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The Wackness
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The Wackness (2008) More at IMDbPro »

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The Wackness -- NYC. Summer 1994. The girls were fly. The music was dope. And Luke was just trying to deal. Even though 18-year-old Luke Shapiro (Josh Peck) is stashing away loads of cash dealing pot, he's still a virgin, his family may be evicted, and his only friend is his eccentric shrink and client, Dr. Jeffrey Squires (Oscar®-winner* Ben Kingsley, Sexy Beast, House of Sand and Fog), who is intent on livin..
The Wackness -- This is the final theatrical trailer for The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine.
The Wackness -- Clip: How old are you?
The Wackness -- This is the third theatrical trailer for The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine.
The Wackness -- This is the second theatrical trailer for The Wackness, directed by Jonathan Levine.


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7.0/10   27,232 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Up 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Jonathan Levine (written by)
View company contact information for The Wackness on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 August 2008 (USA) See more »
Sometimes it's right to do the wrong things. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
4 wins & 4 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Left Me Feeling Quite Melancholy, but Satisfied See more (75 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ben Kingsley ... Dr. Squires

Josh Peck ... Luke Shapiro

Famke Janssen ... Mrs. Squires

Olivia Thirlby ... Stephanie

Mary-Kate Olsen ... Union

Jane Adams ... Eleanor

Method Man ... Percy

Aaron Yoo ... Justin

Talia Balsam ... Mrs. Shapiro

David Wohl ... Mr. Shapiro

Bob Dishy ... Grandpa Shapiro

Joanna Merlin ... Grandma Shapiro

Shannon Briggs ... Bodyguard #1

Roy Milton Davis ... Homeless Man

Alexander Flores ... Kid in Bar
Ross Levine ... Blunt Boy
Ken Marks ... Oliver
Kiah Fredricks ... Police Officer #1
Robert Armstrong ... Principal Edwards

Flint Beverage ... Bartender
Rudy Costa ... Corrections Officer
Nicholas Schutt ... Albert (as Nick Schutt)
Sam Dishy ... Subway Musician
Nicole Berger ... Choreographer

Dawn Noel ... Fly Girl 1 (as Dawn Pignuola)
Tyler Gilstrap ... Fly Girl 2
Erin Elliott ... Fly Girl 3

Natalie R Ridley ... Fly Girl 4 (as Nathalie Ridley)

Ioana Alfonso ... Fly Girl 5
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joseph Basile ... Prisioner

Douglas J. Aguirre ... Desk Officer in the Prison (uncredited)
Charlene Biton ... College Student (uncredited)

Kevin Cannon ... Homeless Dealer (uncredited)

Jack Caruso ... Arresting Police Officer (uncredited)

Peter Conboy ... Man on Park Bench (uncredited)
Sean Dillon ... Gruden (uncredited)

John Farrer ... Faculty Member at Graduation (uncredited)
Eugene Kim ... Subway Guy (uncredited)
Rylie J. Neale ... Luke's Classmate (uncredited)

Melissa Strong ... Girl #4 (uncredited)

Bill Walters ... Barfly (uncredited)

Directed by
Jonathan Levine 
Writing credits
Jonathan Levine (written by)

