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4.2 out of 5 stars12
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 May 2009
If you have 'mad love' for 1994, then this is the perfect film for you! Otherwise you may find the sheer 1994ishness a tad distracting (the mid-nineties is applied with a trowel), but this is still a great film if you allow yourself to see through that.

Luke (Josh Peck) has just finished high school, and is spending his last summer before uni dealing drugs in New York City. One of his main clients is messed-up psychiatrist Dr Squires (Sir Ben Kingsley), and the film follows Josh and Squires' friendship across the summer, with Josh falling for Squires' hip stepdaughter, Stephanie, whilst Squires and his wife grow further apart. Josh is fed-up with being a loner, and with his life in general, and Squires just wishes he had his youth back, becoming dependent upon a huge range of drugs and being generally more childish than Josh. Both of them learn a little something from each other.

Okay, so far so Hollywood, and maybe that's why The Wackness was unfairly overlooked in the cinemas. There's so much more to this than the old cross-generational life lessons story though. It's an incredibly touching movie, and there are some good laughs to be had as well. The acting is good all round, though Sir Ben does coast a little in this not-too-demanding role. The soundtrack is a particular highlight, taking in a great selection of mid-90s hip-hop sounds, and for anyone who's always wanted to see Ben Kingsley make out with Mary-Kate Olsen (and frankly, who hasn't?), now's your chance.

A superb movie to put on for those long summer evenings, even if 1994 was nothing particularly special for you!
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on 18 February 2009
Great film, massively under-rated (in the UK at least) and should have smashed it at the cinema. Great entirely believable cast, Olivia Thirlby, Josh Peck (of Mean Creak 'fame') and Method Man are particular stand outs and Ben Kingsley delivers one of his best performances since Sexy Beast. Famke Janssen manages to pull off an unusually off-beat role despite having virtually nothing to do except smoke; more like her character in Swingers than anything she's done recently. Soundtrack is excellent - everything from Wu Tang to the Fresh Prince - great for hip-hop heads or casual listeners. The whole thing is wrapped in a fantastic summery New York vibe that made me wish I'd grown up over there instead of leafy Surrey!
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on 16 June 2013
The story line is the "Wackness." Luke (Josh Peck) is a coming of age drug dealer in New York. He sees a psychotherapist, Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley) who he swaps marijuana for sessions. Dr Squires has a failing marriage to his wife (Famke Janssen). Luke is an outcast who is smitten by Stephanie (Olivia Thirlby) the step-daughter of Dr. Squires. Luke is attempting to sell drugs at an accelerated pace to prevent his family from being evicted and exiled to New Jersey.

The film has its cookie characters in drug users (Mary-Kate Olsen, Jane Adams) and is filled with truisms which adds boredom to a dialouge already burdened with too much seriousness. While the situation is comic, the dialouge fails to keep pace. The characters lacked a certain amount of believability. The film got rave reviews, perhaps due the original plot and underlying themes, but as a comedy it won't have you rolling on the floor. 3 1/2 stars

PARENTAL GUIDE: F-bomb, sex, brief nudity.
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on 13 August 2010
Anyone who was a teenager in the 90s will love this film - its nostalgia, the way it depicts a sticky hot summer and the wrench of lost romance. It is both poignant and funny, and Ben Kingsley is, as always, top notch. Great performances by Josh Peck and Olivia Thirlby too.
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on 19 January 2011
Love, love, LOVE this film. Excellent performances, the soundtrack is pure nostalgia - shouldn't be my cup of tea - but completely takes me back and some of the tracks you just can't help but smile when you hear. A great story too. Definitely one for the collection. Makes me wish i was 18 again...
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on 21 May 2013
this film is worth watching for the soundtrack alone. especially if you are a fan of earlyish hip hop as I guess the director is. also a pretty good film in its own right.
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on 3 February 2012
This film is different to what I've seen before but it's very interesting, great storyline and overall great film. Will defo watch again several times
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on 3 December 2009
If your into hip hop or just want a good movie you haaaave to watch this film, really well made.
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on 11 June 2010
Speaking as someone who really wanted to like this movie I was really dissapointed. Although the film remains watchable it doesn't live up to its trailer which I found much more appealing than the film itself. The film makes itself look as if it has something to do with the hip-hop era of the 90s, but all that is hip-hop about this film is the soundtrack (which is amazzzzing!)and of course the actors uncomfortably and forcefully trying to speak hip-hop slang. On a brighter note Ben Kingsley is brilliant and funny and carried the film for me but overall i thought 'The Wackness' was wack and a bit run of the mill.
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on 1 April 2016
The chemistry was just right, felt every high and low. Nicely shot to boot.
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