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Rocket Science

28 customer reviews

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(Jan 01, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Rocket Science (DVD)

Picturehouse and HBO Films present a story about Hal Hefner, an ordinary, shy 15 year-old boy who's struggling to make it through High School. On top of his parents' recent divorce and an obsessive- compulsive, kleptomaniac older brother, Hal has a stuttering problem. In spite of this speech impediment, the high school debate team star, Ginny Ryerson, invites Hal to join the team. Stumbling his way to the championship, Hal falls in love, gains confidence and ultimately, realizes that love and life should not be rocket science.


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Reece Daniel Thompson, Anna Kendrick, Nicholas D'Agosto, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Candace Scholz
  • Directors: Jeffrey Blitz
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: January 29, 2008
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,149 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Rocket Science" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Howard Schumann on November 13, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Wesley Johnson on January 27, 2008
Format: DVD
Well before JUNO became the indy cult film of the year, Jeffery Blitz helmed this masterpiece of wit and quirkery. For my money, Reece Thompson's performance is every ounce as lovable as Ellen Page's, and even better in the sense that it was a tougher character to portray--believably. It was my favorite film of 2007, and it is purely tragic that so few people have seen it (It didn't even make a million dollars). So why does such a brilliant film go so unnoticed? I am here to tell you that you're cooler than the rest of the crowd if you've seen Rocket Science.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Dick on July 9, 2008
Format: DVD
There are two types of people - there's people like me, and there's everyone else. A lot of reviews of Rocket Science I've read have been written by people who fall into the latter category. They criticise this film for being too consciously quirky or affected ... I take umbrage with this the same way one ought to take umbrage with the idea that the movies of the Farrelly brothers are consciously scatological, or that the films of Chris Guest are consciously improvisational. I mean, it's a comedy, people! Quirkiness is this particular film's conceit, its schtick, and if you're not willing to play along with a film's conceit, then move along...move along.

The other type of people - people like me - will love this film. I saw it in a theatre filled with people like me (well, not filled exactly, but one-quarter-filled; there aren't that many of us I'm afraid). And it was the first time in a long time that I recall hearing people laugh out loud during a film. I'd say the audience who I saw it with certainly connected.

And it marks the return of Mike Yanagita (aka Steve Park)! That scene-stealer from Fargo. The whole cast is great, actually, but especially Reece Thompson as Hal Hefner. Phenomenal. Stutterers on film are uniformly annoying to the point of unwatchability, but not Hal - he is utterly endearing.

If you're like me, you'll see this movie, and you'll like it. If you're not like me, then F.U. This was the best movie of the year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Carragher on October 28, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a fine little movie. Start with the soundtrack, Clem Snide, singing some of the group's own and then, over the closing credits, The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Trust me, it only sounds absurd before you've seen the movie.

Which is about a stuttering kid who tries to find -- in no particular order -- his voice, love, himself. Triumph on all fronts would be too simple and, as we all know, Rocket Science isn't simple. But it is full of turns and, looking back on the movie a couple days later, while many of those turns surprise, none feel false, arbitrary or forced. It's a scary future out there, but at the end of Rocket Science, Hal (or, as his annoying but loyal big brother would prefer to call him, Penelope) has made an impressive start.

Funny and true, right down to three pieces of pizza at closing on a New Jersey boardwalk, this movie should not be missed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maine Writer VINE VOICE on March 2, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Rocket Science is smart, perceptive, genuine, and full of heart. It's a story of teens that actually captures that cinematic chimera: how it feels to be a real teenager. Lots of movies try to capture that feeling -- of being alien, inferior, bold, romantic, clueless, and brilliant -- but Rocket Science actually bottles it. For that reason, alone, I recommend it highly. But, Rocket Science is also a carefully crafted story with creative flourishes aplenty, a slew of strong performances, and an inventive story. If there is a flaw, it is with the central device of the young protagonist getting roped into being on the debate team -- I'm not sure how well thought out the plan is ... what does it achieve, really? But, that's quibbling, because, in the end, the teenagers that inhabit the film are so real as to make you easily accept their plans, schemes, foibles, and flaws.
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