Produced by
Keith Calder .... producer
Jared Goldman .... line producer (as Jared Ian Goldman)
Felipe Marino .... producer
Joe Neurauter .... producer
Brian Udovich .... co-producer
Original Music by
David Torn 
Cinematography by
Petra Korner (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Josh Noyes 
Casting by
Joanna Colbert 
Rich Mento  (as Richard Mento)
Production Design by
Annie Spitz 
Art Direction by
Beth Kuhn 
Set Decoration by
Cherish M. Hale  (as Cherish Magennis)
Costume Design by
Michael Clancy 
Makeup Department
Daisy Curbeon .... key hair stylist
Patricia Grande .... hair department head
Andrea Grande-Capone .... additional hair stylist
Linda Grimes .... makeup department head
Eve Morrow .... key makeup artist
Stacey Butterworth .... wig maker (uncredited)
Souraya Hamdi .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Dave Donars .... production supervisor
Jared Goldman .... unit production manager (as Jared Ian Goldman)
Zara Park .... post-production supervisor: digital intermediate, Modern Videofilm (as Zara Roberts)
Michael Toji .... post-production supervisor: EPC
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Paul Epstein .... first assistant director
Bruce Hall .... second assistant director
Marcus Scigliano .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Derrick Alford .... key construction coordinator
Jamie Arbuckle .... on-set dresser
Scott Canfield .... leadman
Travis Child .... charge scenic
Anthony Cox .... best boy construction grip
Paul George Divone .... carpenter foreman (as Paul Divone)
Bridget Edwards .... additional set decoration shopper
Stephen Girouard .... key construction grip (as Stephen Geirouard)
Jonathan Hansen .... stage production assistant
Kenneth W. Hoare .... set dresser (as Kenny Hoare)
Greg Izzo .... set dresser
Duncan Johnson .... art department production assistant
Glenn Lloyd .... art department coordinator
Daniel Ritchel .... assistant property master (as Danny Ritchel)
Paul Robinson .... set dresser
Bea Spitz .... original artwork
Sabrina Wright-Gilliar .... property master (as Sabrina Wright)
Kara Zeigon .... set decoration buyer
Dan Kajeckas .... camera scenic artist (uncredited)
Michael Lee Nirenberg .... lead scenic artist (uncredited)
Adam Pessah .... camera scenic artist (uncredited)
Travis Quegan .... property (uncredited)
Noreen Souza-Bailey .... set dresser: additional crew (uncredited)
Greg Voth .... graphic artist (uncredited)
Joan Winters .... graphic design (uncredited)
Sound Department
Tara Blume .... sound effects editor
Federico Costantini .... dubbing mixer: italian version
Eugene Gearty .... sound designer
John-Thomas Graves .... sound effects editor (as John Graves)
Anguibe Guindo .... boom operator
Larry Hopkins .... layback sound mixer
Ken Ishii .... sound mixer
Trevor Jolly .... supervising sound editor
Eric Justen .... sound re-recording mixer
Donald Lyles .... adr mixer
Maciek Malish .... dialogue editor (as Maciek Malisch)
Maciek Malish .... foley editor (as Maciek Malisch)
David Marcus .... director of sound services
Joe Origlieri .... sound production assistant
Jeffrey Perkins .... sound re-recording mixer
Jeffrey A. Pitts .... sound effects editor (as Jeff Pitts)
Eddie Rogers .... dialogue editor
James Wright .... sound consultant: Dolby
Vance Walden .... adr recordist (uncredited)
Visual Effects by
Rene Clark .... digital imaging artist: Modern Videofilm
Manny Dubon .... iq assistant: Modern VideoFilm
Nicholas Hasson .... iq artist: Modern VideoFilm (as Nick A. Hasson)
Daniel Linger .... rotoscope artist: SnootFX (as Daniel Elliott Linger)
Dimitri Loginowski .... digital artist: SnootFX
Dave McCarthy .... drs operator: Modern Videofilm
Karen McCarthy .... drs operator: Modern Videofilm
Peter Moc .... digital imaging artist: Modern Videofilm
Allan Nadel .... visual effects compositor: SnootFX
Zara Park .... digital intermediate post-production supervisor: Modern Videofilm (as Zara Roberts)
Eric Scofield .... electronic graphics operator: Modern Videofilm
