The Perfect Score The high school seniors who band together in The Perfect Score to pilfer the answers to the SAT test are brimming with rationalizations. The pesky… The Perfect Score The high school seniors who band together in The Perfect Score to pilfer the answers to the SAT test are brimming with rationalizations. The pesky… 2004-01-30 PG-13 Comedy Drama Mystery and Thriller Erika Christensen Chris Evans Scarlett Johansson Matthew Lillard Darius Miles Paramount Pictures
Movie Review

The Perfect Score (2004)

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Scarlett Johansson, The Perfect Score | STEALING THE MOVIE Johansson, the only palatable part of ''Perfect Score''
Image credit: The Perfect Score: Doug Curran
STEALING THE MOVIE Johansson, the only palatable part of ''Perfect Score''
EW's GRADE
D

Details Release Date: Jan 30, 2004; Rated: PG-13; Genres: Comedy, Drama, Mystery and Thriller; With: Erika Christensen, Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson; Distributor: Paramount Pictures

The high school seniors who band together in The Perfect Score to pilfer the answers to the SAT test are brimming with rationalizations. The pesky college-entrance exam, they complain, reduces students to a standardized mass; it's racist and sexist; the dorks who score highest on it don't turn out to be life's biggest achievers anyway. Besides, it's a victimless crime! This last point is demonstrably untrue (if you score better than you deserve, you're going to fill someone's academic slot), but the movie, which strains to be hip in a faux-1985 beat-the-system way, takes such a light view of cheating that it has the ironic effect of rendering the heist that follows utterly innocuous.

The characters sneak behind gleaming silver windows and hack into a computer, but they might just as well be stealing a cache of Dave Matthews tickets or a crate of Windex. ''The Perfect Score'' is like ''The Breakfast Club'' recast as a videogame for simpletons. In addition to the bland hero (Chris Evans) and his even blander friend (Bryan Greenberg), the thieves include Erika Christensen as an insecure overachiever and Leonardo Nam as an infantile stoned computer genius with a highly overactive tongue. They hatch their plan, they screw up, they hook up, they learn the value of honesty. The one performer who escapes the banality of it all is Scarlett Johansson, who takes on the cliché role of the ''edgy'' girl and makes it sparkle and glow. When she's on screen, even bitch-crack superiority is luminous.

Originally posted Jan 28, 2004 Published in issue #749-750 Feb 06, 2004 Order article reprints