Real Genius
Real Genius (1985)

This teen comedy from director Martha Coolidge stars Gabe Jarret as Mitch, a 15-year-old science whiz who is recruited to join a university think tank that is unwittingly developing a weapon for the military.

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: August 1, 1985
DVD Release Date: June 11, 2002
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Critic Score: 74% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: It follows college tropes, but Real Genius has an optimistic streak that puts you on Val Kilmer's side all the way.

Paul Attanasio
Washington Post

Coolidge has gotten onto something here, and the pity is that the story she's stuck with never gets her any deeper into it.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

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.

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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

...a mostly watchable yet lamentably erratic piece of work...

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

The humor is relentlessly cruel, smug, and disconnected from any sense of how human beings might behave in similar situations.

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Janet Maslin
New York Times

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.

Steve Warren
Bay Area Reporter

Real Genius is real dumb.

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Variety Staff

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.

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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Real Genius contains many pleasures, but one of the best is its conviction that the American campus contains life as we know it.

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Tom Long
Santa Cruz Sentinel

Real Genius isn't just a showcase for a new talent. It's a well-paced, extremely likable film about a number of things that are being beaten to death in the movies these days. It dares to be both intelligent and funny. Shouldn't we all?

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More reviews for Real Genius

Flixster Audience Score: 83% Flixster User Reviews
John Manard
Classic 80's movie!!
Leigh Ryan
Pretty crazy. Hard to keep focused on it, but it was pretty good still.
Unknown Hobo
This is one of those movies that I wake up one morning and just want to watch, an old faithful if you will. Val Kilmer gives one of his best performances,… More
Tim Salmons
Cliche'd to the core, but I enjoyed this little flick.
Aj V
A funny movies about nerds, I like it better than Revenge of the Nerds, except that it has Kilmer, who's not that good an actor, but overall, it's a… More
Manu Gino
Quite funny and I just wanted to see this movie because it reminded me alot from my childhood. Young Val Kilmer and the young japanese guy from Karate Kid 2… More