BOY GENIUS – Review by Sandie Angulo Chen

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Boy Genius is a comedy about Emmett (Blackish star Miles Brown), a 12-year-old prodigy who teams up with his eccentric test-prep instructor (Rita Wilson) to figure out who’s behind a series of thefts at his high school. Like many comedies about super-smart kids, the movie makes jokes about Emmett’s personality — his maturity level, his overly formal speech, and his borderline-inappropriate unrequited crush on a girl who’s at least 4-5 years older than he is.

This child-prodigy comedy is familiar and funny enough to amuse younger viewers but doesn’t stand out quite as much as its main character does. Brown’s precocious Emmett and Wilson’s eccentric Mary have a charming intergenerational friendship as they attempt to use her true-crime know-how and his super-intelligence to find the real thief. There’s a particularly funny moment when Mary barges into a high-school party and plays Naughty by Nature’s “Hip Hop Hooray” to give Emmett more time to investigate a classmate’s bedroom. There aren’t enough movies about multigenerational friendships, so it’s nice to see Emmett learning from Mary. Read full review.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This review, originally published on Common Sense Media, is included here by permission.

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Sandie Angulo Chen

Sandie Angulo Chen

Sandie Angulo Chen is a feature writer, film critic, and book reviewer. She’s written about movies and pop culture since high school, contributing to outlets like Common Sense Media, The Washington Post, EW, Moviefone, and Variety. She lives outside Washington D.C. with her husband and their three young cinephiles.