A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
A teen with a severe stutter joins the debate club and finds his voice. An overly competitive girl tries to sabotage a team's chances of winning.
Violence & Scariness
Hal gets pounded by his angry brother; Hal throws a cello through a window.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Teen couples kiss; Hal and Ginny make out in a janitor's closet; Hal hears his mom having sex with a neighbor; Hal and his brother discuss oral sex and "bases." Illustrations from the Kama Sutra are shown.
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Several instances of "the finger" and uses of words including "s--t," "bulls--t," "ass," "retard," etc.
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Products & Purchases
Lincoln Town Car.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Hal drinks a bottle of hard liquor and then does stupid things while very drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this quirky teen comedy is pretty mild for an R-rated film (think Rushmore rather than Superbad). It does include some language ("s--t," "ass," etc.), shots of teens kissing, a couple of conversations about sex, and one scene of the protagonist drinking, but for the most part it's a clever, unconventional teen flick that follows a misfit, stuttering guy who joins the school debate team. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
With a few unexpected plot twists, writer-director Jeffrey Blitz admirably keeps ROCKET SCIENCE from devolving into Rocky-lite. Sometimes when the odds are stacked so high against a kid like Hal, no amount of hard work will end in victory. Sometimes it's the trying itself that's important.
Orbiting Hal on his surprising search for his voice -- to be a champion debater, you have to cram an astonishing amount of words into each second, not an easy feat for a stutterer -- are three other misfits: his agenda-keeping older brother (Vincent Piazza), his quietly closeted friend (Aaron Yoo), and Ginny's young peeping neighbor (Josh Kay). Each contributes to a couple of touching, humorous scenes.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.