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Booksmart | 2019 | R | – 7.4.10

content-ratingsWhy is “Booksmart” rated R? The MPAA rating has been assigned for “strong sexual content and language throughout, drug use and drinking – all involving teens.” The evaluation includes several kissing scenes and an implied sex scene involving teens, several conversations on teen sex, cleavage revealing outfits and teens shown wearing underwear, and teens watching porn off screen; several arguments with one ending with a participant having a panic attack, several underage parties with one ending in the arrest of an attendee, and a reference to a mass murderer; many scenes of underage parties including teenagers drinking alcohol and references to drug use; and over 100 F-words. Read our parents’ guide below for details on sexual content, violence & strong language.”

Two high school seniors (Kaitlyn Dever and Beanie Feldstein) with excellent grades decide they have studied too hard through their school years while spending very little time having fun. Not wanting to miss out, they decide to have one wild night before graduation. They soon find more adventure and turmoil than they bargained for and learn some important lessons along the way. Also with Jessica Williams, Lisa Kudrow, Will Forte and Jason Sudeikis. Directed by Olivia Wilde. A few lines of dialogue are spoken in a Chinese language with English subtitles. [Running Time: 1:42]

Booksmart SEX/NUDITY 7

 – A teen girl kisses another teen girl three times for several seconds each time in a bathroom, and they peel off clothing to reveal underwear (we see cleavage, abdomen and thighs) and the girls look like they will have sex as they lie one on top of each other and the top girl’s shoulder moves (indicating stimulation to the other girl) until the top girl drinks from a nearby cup and vomits (we see yellow material) all over her partner, ending the sequence.
 A high school principal drives a Lyft car in which two teen girls watch porn on a cellphone, using earbuds, and make horrified faces, and while we see only the back of the phone we hear sexual sounds from the auxiliary audio speaker, with grunts, moaning, and the sounds of body parts slapping together rhythmically causing the driver to become embarrassed; he drops the teens off quickly at a party.
 A teen boy sings on stage, “Will she go down on you?” and puts the microphone into his mouth to mimic oral sex. A teen girl says another teen girl has had sex with the nose of a toy panda and a woman later rubs the panda nose in her own face and a teen girl bats it away.
 A teen girl and a teen boy kiss for several seconds in two scenes. A teen boy and teen girl kiss in the background as the camera passes by. A teen boy and a teen girl kiss for several seconds at a podium at graduation. A teen girl reaches from behind her female friend and grabs her chest briefly. Two teen girls hug briefly.
 A teen boy practices a line, “Have you ever made love to a Mexican?” and in a later scene, he tells a female teacher that last night was wonderful and asks if he will see her again and she says, “Have a good year at college,” before walking away (we never see them together sexually). A teen girl says porn is only for information. A teen girl urges another teen girl to attempt a relationship with a third teen girl, but the first girl sees the third girl kissing a teen boy in a pool and rushes away, embarrassed. Classmates and parents talk about two teen girls being lovers, but they are not. A young man tells a young woman, “I’ve never slept with anybody.” We hear that a teen girl has a reputation for being promiscuous throughout high school. An adult male says that he is writing a novel about a pregnant female detective. A teen girl implies that a female teacher had sex with a male senior student (we never see it). We hear that women in Botswana make their own tampons. A pizza delivery man tells two teen girls who jump in his car that they should be careful of sexual assault and to not get into strangers’ cars. There are several references to sexual activity among teens.
 Two teen girls hallucinate themselves as Barbie dolls (please see the Substance Use category for more details); the dolls remove clothing of short shorts and a short nurse’s uniform to reveal groins with no details and breasts without nipples and one doll fondles her own legs and groin. A teen girl (clothed conventionally) dances and writhes to and her chest and thighs jiggle. A few young women wear miniskirts ending at mid-thigh and several teen girls wear necklines that reveal cleavage. Many teen boys and teen girls wear short-shorts that reveal most of their thighs and legs. We see a close-up of the bottom of one girl’s buttocks below shorts as she wiggles. A male teen wears a long gold dress with a long slit up one leg at a murder mystery party, as well as lipstick and jewelry. Several teen girls remove outer clothing and jump into a pool, where we see cleavage, bare thighs, legs and abdomens (one girl has tattoos on her arms and stomach); a few teen boys jump into the pool wearing T-shirts and shorts.
 Teen girls and boys use condoms as water balloons hitting students in the face in a hallway (we see condom pieces thrown).


