Box art for The Wackness

The Wackness

comedy, drama

New York, summer 1994, the greatest year in hip-hop, a troubled teenage drug dealer trades pot for therapy sessions with a drug-addled psychiatrist intent on living his life to the fullest.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
5 out of 5
3 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
5 out of 5
3 out of 5

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.

what families can talk about

  • 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?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 29
    see all The Wackness reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: On the downside: There is a wackness to The Wackness, a saggy psychic undertow that drags down its lighter and smarter aspects.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, July 25, 2008

Fresh: This is a gently humorous and beautifully moving film.

- Annette Basile, FILMINK (Australia), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Levine, who wrote the film as well as directed it, re-creates 1994 with the painstaking detail usually reserved for period pieces and costume dramas.

- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Thursday, July 17, 2008

Audience Reviews

3 stars

Could have gone horribly wrong with narcissistic preppy New Yorkers as its subject but stays just the right side of teeth grating thanks to a script full of rye observation and another great show from Kingsley - is their nothing this man can't do ! Drug addicted comedy shrink who hangs out with a kid, no problem.

- gor41, Saturday, November 6, 2010

3 stars

Not great but not all that good either.The best thing about this movie was the soundtrack which I probably wouldnt mind buying if I found it cheap somewhere & the memories this movie brung back of high school days

- dukeakasmudge, Wednesday, October 13, 2010

3 stars

The Wackness is a coming-of-age story set in New York City in the 90's, and features all the things that you would expect from this kind of movie - the ups and downs of a guy's first experience with love, family problems, etc. I liked it a lot at first, but it got a lot less interesting for me towards the end. Things just started to bog down in a haze of drugs and self-reflection (especially the storyline of the psychiatrist). The Wackness had a good thing going, but couldn't quite manage to sustain it throughout the whole movie.

- lewiskendell, Wednesday, April 28, 2010