The Perfect Score (2004) Poster

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Pleasantly surprised
OgrePenguin4 July 2004
Perhaps it's because when one sees, "MTV Films", in the opening credits, one's expectations then hit rock bottom. It's as if MTV lulled me into a false sense of security, knowing the usual "depth" of their projects. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this little film. It doesn't hurt that I could watch Scarlett Johansson sitting on a couch doing nothing and I'd be enthralled for hours. At any rate, I found the film, though cliched, quite cute. Roy, the obvious comic relief, played his role very effectively, I laughed at him often. The other characters were of lesser involvement, but several stereotypical demographics were adequately represented: the brain, the jock, the average joe, the stoner, the angry rich girl, and the decent good guy. It truly was as if MTV was trying to create "The Breakfast Club", twenty years later, for a new generation. If they succeeded in that is debatable, but at least the made a decent, funny flick.
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Mild, entertaining distraction
Shawn Watson11 September 2004
There's lots of clichés and stereotypes to endure when watching a high school movie. For the most of it, The Perfect Score manages to avoid most of these clichés though the characters are a bit stereotypical. There's the brainy kid, the rebel, the stoner, the loser, the jock and the good guy. Hardly a breathtaking assortment of originals eh?

But their plan to steal the SAT scores and their interaction together are what make this movie worthwhile. The unimaginative marketing for this movie claims it to be Ocean's 11 meets The Breakfast Club. But the actors are carrying the movie, doing the best they can with weak material, rather than the 'wild' premise.

I especially liked Roy, the stoner and narrator as he got the most back story and had more a character arc than the rest of them. And it was pleasant to have the lovely, oh-so-cute Erika Christensen though I'm not too fussed about Scarlett Johansen (she looks like a teenage version of my mother!). A non-Shaggy, but still manic, Matthew Lillard has a small role as a concerned big brother.

You'll not remember it 5 minutes after the credits role but for a non-threatening, easy-going movie The Perfect Score fits nicely. You could do a helluva lot worse. And what else do you expect from an MTV movie?

The DVD is in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with lackluster Dolby 5.1, though to be fair it mostly a dialogue-driven movie. There are a bunch of fluff features for those who care.
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A PG-13 Teen Movie...that works
Chris30 January 2004
Those expecting cinematic events like the Godfather or Saving Private Ryan.

Stop reading this.

Those expecting crude teen humor films featuring underage drinking and nudity, such as Road Trip and Varsity Blues.

Stop reading this.

But those of you looking for a teen movie full of the typical adolescent hinjinx and cheap laughs.

Start reading this.

The Perfect Score won't light up the box office or have everyone waiting day after day for its release onto DVD.

Instead, it's a movie targeted towards middle schoolers, high schoolers, and most college students.

Typically good kids under rough circumstances, most of us who have taken the SATs remember the pain in the arse they were. Throw in two very attractive, and talented acting-capable, girls...two guys and a jock...and an Asian pothead quick with one liners...

and you got a pretty solid movie.

While the Perfect Score won't give you everything you want, I feel that it will make you just happy enough that you caught the showing.

So if you're looking for a movie to sit back and relax too...and perhaps vicariously wonder if you could steal the answers to the SAT...check out the movie.

I enjoyed it, and chances are if you kept on reading this post.

You will too.
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Better than expected
Joseph Pintar28 July 2004
The Perfect Score is one of those movies you would expect to be incredibly stupid. The premise is absurd: kids try to steal the answers to the SAT. However, I found myself enjoying this movie. The characters are likable and have good reason to cross the line to cheat on the SAT. I especially enjoy Erika Christenson (who I didn't recognize from her work in Traffic and Swimfam) as the girl who needs a high SAT score to get into Brown University. This movie shows the pressure that high school students have on standardized testing in general. Their grades may be good, but without a good score on this one test makes the difference in what college they can get into. I was not a fan of standardized tests in high school and I do not like them now. I think that dislike of these tests adds to the appeal the movie. I give this movie a 6/10. It is worth 90 minutes of your time.
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Cheating or not... as long as you pass that exam!
Rido253 June 2004
Imagine, you failed your SAT test and your environment is pushing you so hard that you HAVE to pass for the retest. But, you're just not good enough. Or that the university you would like to go to requires a score that is way-beyond your capabilities.

What would you do? And if you decide to cheat, would you keep it a secret or would you share it with some people? In this movie, the secret leaks out and more people get involved in the plan: to steal the answers.

The diversity of characters in this movie often leads to funny situations or strange conversations.

The movie itself is a little predictable, but it stays nice. I would say, 7 out of 10.
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The perfect no-brainer
Thomas19 June 2004
Of course, this isn't great citizen kane style cinema, but this movie is fun to watch, especially if you are in the target demographic like me. This is a typical teen/college movie, minus the grossness of movies like American pie. If you liked "Better luck tomorrow" (also distributed by MTV films), then I think you will like this one. I have to say that "better luck tomorrow" was a much, much, better teen scam/heist movie, but this one rolls along merrily. The script isn't really well done, but it has a few good jokes, like "If they make it into a movie, I wonder who'll play me...I hope your hung like a horse." Scarlet Johansson is great, as always, even with this auto-pilot acting.(like in eight legged feaks, but tha's what I like about Scarlet. She switches from camp/kitch/crap to great movies without any difficulty) The movie is perfect for when you're way to stressed because of your exams at college, like me today.
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Not the greatest teen movie, but not the worst, either
margoworld26 November 2004
Warning: Spoilers

I had pretty high expectations of this movie; it has Scarlett Johanson in it (great actress) and looked good in the previews. Twenty minutes in I realized that the acting seemed amateur, overall. Darius Miles's, especially. The guy had pretty much no feeling in his voice - I think some members of our high school drama club can act better. Scarlett Johanson was fine, but her performance didn't look that great next to all the mediocre actors.

