Real Genius
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Martha Coolidge directed this comedy taking place at fictional Pacific Tech, concerning incoming freshman Mitch (Gabe Jarret), a high school student whose Science Fair project made important inroads into laser beam technology. Mitch has been recruited by famed physics professor Hathaway (William Atherton), who asks Mitch to work in his laboratory. On campus, Mitch becomes roommates with the brilliant Chris Knight (Val Kilmer), legendary as the smartest freshman in the history of the college; but now, as a senior, he is less interested in his studies and more interested in having fun. It turns… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The humor is relentlessly cruel, smug, and disconnected from any sense of how human beings might behave in similar situations."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"What the film needs, instead of these familiar teen-movie trappings, is a cleverness and eccentricity to match that of its characters. For the most part, these are qualities that it lacks."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The movie gets stuck as a run-of-the-mill teen revenge comedy."
‑ , Film4
"Young Kilmer in no-brainer comedy"
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"A guilty pleasure....ooodles of fun"
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"What lifts the production above the run-of-the-mill is swift direction by Martha Coolidge, who has a firm grasp over the manic material."
‑ , Variety
"Real Genius contains many pleasures, but one of the best is its conviction that the American campus contains life as we know it."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"great fun and full of 1980s relics, from the now-antiquated computers to the box of Donkey Kong cereal to a finale set to Tears for Fears..."
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
"Supreme guilty pleasure"
‑ Brian J. Arthurs, Beach Reporter (Southern California)
"Pure '80s genius."
‑ Luke Y. Thompson, New Times
"It does make you wonder if the drive of the US education system is ultimately to develop better weapons of mass-destruction, though Coolidge's movie is too hazily good-natured to capitalise on the tougher aspects of the material."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"This disappointing teen comedy from director Martha Coolidge is another entry in the rash of teens-goofing-with-science films."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"goofy and very funny"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"See it. If you have seen it, see it again. It's a moral imperative."
‑ Widgett Walls,
"Like Risky Business, this not only rose above the 1980s teen comedy genre, but stuck it to the Reagan administration as well."
‑ Jeffrey Westhoff, Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
More reviews for Real Genius on Rotten Tomatoes

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