Words On Bathroom Walls

7.21 h 50 min2020X-RayPG-13
Diagnosed with a mental illness, a witty, introspective teen falls in love with a brilliant classmate who inspires him to open his heart and not be defined by his condition.
Thor Freudenthal
Charlie PlummerTaylor RussellAndy Garcia
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
AnnaSophia RobbBeth GrantDevin BostickLobo SebastianMolly ParkerWalton Goggins
Mickey LiddellPete ShilaimonThor Freudenthal
PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Content advisory
Alcohol usefoul languagesexual contentsmokingsubstance useviolence
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4.6 out of 5 stars

2758 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 5% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

GavinReviewed in the United States on March 21, 2021
1.0 out of 5 stars
Dairy of an unrealistic and harmful depiction of Schizophrenia
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I hate to dislike something just because it is not politically correct, especially fiction, but really, what if someone in a position to make decisions bases one of them from this film? It happens often in this day and age of lazy authority. Any teacher, parent or person in a similar position handling a teenager with schizoaffective disorder using this movie as a reference to attempt insight or even empathy to someone in their lives, will have events turn out poorly. I would have loved for any delusional manifestation to be 3 fully fleshed out characters with interesting personalities that give me friendly advice and assurance that they are here to protect me. That is how the main character is affected by his illness, he has 3 great imaginary friends and one omnipotent evil voice that suggests people don't like him, this is Hollywood confusing schizophrenia with Dissociative identity disorder, like they always do, and describing a what would be a terrible hellscape of perceived dangers and warnings in a watered down and family friendly way. So much of this movie masquerades as a guide to dealing with this disorder and it's just plain harmful, the main character at one point lists a number of specific REAL medications that don't work, and takes a new experimental medication that suddenly does work. So without touching on how hard it is to be correctly diagnosed in an age of incompetent doctors, it also skips over how incredibly expensive these medications are. Nothing the character struggles with seems to be anything schizophrenics actually have problems with, his illness is just a plot device, an obstacle to overcome so he can have a girlfriend and be a chef. Despite the character repeating he will never overcome this, spoiler alert, he does, he cures it with bravery and what i can only describe as "high school love". The lesson was "Just be brave, take your pills and find a girlfriend." Ok sure, i understand that Thor wanted to make a teen romance movie as some kind of growing process in his usual work, so if i ignore all the terrible depictions and assumptions about his illness, maybe it's an ok movie. Nope it isn't, it's terrible. The main character is highly unlikable, so is his love interest, their personalities go beyond broody teenagers and enters into unreasonable and unpleasant, which seems out of place since most of the conversations are reasonable and arguments have nearly instant resolutions. This movie would have been an ok feel good mediocre story- if it didn't name schizophrenia specifically and proceed to handle it in an unrealistic and, quite frankly, harmful way, there are too many examples to list here. BUT Among them are; Medication working instantly as if in the Matrix (seriously imagined this way), Assumptions and extreme privilege in regards to healthcare and medication, Conveniently placed homeless people to provide context, Delusions being fully independent and interesting characters (more so than the REAL characters) , said characters being helpful as if they were just magical companions like E.T. and so on. The illness is romanticized and from other reviews seems to have inspired so many people to want to understand and help, and by helping they condone this garbage. Where was all the empathy and praise for this kind of thing when i was a teenager? I have found out that no one making this movie consulted anyone with the disorder at all, and it shows. This movie was offensively inaccurate and terrible, and if you ignore inaccuracies for the sake of "movie time", it's still bad. I hear the book is better, well i hope so, maybe people (including me) can look into that instead of this disaster. On a lighter note; Molly Parker, Andy Garcia, Walton Goggins and Annasophia Robb give great performances, most of the acting is well done, and the script would have been fine without the main plot, it moves in a formulaic way that makes sense and characters have depth albeit that they are terrible people.
126 people found this helpful
Odalys GarciaReviewed in the United States on November 22, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Love it.
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This movie kept getting recommended to me. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2016 and have been struggling with it for the past 6 years and i think this movie did a pretty decent job at explaining and showing some of the everyday struggles a person of the sort goes through. Overall, it’s just a great movie.
83 people found this helpful
Ariel GainesReviewed in the United States on November 19, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Absolutely Stunning!
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In the 90s, teen romances helped teenagers to identify with the "weirdo" "nerd" and odd man out, the "loner", and helped a generation of young people feel comfortable with individuality coming out of times that stressed group cultural identities, and belonging to a community. This movie instead tackled the topic of mental illness, which has been addressed so thoughtfully by the millennial generation, though they often are shamed for it. I wish this type of movie came out years before to instill in all of us a sense of compassion for those going through mental illness, and the way that it can be wholly isolating for an individual. Leaving its cultural impact aside, the story was well written, and excelled at showing it's characters in the most humane light. The young actors also did an absolutely stunning job of bringing their characters struggles to the forefront for us audiences to feel and identify with. We need more movies like this, that explore the deeply human internal battles that we all unknowingly share.
63 people found this helpful
ShilohReviewed in the United States on November 22, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Waiting for movie such as this
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From the moment I saw the trailer I became a fan and I am never one for love stories. I have never seen such a movie that touched on mental health topics so well. Very well written and the acting was great.
36 people found this helpful
Sarah Ashley TiradoReviewed in the United States on December 23, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Rare & Beautifully Done