Dane Allan Smith .... visual effects producer: SnootFX (as Dane Smith)
Corina Zuniga .... electronic graphics operator: Modern Videofilm (as Corina L. Zuniga)
Tara Ansley .... assistant: visual effects supervisor (uncredited)
Chris Barnes .... stunt coordinator
Cort Hessler .... stunt coordinator
Michael Lindengren .... stunt double: Dr. Squires
Ian Mclaughlin .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Tamura Bakr .... company electrician
Daniel Beaman .... dolly grip (as Dan Beaman)
Mark Beattie .... company electrician
Eric Boncher .... stage rigging gaffer
Bob Calandro .... grip
John Coots .... best boy electric
John Corso .... camera operator
Divine Cox .... company grip
Jennifer Evans .... company grip
Joseph Fleming .... company grip
David Harges .... rigging best boy
Milly Itzhak .... second assistant camera
Zbigniew 'Ziggy' Kouros .... company grip (as Zbigniew Kouros)
Ed Koza .... company grip
Nina Kuhn .... company electrician
Dave McAllister .... key grip (as David McAllister)
Kevin McClean .... house electrician
Iris Ng .... rigging gaffer
Jesse Pelikan .... company grip
Steve Peloquin .... best boy grip (as Steven Peloquin)
Jeff Porter .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
Sam Rosedietcher .... company grip (as Samuel Rosedietcher)
Benjamin Salley .... company electrician
Ken Shibata .... gaffer
Frank Stubblefield .... company electrician
Craig Vaccaro .... company grip
JoJo Whilden .... still photographer
William S. White .... loader (as Will White)
Dennis Yeandle .... additional still photographer
George Bianchini .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Matt Cross .... electrician (uncredited)
René Crout .... additional first assistant camera: "b" camera (uncredited)
Robert DiGiacomo .... first assistant camera: underwater scenes (uncredited)
Chris Dixon .... electrician (uncredited)
Cory Durst .... company grip (uncredited)
Micah Eisenmann .... electrician (uncredited)
Afton Grant .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Martin Jaksa .... grip (uncredited)
Alexander Martin .... electrician (uncredited)
Aaron Medick .... Steadicam operator (uncredited)
Matthew Mendelson .... electrician (uncredited)
Michele SchianodiCola .... best boy rigging electrician (uncredited)
Yoshi Sonoda .... electrician (uncredited)
Walter Strafford .... electrician (uncredited)
Joe Victorine .... additional electrician (uncredited)
William S. White .... additional first assistant camera (uncredited)
David Woolner .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Jesse Lucy Allen .... casting assistant
Lee Genick .... extras casting assistant
Ronen Gevint .... background casting
Ali Merhi .... casting associate (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Felicity Gifford .... set costumer
Lisa Kisner .... wardrobe production assistant
Pilar Limosner .... assistant costume designer
Ivonne Reimann .... wardrobe intern
Laura Steinman .... wardrobe supervisor
Sonya Strich .... wardrobe intern
Merav Elbaz Belschner .... stitcher (uncredited)
Justine Chevalier .... wardrobe assistant (uncredited)
Cassidy Mosher .... additional costumer (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Jenny Bassichis .... post-production coordinator: Wow & Flutter
Carl L.W. Bochek III .... post-production assistant: EPC (as Carl Bochek)
Shawn Broes .... digital intermediate editor: Modern VideoFilm
Jason Crump .... dailies colorist: Mega Playground
Cristina Esterás-Ortiz .... dailies coordinator (as Cristina Esteras-Ortiz)
Joe Fineman .... post-production consultant: EPC
Joe Finley .... digital intermediate colorist: Modern VideoFilm
Alisha Marks .... post-production coordinator: Wow & Flutter
Bryan Park .... digital intermediate editor: Modern VideoFilm
Nicole Ruiz .... post-production coordinator: EPC
Stephen R. Sheridan .... color timer (as Steve Sheridan)
Amy Skerkoski .... post-production assistant: EPC
Michael Smollin .... dailies colorist: Mega Playground
Joe Violante .... dailies advisor: Technicolor N.Y. (as Joey Violante)
Location Management
Rob Coleman .... location scout
