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The Wackness

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(No longer in theaters)
  • Rating: R — for pervasive drug use, language and some sexuality
  • Director: Jonathan Levine   Cast: Ben Kingsley, Famke Janssen, Josh Peck, Olivia Thirlby, Mary-Kate Olsen
  • Running Time: 95 minutes
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review


Comedy, Drama


Keith Calder


Sony Pictures Classics

Release Date

Jul 3, 2008

Release Notes


Official Website


In The Wackness, Josh Peck, of Nickelodeon’s excruciating (for non-tweens) sitcom Drake & Josh, plays a recent high-school grad who wheels around an ice-cream cart selling pot, some of it to his long-haired stoner psychiatrist (Sir Ben Kingsley), while lusting after the doctor’s willowy stepdaughter (Olivia Thirlby). The writer and director, Jonathan Levine, labors to establish the period (it’s 1994), which means a lot of white kids talking like rappers and ominous signs (for drug dealers) of a Giuliani crackdown on New York crime. The movie feels autobiographical—emotionally authentic (with a fair amount of bitterness toward women) and somewhat unshaped. The Giuliani stuff doesn’t come to anything, and Peck needs to learn that even dazed-and-confused teens don’t let their mouths hang slackly open all the time. The fun is watching Thirlby—second banana in Juno—do a tantalizing sex-bomb number, and Kingsley get to flout his knighthood by sticking his tongue down the throat of Mary-Kate Olsen.

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