Paramount Pictures' "The Perfect Score" features the letters S, A, and T, as in SAT, and the number 5, as in fifth place, where it debuted in the box office this past weekend.

The crime comedy, featuring Erika Christensen and Scarlett Johansson as two of a group of six students attempting to steal the answers to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), brought in $5 million over the weekend.

The six students in question, Anna (Christensen), Francesca (Johansson), Kyle (Chris Evans), Matty (Bryan Greenberg), Desmond (Portland Trailblazers guard Darius Miles) and Roy (Leonardo Nam), each have their own agenda in capturing the elusive answers to the test.

While Kyle has dreams of attending Cornell and earning a degree in architecture, his test scores are simply too low. However, having lower than low scores is Kyle's pal, Matty, who desperately wants to attend the University of Maryland to be with his older high school sweetheart. The duo are the first to come up with the plan to steal the answers.

Matty recruits wealthy gossip-monger Francesca into the plan, along with Anna, who daydreamed the first time she took the test trying to figure out the "woman on a train" question.

Desmond is a high school basketball phenom told by real-life St. John's coach Mike Jarvis that he needs at least a 900 score to play for his university next season. Desmond had been getting by, sliding through school with teachers more concerned about his basketball skills than his vocabulary.

Last but not least is Roy, the classic stoner found in every teen film. Roy, while catching a buzz in a bathroom stall, catches wind of the plan from Kyle and Matty. With nothing better to do, Roy bribes his way into the scheme.

At times, this film becomes confusing with the constant daydreaming that occurs - much so that one could easily forget which daydream belongs to which student. Also, the young actors in "The Perfect Score" tend to morph between acting like teens, and being the young actors they are.

However, this film wasn't unbearable to watch - and the premise came off without a hitch. "The Perfect Score" does borrow some of the usual cliches from past teen films like "The Breakfast Club" and "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," but not so much that it's routine nor redundant.

With little studying, "The Perfect Score" receives a passing grade with three out of four stars. Class dismissed!

"The Perfect Score" is rated PG-13 for language, sexual content and some drug references. Running time is 1 hour, 43 minutes.

Last week's No. 1 film, "The Butterfly Effect," flashed downward to No. 3 with $9.9 million - $32.4 million to date.

The Ben Stiller/Jennifer Aniston comedy, "Along Came Polly," has kept its appeal at No. 2, adding $10.1 million to its total of $66.7 million in three weeks.

Receiving a boost from last week's 11 Academy Award nominations, "The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King" leaped to No. 4 from the fifth slot, garnering $5.3 million - lifting its total to $345.3 million - passing "Finding Nemo" ($339.7 million) to become the highest-grossing movie released in 2003.

Tim Burton's "Big Fish" continues downstream from No. 4 to No. 6 with $4.6 million - $55.3 million overall.

Rounding out the top ten at No. 10 is 20th Century Fox' "Cheaper By The Dozen." Down from No. 6, the Steve Martin comedy brought in an extra $4.1 million to its $127.8 million total.

For more information and show times, contact Regal Cinemas Marketplace 24, 180 Mill Road, Oaks, at (610) 666-6697.

Dennis J. Wright can be reached at dwright@phoenixvillenews.com.

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