Kathleen Corbin .... location coordinator
Trish Gray .... location scout
Jennifer Hoopes .... location coordinator
Christopher Menges .... location assistant (as Chris Menges)
Collin Smith .... location manager
David Velasco .... assistant location manager
Brendan Kehoe .... location scout (uncredited)
Adam S. Poswolsky .... location scout (uncredited)
Music Department
Jim Black .... music supervisor
Ryan Michael Demaree .... assistant composer
Gabe Hilfer .... music coordinator
Bryan Lawson .... music producer (as Bryan Elliott Lawson)
Bryan Lawson .... score mixer (as Bryan Elliott Lawson)
Bryan Lawson .... supervising music editor (as Bryan Elliott Lawson)
David Torn .... music producer
David Torn .... score mixer
Sam Zeines .... music editor
Transportation Department
Bobby Alberga .... driver (as Robert Alberga)
Lewis Dangelo .... driver
Bob Donavan .... driver (as Robert Donovan)
Billy Featherstone .... driver
Michael Fennimore .... transportation captain
George Grover .... driver
Jimmy Heidrich .... driver (as Jim Heidrich)
Gabe Turiello .... driver
Drew Yanarella .... driver
Other crew
Allison Adams .... assistant: Ben Kingsley
Adam Ballesteros .... assistant: producers
Howard Baral .... post-production accountant: R.C. Baral & Co.
Jeremy Brena .... stand-in: Josh Peck
Scott Brooks .... set production assistant
Grant Carpenter .... production intern
Olivia Curtis .... adr loop group
Evan Davies .... adr loop group
Leo Driver .... parking coordinator
Shannon Dry .... first assistant accountant
Harriet Steel Durkes .... set production assistant
Katrina Dykes .... scheduling director: Wow & Flutter
Corrine Ellington .... stand-in: Framke Janssen
Cristina Esterás-Ortiz .... dailies coordinator: Mega Playground (as Cristina Esteras-Ortiz)
Lindsay Feldman .... production coordinator
Tori Fritz .... adr loop group
Michelle Garcia .... production intern
Stephen Garrett .... electronic press kit
Sky Gewant .... set production assistant
Chris Gewehr .... adr loop group
Robert Gillespie .... production intern
Billy Gooch .... set production assistant
Eric Goodwin .... production intern
James Granger .... production secretary
Libby Grant .... adr loop group
Greg Highsmith .... payroll accountant
Sierra Hornung .... adr loop group
Nora Jenewein .... production intern
Phyllis Kaufman .... legal counsel: Fish & Richardson
Ryan David Kohler .... office production assistant
Katie Kramer .... set production assistant
Kristina Lee .... assistant production coordinator
Evan Levine .... production intern
Ross Levine .... production consultant
Stephen Lippross .... production accountant
Emilie Maison .... press attache france
Elizabeth Marley .... stand-in: Olivia Thirlby
Karen S. Neasi .... product placement coordinator (as Karen Neasi)
Shikha Nirula .... dailies coordinator: Mega Playground
John H. Powers .... set production assistant
Matthew Reedy .... key set production assistant (as Matthew J. Reedy)
Dawn Rosado .... craft service assistant
Ali Rossiter .... production intern
Betsy Rudnick .... unit publicist: Falco Ink.
Chris Santangelo .... stand-in: Ben Kingsley
Ian Sitek .... additional key production assistant
Jeannine Sturtevant .... adr loop group
Rodney Tait .... assistant parking coordinator
Shannon Treusch .... unit publicist: Falco Ink.
Gabe Turiello Jr. .... production assistant
Rob van de Laar .... craft service
Chris von Hoffmann .... production assistant
Allison Wardley .... production intern
Sharon Watt .... script supervisor
Jack Wheeler .... set production assistant
Nicole Berger .... choreographer (uncredited)
Sarah Berge Giarraffa .... assistant: Ms. Janssen (uncredited)
Todd M. Hofacker .... assistant: Ben Kingsley (uncredited)
Doug McCafferty .... production assistant (uncredited)
Sean Pinnow .... intern (uncredited)
Wendy L. York .... additional script supervisor (uncredited)
Judy Greer .... very special thanks
Tom Hanks .... very special thanks
Phedon Papamichael .... very special thanks
Liz Phair .... special thanks
Shawn Regruto .... thanks
Jason Rio .... special thanks

