Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 36
  2. Negative: 1 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Oct 3, 2012
    100
    I adore The Perks of Being a Wallflower for its honest, unsentimental feel, which gets stretched a bit in the revelatory finale, but by then I didn't mind.
  2. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Sep 27, 2012
    100
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower hurts. It hurts because it depicts the loneliness, anxiety and all-out quivering mess of adolescence in a manner not often seen since John Hughes' heyday.
  3. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Sep 19, 2012
    100
    The movie is tough-minded: It zeroes in on Patrick's anger at dating a closeted football star, and it doesn't let Charlie off the hook for his cruelty or self-pity.
  4. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Sep 19, 2012
    91
    The film is also an earnest, big-hearted ode to friends as support and salvation, and to the talismanic quality a favorite song, treasured hang-out, or shared tradition can take on for a teenager.
  5. Reviewed by: Kevin Jagernauth
    Sep 14, 2012
    91
    Touching and brimming with the energy, enthusiasm and tides of teenage love and life, 'Perks' could very well be the next classic of the genre.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Sep 27, 2012
    88
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower finds an unexpectedly moving freshness in the old clichés by remaining attentive to the nuances of what happens within and between unhappy teenagers.
  7. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 26, 2012
    88
    It offers the rare pleasure of an author directing his own book, and doing it well. No one who loves the book will complain about the movie, and especially not about its near-ideal casting.
  8. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Sep 28, 2012
    83
    The movie's perfectly understated, warts-and-all sense of time and place will send any suburban Gen Xer in the audience flashing right back to their less-cautious days, when mix tapes did heavy lifting as calling cards.
  9. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    Oct 1, 2012
    80
    An honest, affection-hooking, coming-of-age drama which proves that there is life beyond Hogwarts for Emma Watson.
  10. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 26, 2012
    80
    There is an honesty to The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a genuineness of experience that makes the movie soar when it just as easily could have stumbled.
  11. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Sep 20, 2012
    80
    If at first I tried to resist these hapless Pennsylvania teens who'd never even heard of David Bowie, for Christ's sake, I was won over completely by the time Patrick and Sam are ready to graduate and Charlie has faced down his demons one more time.
  12. 80
    That's the feeling Stephen Chbosky captures in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, his exquisite adaptation of his best-selling YA novel about a Pittsburgh high-school freshman who doesn't fit in and then all of a sudden does, for a spell.
  13. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Sep 15, 2012
    80
    The Perks Of Being A Wallflower is a sweet surprise, a funny, touching terrific and quite wonderful movie that gets it all right about the joys and heartbreaks of growing up circa 1991.
  14. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Sep 27, 2012
    75
    Unlike most films about teenagers, the performances are happy-sad-realistic. Lerman, who plays the least expressive of the three principals, does a fine job at suggesting the active inner life of an externally inexpressive youth.
  15. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 21, 2012
    75
    The acting is first-rate, and remarkably there's no sense that the sometimes tough material (which barely skirts an R rating) has been watered down to make it more palatable for a wider audience. I just wish Chbosky had changed that terrible title for the movie.
  16. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Sep 20, 2012
    75
    Perks deserves points for going beyond the typical coming-of-age drivel aimed at teens.
  17. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Sep 19, 2012
    75
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower tweaks the formula just enough to remain fresh and offer something a little new. It's sad, funny, warm, and nostalgic - kind of like high school, really.
  18. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Sep 20, 2012
    70
    Back in the director's chair for only the second time, the filmmaker, like his main character, is a little unsteady on his feet. But thanks to his stars, the film - like the book - is a smartly observed study of a troubled teen's first year in high school.
  19. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 21, 2012
    67
    As Sam, the wayward stepsister of Charlie's sardonic friend Patrick (Ezra Miller), Watson doesn't lose her cool, or her warmth, in a role that might easily have devolved into terminal sappiness.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Oct 5, 2012
    63
    Too modest to become a worldwide phenomenon, but sensitive teens and their older kin who pine for the '90s may want to take it for a spin on the dance floor.
  21. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Sep 28, 2012
    63
    The empathy-generating performances by the charismatic young actors -- particularly the uber-confident Miller and a simultaneously punk-rock cynical and girlishly fragile Mae Whitman -- compensate for any missteps.
  22. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Sep 25, 2012
    63
    A structurally messy but emotionally effective coming of age movie that gets a lot of it right. High school is an ordeal only the fittest can survive.
