Reviewer’s Grade: D+
This isn’t the worst movie of the year, but it may be the dullest. Josh Peck (“Drillbit Taylor”) stars in The Wackness as Luke Shapiro, a kid who sells drugs on the streets of New York to save up some cash for college. He sees psychologist Dr. Squires (Ben Kingsley) on a regular basis and the two become best friends. When Luke develops a crush on Squires’ step daughter (Olivia Thirlby, “Juno”), the relationship between the two males becomes temporarily strained.
Kingsley is always superb in these offbeat comic roles, but Squires just isn’t very interesting. He’s still way ahead of Luke, who seems not too bright, not too ambitious, and not too anything else. Maybe writer/director Jonathan Levine wants us to see the humanity under the boring surface of these lives, but surprise”there’s nothing interesting there. This is the kind of independent film that reinforces the belief that indies are boring by being, well, boring. NR