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Overall Rating
1.98

Awesome: 16.67%
Worth A Look: 4.55%
Average: 1.52%
Pretty Bad: 15.15%
Total Crap62.12%

6 reviews, 30 user ratings


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Perfect Score, The
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by Todd LaPlace

"Never has the word 'perfect' been more abused."
1 stars

It's time for the multiple choice portion of the quiz. Please choose the most appropriate answer. "The Perfect Score" is: (A) An MTV film about six high school kids and their need to ace a standardized test in order to get into good colleges. (B) A movie that will never make Scarlett Johansson's resume. (C) A movie that will be forgotten in two years. (D) Dumb.

“The Perfect Score” is not a good movie. Hell, it’s not even a salvageable one. Paramount and MTV just decided to dump it in January, the month in which the multiplexes are overloaded with crap the studios just want to get off their shelves and out of distribution limbo. Brian Robbins’ picture definitely fits the crap label as the film’s three writers seemingly crafted the film after wearing out their Blockbuster membership cards to rent old John Hughes teen comedies and ’90s caper flicks.

Thanks to large college dreams and poor verbal skills, the six random, but categorically different, high school students center in “The Perfect Score” come up with a harebrained scheme to break into the Princeton Testing Center in order to get the answers to the SATs. The sextet lambastes the creators of standardized tests for turning a complex generation into a group of faceless numbers, whose entire futures are based solely on their ability to think logically about 20 people assembling 100 items in 6 hours. It’s too bad they don’t have the same issue with Robbins and his writing trio, the men responsible for turning the six characters into simple, easy-to-digest stereotypes.

There’s the dumb, but talented, jock (Minnesota Timberwolf Darius Miles); the pretty, but annoying, smart chick (Erika Christensen); the burnout with untapped intellect and witticisms (Leonardo Nam); the ant-establishment outcast (Scarlett Johansson); and the two “funny,” pretty WASP boys (Chris Evans and Bryan Greenberg) that are too generic to even rank as bland. The film’s heavy-handed moral rears its tasteless head as each of the six enter the heist with one reason and leave feeling all hunky-dory with the place each has ended up, whether or not its where they wanted to be. It’s all part of the escapist category that encompasses “The Perfect Score” so neatly. Despite their wrongdoings and myriad of ethical mistakes, the six’s respective futures are still proverbially bright and filled with possibilities.

The moral center of the film, though, is somewhat trivialized by the extreme illegal-ness of the rampant cheating and breaking and entering that is so prominent in the plot. It’s hoped that those tiny little criminal acts will be overlooked for the sense of utopian community formed within the sextet, which actually reflects how similar we all are, despite the few diverse categories that everyone can be lumped into. There are a few moments that seem like they could be leading somewhere — subplots of racism and the genuine pressure experienced by modern teens are introduced — but they are all quickly discarded for pop culture references to the “Street Fighter” video games and yet another tired “Matrix” rip off.

But despite all the negativity exuded by this worthless idiocy, “The Perfect Score” is saved from total teen movie hell by two quality performances that nearly transcend the plethora of dreadful material the actors were given. Johansson, already earning major kudos from roles in “Ghost World” and “Lost in Translation,” is terribly miscast as Francesca, but she at least seems to be having fun. Even forced to don Trinity’s “I’m gonna kick your ass” tight black leather and Ally Sheedy dark pariah cliché, Johansson can usually be found laughing and having a gay ol’ time in her boring scenes.

Newcomer Nam is the only other person that seems to have a genuine smile on his face during his scenes, although those may merely be fueled by a bong. As the drug-addicted Judd Nelson character, Roy could have easily been the most obnoxious person in a movie packed with obnoxious people, but Nam perfectly plays his bad jokes and actually comes across as funny and original. When he and the athlete are working on the math portion of the SATs, Roy rolls his eyes over at the basketball star with a witty “X is to Y as this shit is to boring.” If only that same line didn’t apply to both math problems and bad MTV teen comedies.

Let's grade those multiple choice quizes. All four statements reflect a kind of reality surrounding this film. Had there been a fifth choice, all of the above, that would have been the best choice. Sadly, for "The Perfect Score," the best choice is obviously D, because if there is one way to describe the film, it would have to be just plain dumb.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8628&reviewer=401
originally posted: 05/15/05 11:14:46
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User Comments

1/14/10 MR.dday38 hilarious, if you think other wise then you either a goodie 2 shoes or just plan stupid 5 stars
1/15/09 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
9/03/07 ben this movie was slightly worse than all the vomit scenes in every movie ever made 1 stars
7/04/07 Jayme I love this movie anyone who says other wise kiss my ass 5 stars
1/23/06 Heather Purplethorne Erika Christensen in danger of becoming typecast as high-achieving but rebellious student. 4 stars
9/03/05 nixon afroman!!! 2 stars
10/14/04 lewis if I could rate this shitstain of a film at zero stars I would still overate it- CRAP!!! 1 stars
9/20/04 P!nKL@dY This movie was awesome,it had the funniest parts, it had a good plot and good characters. 5 stars
9/12/04 kaitlin this movie does rock, scarlett johansson rox as my favorite actress, and chris, u suck. 5 stars
8/14/04 Chris this movie sucked!! the actors can't act. 1 stars
5/20/04 Blakers a great film 5 stars
5/02/04 movierater i love you mike!!! 5 stars
5/01/04 susan lee could have been better, rent breakfast club instead 3 stars
4/13/04 Rachel it was not very good, it was boring, the end was ok 2 stars
3/23/04 Heather Purplethorne Erika Christensen in danger of becoming typecast as high-achieving but rebellious student. 4 stars
3/16/04 alex not funny. horrible attempt for a teen movie. SAT aint all that important anyway 2 stars
3/03/04 A F Feel good coming of age movie. Scarlett makes me feel good, wink wink. Sugar coated crap. 2 stars
2/29/04 actionjackson2099 sucks!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
2/18/04 amanda roy was funny? he is the worst actor ever! 1 stars
2/18/04 mitchell its a piece of shit 1 stars
2/17/04 Emily Its kinda fucked up... but some parts are okay 4 stars
2/16/04 atanu "nyah nyah so funny.." are you fucking morons?? 1 stars
2/13/04 mike hunt this movie was the funniest-especially roy 5 stars
2/09/04 me~ !!~ ta movies was great! @ ~!~! roy was ta FUNNIEST !~ 5 stars
2/09/04 Jasmin it was tight, roy was hilarious 5 stars
2/08/04 luke IT WAS SO FUNNY !!!!!! 5 stars
2/07/04 Brian yup...crap... 1 stars
2/04/04 derek sweet 5 stars
2/03/04 chrys Is there any need to explain why this sucks? 1 stars
1/31/04 chrys the movie stinks. as eric says, stop whining morons, and go and study some. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  30-Jan-2004 (PG-13)
  DVD: 29-Jun-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  29-Apr-2004 (M)




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