  23. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Sep 20, 2012
    63
    While there are humorous and poignant moments, this angst-filled story of tender kisses, awkward dances, friends drifting apart, kindly English teachers, unrequited crushes and drug-addled partying has a nagging sense of deja vu.
  24. Reviewed by: Ellen E. Jones
    Sep 21, 2012
    60
    Logan Lerman delivers a career-making turn in this sweet, sincere film. It might not be a massive hit, but it will certainly ease a few paths through the awkwardness of adolescence.
  25. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Sep 20, 2012
    60
    The results are likable, unsurprising and principally a showcase for the pretty young cast, notably Mr. Miller, who brings texture to his witty if sensitive gay quipster.
  26. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Sep 20, 2012
    60
    Lerman is suited to the title role in that he plays Charlie as wide-eyed and rather unmemorable. Watson doesn't seem entirely relaxed as an American teen, though she does serve as a lovely first crush. Among the adults making brief but notable appearances is Paul Rudd, as a sympathetic English teacher.
  27. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Sep 13, 2012
    60
    First-time writer-director Stephen Chbosky adapts his young-adult bestseller with far more passion than skill, which suits familiar scenes of adolescent awkwardness aptly enough.
  28. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Sep 20, 2012
    55
    It's populated by characters who are just too good to be plausible.
  29. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Sep 28, 2012
    50
    As long as Chbosky sticks to the story of surviving high school, Perks has a modest charm. But a melodramatic last-act bombshell about Charlie's troubled past, is jarring – like the giant foot of Godzilla descending to squash tender Bambi. It's a case of too much, too late and, ultimately, from a different kind of movie.
  30. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Sep 27, 2012
    50
    Chbosky surrounds his hurting characters with the cinematic equivalent of a hug circle – which is sweet, but rather antithetical to tension-building.
  31. Reviewed by: Karina Longworth
    Sep 18, 2012
    50
    Chbosky plays this CW serial stuff for maximum earnestness, stressing the teenage tendency to assume that every new thing they're feeling is unprecedented in human history, keeping the tone just-moist-eyed throughout.
  32. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    Sep 13, 2012
    50
    A heartfelt but rather generic coming-of-age dramedy.
  33. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 13, 2012
    50
    Watson makes a smooth matriculation from the England-made Harry Potter epics to this movie's thrifty, six-week Pittsburgh shoot.
  34. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Sep 18, 2012
    40
    You can feel Chbosky's blood, sweat and tears oozing out of this highly personal project, but that holy trinity of fluids isn't enough to wash away the sense that you've seen this before - many, many, many times.
  35. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Sep 13, 2012
    40
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a perfect fit for its target audience – the Harry Potter kids who are following Emma Watson through her baby steps towards the stronger stuff.
  36. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Sep 16, 2012
    25
    A risible, somewhat revolting piece of pop martyrdom, made for and isolated to the damaged middle class.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 317 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 78
  2. Negative: 8 out of 78
  1. Oct 4, 2012
    8
    Brilliant film, funny uplifting and a real feel good heart warmer.
  2. Sep 27, 2012
    10
    infinite... that's what this movie will be. A new cult classic! Charlies journey to find himself is a wonderful uplifting struggle against the days of high school i was instantly transported to the days i both hated and loved. Go see it with a good friend Full Review »
  3. Oct 17, 2012
    0
    The problem with this movie is that there isn't a single likeable character throughout the whole of it. The entire movie is a cringe-fest, with quotes like "don't you just love old music" and "everything sounds better on vinyl" at every given opportunity, as if the writers were somehow trying to relate to the sort of hipsters that plaster their walls with The Beatles posters and think they're awesome for being such "individuals." Not even Emma Watson could make you want to watch this, as she plays an obnoxious and totally unrealistic free spirit movie cliche. Essentially, the movie is just an endless reel of pretend quirkyness, lackluster narration, and an extremely slow developing plot. The only people who would like this movie, are the sort of people that wear black horn-rimmed glasses and pretend the characters in this movie are oh-so relateable to their quirky and "unique" nature. It's awful, and if you thought Emma Watson was annoying in the trailer when she stands up in the back of that car, then you'll hate the rest of the characters. Oh, and Paul Rudd is only in about 3 or 4 scenes, so don't let his casting be an influence in your decision to see this terrible movie. Full Review »