Box art for The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

drama, romance

A funny and touching coming-of-age story, THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of high school.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Book-based drama for mature teens tackles tough subjects.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Perks of Being a Wallflower (based on the same-named book by Stephen Chbosky) is an edgy, moving, and layered coming-of-age dramedy that's frank about the troubles and exploits of teenagers. You see them fret over their futures, push back against parental intervention, drink, make out, and use drugs. One girl also blithely jokes about being bulimic. Expect to see couples (both same- and opposite-sex) making out, teens bullying each other, and plenty of swearing. There's also a big reveal about a major, tragic trauma. Harry Potter's Emma Watson co-stars, but this is a much more mature role for her than Hermione.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts teens. Are the characters and their decisions realistic? What about the consequences of those decisions?
  • How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are they glamorized? If you've read the book, how does the movie's take on these subjects compare?
  • How does the movie depict bullying? What should teens do if that happens to them? What should they do if they see it happening to someone else?
  • Parents, ask your teens about the sense of alienation that the movie suggests teenagers have. Are real teens this disaffected and disillusioned?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: 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.

- John Anderson, Newsday, Thursday, October 4, 2012

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Slow moving, but really good. Great soundtrack too. Very different role for Emma Watson. I was impressed!

- romy861, Sunday, January 13, 2013

3 stars

Though with an unnecessary twist and a few clichs in a plot that could have certainly avoided them, this is a very sincere and involving drama about what it is like to be a teenager trying to find his place in the world - and its strength lies in three excellent performances.

- blacksheepboy, Saturday, January 12, 2013

4 stars

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a touching, heartfelt and funny film from first time director Stephen Chbosky, who also wrote the script and wrote the novel. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, and Ezra Miller give absolutely fabulous performances that deserved Award attention especially for Ezra Miller. Besides some flaws and confusion (maybe a second viewing is in order), I had a great time watching this film. The performances add humanity to the wonderful script, and the characters are so normal, that everybody can identify with them somehow. See this film, you won't regret it.

- fb701560354, Thursday, January 10, 2013