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This year I had the pleasure of reading the book before the movie came out and I must say, although the book was a great read, this movie outshined the written story. Of course, there are some key elements that changed for theatrical purposes, but not too much. The book did not make me smile and cry in the same way as the movie did, so for me, it's one of those rare instances when the movie outdid the book! And the soundtrack was something I enjoyed as well!
25 people found this helpful
Linda B.Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
Really. Good. Movie...all the thumbs up!
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Seriously good movie. Charlie Plummer is awesome. Had no clue who he was but had to look him up. This made me think differently about mental illness and what the person going through it deals with. Granted I recognize that it's easy to sympathize with an attractive actor in a neatly written package but it's something. Tear jerker for sure but there's light in this film.
23 people found this helpful
Frost DiazReviewed in the United States on December 11, 2020
3.0 out of 5 stars
The book was better
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The book was better, we see a more character development and really go on this journey with Adam as he grows and learns that his illness can't fully control him. Adams and Maya's relationship in the book was also far better we connect with them and since they are teenagers they do some risky stuff but we see how their love blooms which make you root for them unlike in the movie where we get one ok scene of real emotion. Also I'm just going to shay it Paul was a real jerk in the movie when he was actually completely different in the book, so ya they had quite a few liberties with these characters and they excluded a lot of awesome people from the book. I'm just saying if you liked the movie read the BOOOK. Or listen to it on audible the reader did such a good job portraying Adam. Well that was my two cents, take everything I saw with a grain of salt as I am but a humble reader and opinions are subjective.
18 people found this helpful
LeiaReviewed in the United States on March 22, 2021
4.0 out of 5 stars
Accurate for some, not all.
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The most important message of this film is schizophrenia is an uncontrollable disorder that destroys lives of good people. We do not understand it, but we can listen. There are a lot of symptoms Adam does not have that others do, and certainly the bullying is prevalent in our Ableist society. Some people can learn to live with schizophrenia. Some can accept the hallucinations as parts of themselves, projected and differentiate reality. Some can find a place in between. I read reviews saying this isn't realistic, but I find the disorder varies as much as the people who have it. I loved how Adam was a real, particular, resourceful young man who is aware he isn't able to alter his perception of reality. For some it is worse, and they will never experience success in managing it. However, like any problem, it is the support system that matters most. Yes, if you are highly intelligent, which isn't universal, but is true of many people with schizophrenia, you can consciously mediate and analyze your experience. In this way, people I've know have not overcome, but come to live with their disorder. Most people with schizophrenia are feared, but most are more dangerous to themselves than to anyone else. This is the only film I've seen that shows someone with schizophrenia as a whole person, with relationships, complex desires, distress, hospitalizations, loved ones, and a desire for meaning. In doing that, I think the film is important. There are folks with schizophrenia who are kind, smart, creative, talented beyond average, and deeply sensitive. It would have been helpful to see behaviors like loose connections, and some sense of the statistics of self-harm, homelessness, lack of support, and what it can look like on a spectrum. Regardless, a film showing a less-destructive disorder humanizes schizophrenia, and it is human. Behaviors, showing symptoms and the people who love them through it matters. It's the most important message here. It is hard to get help, but it is needed. And, people do find medications to help sometimes. The side effects of psychiatric drugs, even if they work, is very realistic in my opinion. These medications are serious and can make someone more likely to hurt themselves. Schizophrenia usually comes at an age where your life is supposed to become your own, where you are supposed to be able to move into adulthood, but it impairs the ability to cope. You need more support than ever and to a young person, this is likely devastating. They are fully human, yet they know they have changed, and their lives may spin out of control. Once a young man with schizophrenia talked to me for hours about what it was like to have his disorder. Maybe because I dissociate I could follow his loose connections. The next day I thanked him for sharing his story with me, and then he said, "Thank you for listening. No one listens. Even my mom. Every time I call her she doesn't talk to me, she just asks if I need to go to the hospital." He needed a friend and he needed his family. You don't have to understand immediately in order to listen. When I didn't understand I asked him to explain. And, he did; he thought very poetically. Maybe I understood because I love poetry. Maybe I just had patience. He was brilliant and if we were more forgiving and supportive as humans, we might hear and understand. Also, extraordinary people can accept and love people with schizophrenia, and it is crucial. This movie depicts the ongoing inescapable reality of schizophrenia as it touches a privileged family, with a main character with a realistic, but not universal experience of schizophrenia. There are almost no films about the real experience of schizophrenia. I've spent time with young people who have this disorder, and I appreciated this shows them to be real, thinking, intelligent human beings with hopes and agony. When I was getting help for depression I was surrounded by people with all different disorders. It is incredibly hard with schizophrenia. However, some of my favorite people have had this painful condition. Some cannot overcome, some find medication that helps, some never do, and some give up. Suicide rates are so high for people with schizophrenia, but is this surprising when we criminalize those mentally ill, and are unable to empathize or have the patience to hear them? It is Adam's support network that keeps him from being effectively suicidal, totally alone, and helps with the deep depression and despair, as well as the traumatic roller-coaster of trying all kinds of meds. People with schizophrenia deserve to be seen as fully human, with contributions to make. How would you feel if you couldn't have those things? I appreciate this film because I think that is the main message. People need support, or typically they do not overcome. And, having psychosis does not negate humanity or make someone dangerous. People can be sane jerks, or they can have mental health issues and be the sweetest people, or they can be jerks. Character is not married to mental health, and I think this is an important message here too.
10 people found this helpful
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