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The Wackness 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.

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Bittersweet coming-of-age pic about a pot dealer.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this movie stars Josh Peck from the wildly popular sitcom Drake and Josh, it's definitely not aimed at the Nickelodeon show's tween fan base. The film centers around an awkward high school senior who's a marijuana dealer. Like many coming-of-age-stories, it focuses on the mature themes of burgeoning sexuality (including several love scenes, jokes about virginity, and glimpses of a naked backside and breasts), drug use (many, many shots of teens and adults smoking pot), and first love. There's also a fair amount of drinking and cigarette smoking among 18- to 20-year-olds.

  • Families can talk about two of the film's messages -- that adolescence is a time to take risks and "make a mess out of life" and that the decisions you make in your youth shape your adult life. Why does Dr. Squires give Josh conflicting advice? What are the universal themes of this story? How are Stephanie's and Luke's characters nontraditional when it comes to teen relationships?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: A teen tries to help his parents with the money he earns selling drugs. Compared to the male protagonist, a teen girl is depicted as unapologetically sexually experienced.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A character tries to commit suicide a couple of times; a wife scratches her husband's face; a drug dealer's bodyguards sport machine guns; a man says he's in jail for gruesomely hurting his wife.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Several love scenes, especially when Luke attempts to lose his virginity to Stephanie. In one scene, a married couple has sex while watching porn (a topless woman is shown moaning on a hotel television). Luke's naked rear is shown during one shower-based love scene. An underage girl makes out with an older man. Dr. Squires talks a lot about sex and advises Luke to "get laid."

  • language false3

    Language: Standard R-rated language -- "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "p---y," "dick," etc. -- is used throughout the film.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: No overt products (unless you count marijuana), but there are many references to musicians like Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, Kurt Cobain, Pearl Jam, and other early-'90s artists.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Near-constant marijuana use and dealing, including scenes and discussions of joints, blunts, bongs, etc. There's a great deal of underage drinking and cigarette smoking as well, plus a couple of scenes of people snorting or pill-popping prescription drugs like Ritalin and Valium.