6.6/10
12,688
55 user 88 critic

Rocket Science (2007)

Trailer
2:24 | Trailer
Looking for answers to life's big questions, a stuttering boy joins his high school debate team.

Director:

Jeffrey Blitz

Writer:

Jeffrey Blitz
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Camp (2003)
Comedy | Musical | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After a series of Broadway flops, songwriter Bert Hanley (Dixon) goes to work at a musical camp for young performers. Inspired by the kids, he finds an opportunity to regain success by staging an altogether new production.

Director: Todd Graff
Stars: Don Dixon, Daniel Letterle, Joanna Chilcoat
Elsewhere (2009)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A teen girl disappears after trying to meet men online in order to escape her small town. Apparently, only her best friend worries enough to investigate the mystery.

Director: Nathan Hope
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Jon Gries, Tania Raymonde
Table 19 (2017)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4/10 X  

Former high school musical star, Marc Pease, finds himself still living in the past, eight years after graduating.

Director: Todd Louiso
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Ben Stiller, Anna Kendrick
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A struggling actress and her novelist lover each illustrate the struggle and deconstruction of their love affair.

Director: Richard LaGravenese
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, Tamara Mintz
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Two teens battle their way through a religious apocalypse on a mission to defeat the Antichrist.

Director: Paul Middleditch
Stars: Craig Robinson, Anna Kendrick, John Francis Daley
Spellbound (2002)
Documentary | Comedy | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

Director: Jeffrey Blitz
Stars: Angela Arenivar, Ubaldo Arenivar, Jorge Arenivar
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After a break up, Jenny moves in with writer Kelly, her filmmaker husband, and their child. Despite a rocky start, Jenny's influence helps Kelly realize that an evolution in her life, career and relationship is necessary for her happiness.

Director: Joe Swanberg
Stars: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber
Just Add Water I (2008)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

An offbeat romantic comedy about a decent guy, Ray Tuckby, with a dead-end life in the dead-end town of Trona, CA. After encouragement from a stranger whom he happens upon, Ray begins to dream again. He sheds the parasites in his life, musters the nerve to pursue his childhood love, and finally takes back his community by toppling the local teenage Meth-baron.

Director: Hart Bochner
Stars: Dylan Walsh, Jonah Hill, Justin Long
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The discovery of a bone and a gun send a husband and wife on separate adventures over the course of a weekend.

Director: Joe Swanberg
Stars: Jake Johnson, Rosemarie DeWitt, Orlando Bloom
The Hollars (2016)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man returns to his small hometown after learning that his mother has fallen ill and is about to undergo surgery.

Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Charlie Day, Richard Jenkins
The Mayor (TV Movie 2003)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  
Director: James Widdoes
Stars: Ben Feldman, Harry Groener, Samm Levine
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas D'Agosto ... Ben Wekselbaum
Anna Kendrick ... Ginny Ryerson
Utkarsh Ambudkar ... Ram
Candace Hammer ... Townsend Prep Debater (as Candace Burr Scholz)
Margo Martindale ... Coach Lumbly
Reece Thompson ... Hal Hefner (as Reece Daniel Thompson)
Vincent Piazza ... Earl Hefner
Denis O'Hare ... Doyle Hefner
Lisbeth Bartlett Lisbeth Bartlett ... Juliet Hefner
Aaron Yoo ... Heston
Virginia House Virginia House ... English Teacher (as Virginia Frank)
Marilyn Yoblick ... Plainsboro Lunch Lady
Maury Ginsberg ... Mr. Lewinsky
Emily Ginnona ... Honoria
Dionne Audain ... Abraham Lincoln
Edit

Storyline

Coming of age in Plainsboro, New Jersey. High school student Hal Hefner stutters. On the evening his parents stop arguing and separate, 43 miles away at the state tournament, his school's legendary debater, Ben Wekselbaum, goes blank mid-sentence, Ben's teammate Ginny Ryerson doesn't get a first-place trophy, and the world changes. That fall, to Hal's amazement, Ginny recruits him for the debate team, mentors him, and will be his partner. He still has his stutter, but he works hard and he falls in love with Ginny. On the day of the first debate of the season, the world changes again. From then until the day of the state tournament, Hal has a lot to sort out. Is love rocket science? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Life is easier done than said.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 September 2007 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Rocket Science See more »