 - Two teen girls ask a pizza delivery man where a big party is located and he berates them and tells them they are not thinking; he pulls out a handgun and tells them they could be found dead on the street and they leave.
 A teen girl begins to leave a party until another teen girl stops her, making her very angry; the first girl shouts and demands her friend stop trying to control her, they argue loudly in front of classmates who film them on cellphones until the first girl rushes, crying, gasping and shaking to the bathroom in a panic attack and finally calms down. A teen girl begins to drive her car until her friend jumps in front of it to stop the vehicle (no one is hurt) and the two girls shout and laugh. Two Barbie dolls argue angrily, turn into teen girls, and walk stiffly out of a house. Teen girls and teen boys mock a female honor student, who becomes angry. A teen girl agrees to attend an underage, unsupervised party with a friend where they are accosted by another teen girl (please see the Substance Use category for more details). A teen boy says he has to kill a teen girl, but he never confronts her. A teen boy says a teen girl tried to shiv (stab) her father. A teen girl threatens a caterer, who backs away from her. At a murder mystery party, a participant shouts, "My husband's been killed!" while in another room, an actress pretends to cry over a prone male body.
 Two police officers arrive to stop a loud, unsupervised party where underage teens are drinking (please see the Substance Use category for more details) and a teen girl distracts the officers by running to allow the other teens to get away, while she is taken in a cruiser; we see her in a jail cell as her friend comes into the station to help free her.
 A teen boy bangs his head on a locker door for fun. A teen girl slams doors and shouts at people. A teen girl kicks a closet door. A teen girl walks into another teen girl, but no one is hurt; a skateboarder rolls by and almost hits them both. Two teen girls drive a car through a chain link fence and we see the hood rumpled with smoking coming out from under it (no one is injured). Teen boys and teen girls set off a fire extinguisher in a hallway, throw confetti, and spray a lot of silly string as they throw water balloons into each other's faces. Two teen girls accidentally set off MACE and shout in pain. A teen boy pours a half gallon of milk into his mouth and over his face to stop the heat of a ghost pepper he ate. Two teen boys smash empty beverage cans on their heads. Two teen girls argue briefly and one girl slaps the other girl in the face, without injury.
 We hear that a man is a mass murderer and he is turned in to the police. Two teen girls go to a murder mystery house party where they eat drugged food (please see the Substance Use category for more details).
 A female teacher gives two teen girls a change of clothes because the girls are covered with dirt and sweat and drives them to an unsupervised underage party (please see the Substance Use category for more details).

Booksmart LANGUAGE 10

 - About 107 F-words and its derivatives, 2 obscene hand gestures (one by a little girl), 12 sexual references, 19 scatological terms, 17 anatomical terms, 9 mild obscenities, name-calling (crazy, nuts, morons, dumb, fool, weird, robots, stupid, mean, sidekick, slut, irresponsible, Fluffleluffus, Manson Family, The One Percent), 2 religious profanities (GD), 24 religious exclamations (e.g. Oh My God, Oh God, Jesus Christ, Jesus, I Swear To God, Holy [scatological term deleted]). | profanity glossary |


 - Two teen girls meet a female classmate who is high on an unknown drug causing her to giggle and slur her words, a teen girl tells others that they ate food containing hallucinogens and they hallucinate that they are Barbie dolls (please see the Sex/Nudity category for more details), two teen girls find a box of white powder in a Lyft and the driver says it is ground up vitamins that another teen girl likes to snort (it is really a drug of some sort), and a teen girl smokes a marijuana cigarette in two scenes. Many scenes at different loud graduation parties feature underage teen girls and boys as a few drink beer and hard liquors, some teen girls and boys play beer pong briefly and the drinking part is not shown, a young man holds a glass of champagne and does not drink, we see empty beer bottles and beer cans scattered across coffee tables and counters, a teen boy at a party says that drinks and smokes are available and to help themselves (we don't see the "smokes"), and a woman and a teen boy each drink a short cocktail together. A teen girl smokes a cigarette.


 - Academic achievement, competition for college acceptance, the teen years, high school culture, Millennials, LGBTQ issues, underage drug and alcohol use, unsupervised high school parties, unaware parents, adventure vs. danger, courage, making and maintaining friendships, loyalty, jealousy, envy, wealth, verbal abuse, bullies, conflict, apologizing, understanding, reconciliation.

Booksmart MESSAGE

 - High school students should cultivate lasting friendships with stable people and find adults that they can trust.


Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.

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