Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (2016) Thursday, 20 June 2019

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (2016)

Additional Info

  • Rating:

    PG: Mild themes and coarse language.

  • The pitch:

    Rules aren't for everyone.

  • Starring:

    Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Alexa Nisenson, Andrew Daly, Thomas Barbusca, Retta, Luke Hardeman, Jessi Goei, Isabela Moner

  • Directed by:

    Steve Carr

  • Running time:

    92 minutes

  • Rated:

    PG (Australia), PG (UK), PG (USA)

  • VIOLENCE/GORE:

    People are vicitmised by a bullies (school principal, a fellow student, a future stepfather), headlocked, teased, expelled, fired from their job, tripped over, run over with a bicycle, pursued, hit with objects, covered in fertiliser/manure, given a wedgie, kicked, threatened. Reckless/underage driving, a car sideswipes objects, smashed vehicle. A man thumps a door with his fists. An item is confiscated then dropped into a bucket full of acid. Cartoon creatures get their heads blown off. Cartoon objects thrown/shot/eaten by shark. An animated sequence illustrates where meat comes from (cows seen going into slaughterhouse, turned into hamburgers, etc). An animated sequence features a scary green monster with yellow eyes and sharp teeth and an animated building that swallows a boy. Book pushed off desk, chair kicked. A man splashes a dog with water, an animated animal is squashed. Going to prison, carving shanks, punch a child in the face mentioned. Blood/gore: An animated boy eats so much he explodes (flesh/bone debris seen), animated creatures' heads blow off. Zombie creatures, bloodshot eyes. Drawing of headstones/cemetery. Panic attack, cancer mentioned.

  • SEX/NUDITY:

    A teen girl dances seductively in a skimpy school uniform beneath water sprinklers. Kissing, flirting, ogling, undie-snapping. Wiping a dog's butt. An animated boy is given a wedgie (bum cheeks seen). The exposed midriff and butt of an animated bear are seen. Drawing boobs well, nipples mentioned.

  • VICES/DRUG USE:

    Alcohol (wine, beer). Betting mentioned.

  • LANGUAGE:

    People say "what the...fish", "word that rhymes with suck" and sh--. Piss, keister, butt, dump, pee, balls, crap, poop. Name-calling (grumpy, narc, snitches, robots, dufus, fat, mean, buttwipe, hooligans, farty, jerks, bully, twerps, punks, vandals, remedials, soft, grandma, messed up, secretive, sad, angry, dork, loser, evil, fatsby, turd, self-centred, dumb, etc). Religious exclamations (welcome to hell, oh God, for God's sake, God no, etc).

  • THEMES:

    School, bullies, drawing, cartoons, brothers, family, art, creativity, school rules, vandalism, sabotage, sketching, death, grief, evidence, VHS, examinations, imaginary friends, rebellion, little sisters.

  • HIDDEN EXTRAS:

    Dead brother/son. Marriage proposal, job loss. Estranged father/husband, estranged wife mentioned. Dog, eel, lobster, starfish, tank fish. Boy in mascot bird costume, UFO. Lightning, thunder. Steak, hamburger eaten. Poop emoji, chewing gum on seat, fart noises, graffiti, patch of urine on jacket. Animated animals (bear, bees, porcupine, skunk, deer, cows, maggots, gorilla, shark, snake, cat, armadillo, dogs).

  • CRITICS LIKE:

    Amusing, digestible, crowd-pleasing, fine, fun, rebellious, playful. Winning performances, likeable characters, strong casting, clever/innovative animated sequences, relevant messages, some inspired/poignant/surprising moments, unexpected emotional twist, warm/autumnal cinematography.

  • CRITICS DON'T LIKE:

    Formulaic, implausible, predictable, cartoonish, flat, sloppy. Unimaginatively directed/shot, awkward/forgettable ending, many stock characters, simple ideas, some strained/mawkish moments, female characters don't fare well.

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