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for pervasive drug use, language and some sexuality
99 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

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 »
Anachronisms: The movie is set in 1994 but when Luke returns to find his family being evicted there is a current model BMW 7 series, E65/E66, turning the corner in the background. These have only been manufactured since 2002-2008.See more »
Luke Shapiro:[asking his mom for a cigarette] Got another?
Mrs. Shapiro:You smoke?
Luke Shapiro:Everything.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Features The Legend of Zelda (1986) (VG)See more »
TearzSee more »


Which songs are featured on the soundtrack?
Is "The Wackness" based on a book?
How big of a role does Mary-Kate Olsen have in this movie?
See more »
28 out of 44 people found the following review useful.
Left Me Feeling Quite Melancholy, but Satisfied, 6 July 2008
Author: ericjams from United States

The Wackness is an extremely difficult movie to figure out. On one hand, writer/director Jon Levine paints a captivating story around the friendship of two identifiable protagonists in depressed teenage drug dealer Luke Shapiro, played by an up-to-the-task Josh Peck, and eccentric shrink, Dr. Squires, played by a barely up to the task Ben Kingsley. On the other hand, the script itself struggles to find a tone largely fumbling the 1994 NYC setting and ultimately dabbling with dark comedy, philosophy 101, and drug/party filled 90s teenage musings without really nailing down any thematic voice. The movie does succeed in escaping its hazy plot lines and sophomoric personalities with several great one-liners, some decent character development, and a conclusion that left me satisfied but nevertheless a bit sad --which is not a bad thing. Of the 80% filled NYC theater I saw it in, 10 people walked out, the rest applauded at the end. Its that kind of movie.

One of the biggest problems with the movie is its failure to use the 1994 New York City setting to its fullest. As a product of this time and place I felt cheated because Mr. Levine chooses to exploit tid-bits of the culture without ever really showing any substance. We hear references to Kurt Cobain and Phish, we see Luke playing Nintendo NES, we hear a good selection of Biggie, Wu-Tang Clan, and Tribe Called Quest and several references to the Guliani gestapo police, but Levine failed to create a teenage period piece to rival Dazed and Confused, Kids, or Mallrats to name a few more recent ones. The cinematography is good, and adds a vintage type feel to the NYC background, but as a cultural snapshot of a time in NYC history, this movie falls flat.

However, Levine was perhaps preoccupied with a greater goal than a period piece. Shapiro and Dr. Squires are not easy characters to support. Shapiro is a bulk sales weed dealer, with no friends, and a stunted sex life. I think many people will be able to relate to him either directly or indirectly and will enjoy following his teenage "coming of age" tribulations as I did. Kingsley, as Squires, has a tough role and at times plays the stoner shrink as though he has early onset Alzheimer's disease. Its not an easy role, his character is a walking contradiction who mixes decent psychological advice with occasional moments of idiocy. At times he nails it down, at others he comes across as the drunk uncle at Thanksgiving dinner that we are all a bit embarrassed for, but this was probably Levine's intention. Amidst writing that ebbed and flowed at a mediocre level, the dialog between Shapiro and Squires had some knock outs and worked its way up to a satisfying conclusion. The peripheral characters perform admirably when asked, except for Famke Jannsen who failed to show up for her role as Squires' numb to life wife.

If you have ever turned to the recreational consumption of drugs or any other vice as an escape from life or to just 'deal' with life, you will find both Shapiro and Squires much much much more sympathetic and in some ways touching characters. The story of the young Shapiro and old Squires blends the themes of 'soothing your growing pains through drugs (mostly marijuana)' versus the 'trying to go back to your youth and escape your adulthood' through drugs. People who can appreciate or relate to such plot lines will find this movie much more touching than those who cant.

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