager or more "mainstream" teens? Why? Who do you identify with more? Families can also discuss the Hefner parents' divorce and how it affects both boys.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A teen with a severe stutter joins the debate club and finds his voice. An overly competitive girl tries to sabotage a team's chances of winning.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Hal gets pounded by his angry brother; Hal throws a cello through a window.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Teen couples kiss; Hal and Ginny make out in a janitor's closet; Hal hears his mom having sex with a neighbor; Hal and his brother discuss oral sex and "bases." Illustrations from the Kama Sutra are shown.

  • language false3

    Language: Several instances of "the finger" and uses of words including "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," "retard," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Lincoln Town Car.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Hal drinks a bottle of hard liquor and then does stupid things while very drunk.