Information for Parents
Common Sense Media says Iffy for 16+
Compelling high school noir movie, but not for kids.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that despite the high school setting, this movie is not appropriate for kids. Teens who have followed Mischa Barton's career might be interested, but the extreme language ("Do you still eat your mom's dirty tampons?"), alcohol and drug abuse, and overall sense of darkness make this sleek movie inappropriate for young viewers.
- Families can talk about peer pressure. St. Donovan's is portrayed as a place where many kids have been pressured into having sex. Is this how your school is? How do you say no? Are kids ready to be adults in this way? Here are some tips for parents and kids to help create dialogue about a very important issue.
- Performance-enhancing drugs are everywhere nowadays. What are your views about prescription drugs that are used to "help" kids concentrate? What are the downsides of using drugs to aid with concentration?
- Parties in movies about high school often involve drinking. How is this similar to or different from how parties are in your high school? Here are some ways to talk about alcohol and the influence that movies like this one have on teen viewers.
The good stuff
Positive messages: Even though the hero is trying to bust a corruption ring at St. Donovan's High School, the corruption is pervasive. From cheating to harassment of fellow students (both male and female) to threats from the principal himself, no one is safe here. And the themes of drug running and incest are huge red flags.
Positive role models: Principal Fitzpatrick tells a student: "Do I come to the strip club and knock the d--k out of your mouth?" The only saving grace is that he does the right thing when his student breaks up the corruption ring. Not a single parent seen in the entire film.
What to watch for
Violence: Some punching, a fake assassination attempt, teenage boy harassment. Most of the abuse is of the verbal variety.
Sexy stuff: Lots of innuendo. One teen is passed out on the couch and her boyfriend says: "I'll let you play with her t-ts for twenty bucks." Teens shown having sex in a car. A female character's chest is exposed in a bathtub scene. Incest among siblings is a theme mentioned.
Language: Extremely graphic language used by teens. Every four-letter word (from a to z, really) and some very graphic language pertaining to girls who are promiscuous. Even the Principal of the school says extremely inappropriate things to his students.
Consumerism: Pepsi and Doublemint gum shown. A litany of prescription drugs are mentioned-- particularly those used to help kids concentrate in school.
Drinking, drugs and smoking: Kids play beer pong to the extent of passing out. One girl gets so drunk that she wets her pants while she's passed out. Characters smoke a joint and talk about how it tastes. Even the "smart" kids are hooked on prescription drugs.