Up 668 this week

The Wackness (2008)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  1 August 2008 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 26,478 users  
Reviews: 74 user | 147 critic

It's the summer of 1994, and the streets of New York are pulsing with hip-hop. Set against this backdrop, a lonely teenager named Luke Shapiro spends his last summer before university selling marijuana throughout New York City, trading it with his unorthodox psychotherapist for treatment, while having a crush on his stepdaughter.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


The 25 Most Immersive Worlds in Cinema

Highly immersive cinematic worlds can carry a movie, and we've rounded up the best of the best.

See the full list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 03 Sep 2011
a list of 24 titles
created 21 Apr 2012
a list of 23 titles
created 08 Jun 2012
a list of 26 titles
created 19 Dec 2013
a list of 30 titles
created 2 months ago

Related Items

Search for "The Wackness" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Wackness (2008)

The Wackness (2008) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Wackness.
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

While his trailer trash parents teeter on the edge of divorce, Nick Twisp sets his sights on dream girl Sheeni Saunders, hoping that she'll be the one to take away his virginity.

Director: Miguel Arteta
Stars: Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Ray Liotta
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A group of high-schoolers invite Mandy Lane, a good girl who became quite hot over the summer, to a weekend party on a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers begins to drop quite mysteriously.

Director: Jonathan Levine
Stars: Amber Heard, Anson Mount, Whitney Able
Adventureland (2009)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In the summer of 1987, a college graduate takes a 'nowhere' job at his local amusement park, only to find it's the perfect course to get him prepared for the real world.

Director: Greg Mottola
Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds
Garden State (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A quietly troubled young man returns home for his mother's funeral after being estranged from his family for a decade.

Director: Zach Braff
Stars: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman
Pirate Radio (2009)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A period comedy about an illegal radio station in the North Sea in the 1960s.

Director: Richard Curtis
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Nick Frost
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The adventures of incoming high school and junior high students on the last day of school, in May of 1976.

Director: Richard Linklater
Stars: Jason London, Wiley Wiggins, Matthew McConaughey
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On the verge of giving up on life, a guy travels to his hometown to make amends.

Director: Courteney Cox
Stars: Seann William Scott, Olivia Thirlby, Garret Dillahunt
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

High school student Nick O'Leary, member of the Queercore band The Jerk Offs, meets college-bound Norah Silverberg when she asks him to be her boyfriend for five minutes.

Director: Peter Sollett
Stars: Michael Cera, Kat Dennings, Aaron Yoo
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A reclusive author of spiritual books, is pursued for advice by a single mother and a man fresh out of rehab.

Director: John Hindman
Stars: Jeff Daniels, Lauren Graham, Lou Taylor Pucci
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A rich kid becomes the self-appointed psychiatrist to the student body of his new high school.

Director: Jon Poll
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Robert Downey Jr., Hope Davis
Kids (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A day in the life of a group of teens as they travel around New York City skating, drinking, smoking, and deflowering virgins.

Director: Larry Clark
Stars: Leo Fitzpatrick, Justin Pierce, Chloë Sevigny

Feature adaptation of the 2012 documentary about a junior high school class from New York City competing an a chess tournament.

Director: Jonathan Levine


Cast overview, first billed only:
Grandpa Shapiro
Grandma Shapiro
Bodyguard #1
Homeless Man
Kid in Bar


Friendship, love, and coming of age in New York City, summer of 1994. Luke Shapiro has just graduated from high school, sells marijuana, and trades pot for therapy from a psychologist, Dr. Jeffrey Squires. Luke is attracted to a classmate, Stephanie, who's out of his league and Squires' step-daughter. By July, he's hanging out with Stephanie, taking her on his rounds selling pot out of an ice-cream pushcart. Then things take a turn. In the background, Squires and his wife as well as Luke's parents are having their troubles. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Summer 1994. The girls were fly. The music was dope. And Luke was just trying to deal. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive drug use, language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 August 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bódulat  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$138,401 (USA) (4 July 2008)


$2,077,046 (USA) (17 October 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The hat that Ben Kingsley wears was his own. He grabbed it when he set off to New York to film the movie, thinking it might be useful. See more »


When Stephanie gives Luke her number, Luke puts the piece of paper in his pocket. When he later checks it out, the paper is neat and without any creases whatsoever. See more »


Luke Shapiro: Do me a favor, Steph?
Stephanie: Huh?
Luke Shapiro: Don't say nothin, ok? Just stand there til I leave. I wanna remember this. I've never done it before.
Stephanie: Never done what?
Luke Shapiro: Had my heart broken.
See more »

Crazy Credits

When the Sony Pictures Classics logo appears at the very beginning and at the very end of the film, the word "classics" is erased and replaced with a graffiti rendering of the same word. See more »


References Three's Company (1977) See more »


Heaven and Hell
Written by RZA (as Robert Diggs) and Raekwon (as Corey Woods)
Performed by Raekwon
Courtesy of Loud Records/The RCA Records Label
By arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Kingsley and Peck craft a new classic coming-of-age tale
14 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"The Wackness," director Jonathan Levine's eagerly-awaited followup feature to "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane," premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and was immediately acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. I wasn't able to catch it at the time. Fortunately, "The Wackness" was presented in a special midnight screening not on the official SXSW Film Festival schedule. It was a special treat and quite an unexpected surprise.

"The Wackness" is basically a two-man show, with Ben Kingsley and Josh Peck as psychiatrist Dr. Squires and his patient Luke Shapiro. The twist? One deals drugs and the other takes them. But guess who buys and who sells? And did I mention that Luke not only doles out weed to his doctor but also dates his daughter? Ahh yes...the plot thickens. Yet Squires and Shapiro forge an unlikely friendship not unlike two college buddies -- the boy is just a bit too mature for his age and the man a bit too immature, and they meet at about the same intellectual level.

Penned by director Levine, it's a complex storyline but "The Wackness" is ultimately a character-driven piece. Kingsley's performance is a tour de farce in a daring and risky role unlike anything we've seen -- this ain't your father's Gandhi. Josh Peck, best known as television's Josh of "Josh & Drake" and to indie lovers as George, the tormented victim in "Mean Creek," is the biggest surprise here. He carries this film on his shoulders like a veteran. Olivia Thirlby ("Snow Angels," "Juno") is delightful as the object of Luke's affection.

Production values belie the film's modest budget, especially given the cost of a location period piece -- "The Wackness" is set in New York City 1994. Music of the era naturally provides the backdrop for the duo's drug-dealing days and party nights. Drugs (selling and taking) seem to be ubiquitous in the films I've seen here at SXSW and "The Wackness'" overindulgence can be hard to watch at times. But what could have strayed into a silly variation on "Dazed & Confused" (or the recent "Charlie Bartlett") is, instead, a touching coming-of-age story as relevant today as ever. The fact that the film remains grounded in semi-reality is a tribute to the talents of Kingsley and Peck in the hands of director Jonathan Levine. This director is a force to be reckoned with now that he has "All the Boys Love Mandy Lane" and "The Wackness" under his belt.

82 of 109 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Raise your hand if you couldn't make it through the whole movie mets811
101 Things I learned from The Wackness Lisafliny
would have been a good movie without josh peck elanabana
About Guiliani and New York City triviadude
Shower Sex Scene fishguts16182
Just because there was drugs and Hip-hop doesn't make this a good movie element_0f_s0n1c_def1ance
Discuss The Wackness (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: