Rocket Science 

click to enlarge 36_0012_rocketscientist.jpg

Socially awkward high schooler Hal (Reece Daniel Thompson) is recruited for the debate team by its aggressive star, Ginny (Anna Kendrick). One big problem: Hal's got a dreadful stutter. Enamored with Ginny, Hal presses painfully on. Jeffrey Blitz's indie dramedy presents the usual panoply of horrible adolescence -- bad parents, bland suburbs, painful romance, nerdy friends, awful siblings -- but his bittersweet take feels fresh thanks in part to Thompson's endearing performance as the tormented Hal and the story's slightly absurd vibe. Blitz, whose earlier work was Spellbound, a documentary about nerd-student-performance, fills Rocket Science with great moments that feel both real and off-kilter -- a dreadful school counselor, a drunken bike ride and an unattainable slice of pizza. You'll root for Hal -- he's a sweet kid undone by naïve earnestness -- but refreshingly, Blitz doesn't go for any easy inspirational grabs, instead wrapping up with just the tiniest of triumphs. Squirrel Hill


Latest in Movie Reviews + Features


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Al Hoff



Sign up for Daily Rundown and get the freshest content sent right to your inbox.


Did you vote in our Best Of Pittsburgh 2016 poll?

  • Yup! Every year.
  • Nope.
  • I wrote myself in for every category.
  • I don't believe in superlatives.

View Results

© 2016 Pittsburgh City Paper

Website powered by Foundation

National Advertising by VMG Advertising