When the two main guy characters were in the bathroom discussing their plan to steal the SAT's and Leonardo Nam made his first appearance, my brothers and I laughed so hard. I know it's stupid humor, but that guy as the Asian stoner Roy was the highlight of the movie for us. The way he talked and the stuff he said was so hilarious. I wouldn't have enjoyed the movie nearly as much of it weren't for him.

The best word to describe this movie is average. When I saw it was put out by MTV I thought, I hope it doesn't suck, then. It is an interesting plot idea that they could've taken so much further and made into a much better movie. The way they tried to get into the character's lives (humanize them as someone else said) seemed very Breakfast Clubish, but more cliché and less thought out. Maybe this is supposed to be The Breakfast club for the new generation, but it just doesn't measure up.

This movie really got me thinking about SAT's. I am a freshman in high school. The movie did a good job showing the reality of doing whatever necessary to get a decent score.

Many parts of the plot were unrealistic. The way they just managed to FIND the SAT scores as easily as they did. I mean, honestly, in real life they would not be nearly that accessible. There were only a few roadblocks. Also, the romance between Francesca and Matty wasn't that realistic either.

A fine movie to watch if you have nothing else to do. It's way better than a TV movie, not boring, and I think it's worth watching just to see Leonardo Nam's performance!
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So far, absolutely delightful!
Scott74117 February 2011
Of COURSE this is not Gone With the Wind or The Godfather or Apocalypse Now, it's a teen flick and I find it absolutely hilarious, and vastly underrated by some very snobbish commentary I've read.

First, please understand that this reviewer is several things: A BIG movie buff capable of separating movies into genres and mental compartments rather than comparing apples to oranges in boneheaded fashion, I am not finished watching the DVD yet (it's on pause, but...I do that: watch and simultaneously check out IMDb, part of the fun), I'm utterly enamored of the freshness of this film. So far. But I've already had more laughs than I've had a long time (watching a slew of flicks where great actors were hired to do dreck with no apparent motivation).

I'm also a high school dropout, a college dropout (which means I've taken various tests of achievement and intelligence, the GED, the SATs and various other limiting, mind control efforts); fortunately I am now several decades old, and well beyond the reach of the academia nuts who currently crank our future fellow citizens out like Twinkies; i.e., old enough to have seen their results.

Hence, I get the premise, and I love these characters. I find this film vastly more entertaining than any Ocean's XX movie made after the Rat Pack got it right the first time. This is more fun than Hackers (and since I also spent years at IBM, yes, I loved that one, too; but I'm giving this a ten for the acting, the story, and the fresh handling of the genre).

If it disappoints in the end, I may come back and rate it again, but for now I'm laughing my ass off. Great commentary on our educational "bubble" system, great fun with each of the characters. (Especially Roy, I eagerly await his next scene. Though all these kids are good, and the dialog is exceptional.)


Okay, this previous post hasn't been posted yet, so now I can conclude: great stuff. I repeat, for the genre. Some of the best out there. And we'll see some of these kids later. But really, a great movie. Not necessarily a keeper, a watch again, for sure. Still a 10 for it's intended scope, and I'm still a critical bastard. Loved it.
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The Perfect score has Perfect Combination...
jpenrod50228 January 2004
First let me say it is true this movie is not a new cutting edge idea, nor will it be nominated for any academy awards, but hopefully you were not expecting that. I thought this movie had the perfect combination for a classic comedy, great character combinations, interesting plot, and yes even some moral conviction. If you are looking for a good laugh this movie is a must see. Some of the characters kept me laughing long after the movie was over. To the detailed observer you may even find a few ironic twists and laughs throughout the movie Some almost assuredly intended and some only fate could have delivered. One of the best aspects the director and writer brought to this was to poke fun at some of the Aspects that will remind you of other films and popular teen television shows. If you are looking for an intense thought-provoking movie full of amazing special effects and academy performance this movie is not for you; however, if you just need a good laugh to brighten your day this film will almost certainly do the trick.
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The S.A.T is hard to take. It's even harder to steal.
Jessica Carvalho2 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Six high school students from different backgrounds are frightened because the upcoming SAT exam. None of them was great in the first exam as they should be, and the perspective of their futures being destroyed, makes them conspire together to steal the answers. In this way, they can get perfect scores and have the success they need.

''The Perfect Score'' is a teen comedy and the only actress I recognize in this movie, is Scarlett Johansson. The movie is ordinary and weak and no one has a great acting in it, Scarlett Johansson included. The characters are boring and the romance in it is cheesy as well. The thing I liked the most was the end of it, because it came with some surprises. If the movie ended how I expected it to end, for sure I would give a lower rate. The good thing about this movie, is to show how S.A.T is terrible and how it scares the students.Many important things, like the students grades in school,are not taken care of.

I don't think this is the worst movie of all, but sure is far from being the best teen movie I already watched.

For my own surprise, the character I liked the most was Roy, the Chinese drug addicted and super genius student.
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