Filming Locations:

Baltimore, Maryland, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$58,536, 12 August 2007

Gross USA:

$714,943

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$763,578
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Plainsboro shares two high schools with West Windsor, and therefore no Plainsboro High School exists in New Jersey. See more »

Goofs

After Ginny first speaks with Hal on the school bus, we are show a shot of Hal looking out the window at her, the bus pulls off and we notice that the first window behind him is a emergency exit and the next holds a wheelchair lift. When we cut back to an internal shot of the bus, we can see there is no wheelchair lift on the bus. See more »

Quotes

Hal Hefner: And all it got me was... was a cello through her wi... window.
Ben Wekselbaum: You threw a cello? Through her window?
Hal Hefner: Yeah.
Ben Wekselbaum: How big was it?
Hal Hefner: I... I think it was sta... standard sym... symphony size.
See more »

Connections

References Pecker (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Add It Up
Written by Gordon Gano
Performed by Sam Matthews and Houfei Tang
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Best film so far of 2007
26 August 2007 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

For some, the joys of being a teenager include excelling at sports, having a girlfriend or boyfriend, being part of a close circle of friends, or just having fun. For others, there is only the constant feeling of being an outsider looking in. For some, even the thought of getting out of bed in the morning to go to school is filled with dread. Case in point - Hal Hefner, a fifteen year old attending Plainsboro High School in New Jersey, who is trying to make sense of growing up but is burdened by a stutter so debilitating that he cannot even tell the cafeteria worker at school that he wants pizza instead of fish. Rocket Science, the second feature by Jeffrey Blitz (Spellbound), who overcame his own stuttering disability, is a teen comedy that poignantly captures the painful loneliness of adolescence.

While on paper Rocket Science sounds like other coming of age films such as Election and Rushmore, it manages to capture something unique and very special about being a teenager without having to rely on grossness, stereotypes, or implausible situations. Brilliantly played by Vancouver actor Reece Thompson, Hal's sweetness and innocence is totally captivating and we identify with his pain and root for him to succeed. His family support, however, is virtually nonexistent. His brother Earl (Vincent Piazza) is a compulsive thief and bully who calls him by girls' names, his father has moved out of the house and his mother (Lizbeth Bartlett) has a Korean boyfriend, a Small Claims judge, (Steve Park) who laughs inappropriately and whose son Heston (Aaron Yu), a bisexual, shows an unusual amount of interest in him.

Hal has a speech therapist, Mr. Lewinsky (Maury Ginsberg), but he is so incompetent that he tells him that he wishes Hal was hyperactive so he would know how to treat him. Under these circumstances, the last place he would want to be is on the high school debating team, a collection of driven, super-confident word magicians who can speak with authority at breakneck speed on both sides of an issue. Surprisingly however, Hal is recruited by top debater Ginny Ryerson (Anna Kendrick) to be her debate partner after her former partner Ben Wekselbaum (Nicholas D'Agosto) went blank at last year's championship match.

Ginny, a charming but overly aggressive super student, tells Hal that "deformed people" make good competitors because they have so much anger to express. Hal's first inclination is to say no but he is so taken with Ginny and flattered that someone could see some possibility in him that he accepts. Giving it the old high school try, he stumbles badly both in pursuing his romance and in debating the subject of sexual abstinence in high school, so badly in fact that he often has to hide in the janitor's closet from embarrassment.

Mr. Lewinsky advises Hal to try singing the words of the debate to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic, or speaking with a foreign accent and he does both with hilarious effect. Partly out of revenge and partly out of desperation, he turns to failed debater Ben Wekselbaum, now working in Trenton in a cleaners, to be his new partner after Ginny transfers to a different school. The ending is ripe for the big debate in which all the pieces fit neatly together but Blitz does not go there. Instead he relies on the inner strength of the characters to see them through, not on a contrived narrative.

While there are some predictably oddball characters like Philosophy major Lionel (Jonah Hill), pint-sized Josh (Lewis Garrles) who spies on Ginny for him (and models her bra that he has stolen), and an older couple who practice the Kama Sutra and play Violent Femmes "Blister In The Sun" duets on the cello and piano, Rocket Science has few false notes. It is wise, honest, funny, touching, and painfully sad with Oscar-caliber performances. It's not rocket science to figure out why it is the best film so far of 2007.


33 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 55 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed