Rocket Science (2007)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  28 September 2007 (UK)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 11,303 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 52 user | 88 critic | 28 from

Looking for answers to life's big questions, a stuttering boy joins his high school debate team.



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2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Wekselbaum
Townsend Prep Debater (as Candace Burr Scholz)
Coach Lumbly
Hal Hefner (as Reece Daniel Thompson)
Doyle Hefner
Lisbeth Bartlett ...
Juliet Hefner
Virginia House ...
English Teacher (as Virginia Frank)
Plainsboro Lunch Lady
Mr. Lewinsky
Dionne Audain ...


Coming of age in Plainsboro, New Jersey. High school student Hal Hefner stutters. On the evening his parents stop arguing and separate, 43 miles away at the state tournament, his school's legendary debater, Ben Wekselbaum, goes blank mid-sentence, Ben's teammate Ginny Ryerson doesn't get a first-place trophy, and the world changes. That fall, to Hal's amazement, Ginny recruits him for the debate team, mentors him, and will be his partner. He still has his stutter, but he works hard and he falls in love with Ginny. On the day of the first debate of the season, the world changes again. From then until the day of the state tournament, Hal has a lot to sort out. Is love rocket science? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Life is easier done than said.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

28 September 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Ciência Espacial  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$58,536 (USA) (10 August 2007)


$712,391 (USA) (19 October 2007)

Company Credits

Production Co:

, ,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


After Ginny first speaks with Hal on the school bus, we are show a shot of Hal looking out the window at her, the bus pulls off and we notice that the first window behind him is a emergency exit and the next holds a wheelchair lift. When we cut back to an internal shot of the bus, we can see there is no wheelchair lift on the bus. See more »


Hal Hefner: [sees the Ryerson's approaching] There's a cello in your house now.
See more »


References Pecker (1998) See more »


Do You Love Me?
Written and Performed by Eef Barzelay
See more »

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User Reviews

Smart Dialog, Sharp Performances
8 June 2008 | by (wisconsin) – See all my reviews

I'm surprised that this film elicits so many negative reviews here. I enjoyed reading the rant by the guy who spells cello "chello." I think that pretty much explains it. Literacy will be required to appreciate this movie.

This has to be the best dialog in any film ever made with a stutterer as a central character.

I found the performances letter-perfect; not a false note anywhere. This is a movie where even the bit parts are played by well-cast actors, not producers' pretty boyfriends or girlfriends. I loved the girl in the washroom with the nosebleed, for example. Perfect.

Rushmore did not come to mind while I watched this film, nor did any of the other "quirky" films named here by other reviewers. But I did think of it as a companion piece to "Welcome to the Dollhouse." Both set in NJ, and both with central characters at the bottom of their school social ranking, and coping with their realities better than one would think.

I particularly liked the relationship between adults and kids in this film. The adults (parents and teachers) are wise about the kids, and the kids are just as wise about the adults. The tone was just right.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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