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Heathers Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What sets Heathers apart from less intelligent teenage movies is that it has a point of view toward this subject matter - a bleak, macabre and bitingly satirical one.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Dave Kehr

    The sheer outrageousness of its attitude is enough to make Heathers a very welcome relief in a field dominated by sanctimonious and second-hand virtue. [31 March 1989]

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    Heathers gave me the creeps but it also made me laugh. This bizarre variation on that Hollywood staple, the teen movie, is one weird original. [30 Mar 1989 p.A12(E)]

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    It's a tough entry into the tough black-comic genre; don't be surprised if it becomes a classic. [31 March 1989]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

After Columbine, this dark comedy isn't as funny.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens will probably want to see this pitch-black comedy, but it's better for those just exiting high school and up. This film goes to extremes portraying the cruelness of the popular crowd and the rebellion against it. The popular kids are murdered by poisoning and shooting and their suicide notes are forged. There are two more "real" attempted suicides, some self-mutilation, and bulimia. There's lots of gunplay by the main characters and one bloody scene. J.D. attempts to blow up the school and all its students with dynamite. Teens have sex (outdoors and at a college party) and speak crudely about it. Two boys are sexually aggressive. And there's plenty of harsh and homophobic language.

  • Families can talk about popularity, suicide, depression, and any number of hot-button teen subjects. High school is a high-anxiety microcosm of what awaits teenagers post-graduation. How do you deal with pressure successfully? How do you learn to make positive decisions?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Extreme bad behavior is intrinsic to this dark comedy. J.D. thrives on chaos and death and drags Veronica down with him. When she starts to resist him he stalks her and threatens her. High school pecking-order stereotypes are rampant. Parents and school administrators shown as bumbling and ineffective in dealing with the "suicide epidemic." Suicide notes are forged, then circulated and revered by students and faculty. One Heather uses holy water to fix her hair at a funeral. The fake suicide pact of two male athletes is staged as a gay tryst with "gay artifacts" like mineral water and played for laughs. Cow-tipping. Kids pander to TV crews in a display of public mourning and one asks for a copy of the tape for his Princeton application. A college boy and J.D. act sexually aggressive toward Veronica. One Heather throws up lunch every day. J.D.'s dad blows up buildings and gloats about it. Girl gets laughed at for attempting suicide for real and living. Veronica does learn a lesson in the end about popularity and befriends the most laughed-at girl in school.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: One poisoning where the victim falls through a glass table. Plenty of gunplay by J.D. and Veronica: at school with blanks, in the woods resulting in two deaths. J.D. and Veronica fight each other with guns, shooting off a finger; lots of blood. Dynamite is planted under bleachers of school kids at a pep rally, then strapped to and detonated by J.D. Teen suicide is a huge focus and faked suicides lead to real attempts by two students. J.D. admits that his mother probably committed suicide. His father blows up buildings. Veronica burns herself with a lighter on purpose. A Barbie is hung in Veronica's room as a threat and Veronica pretends to hang herself.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Lots of teenage sex (outdoors and at a college party) and crude mentions of sex: "spin her around on my Johnson like a goddamn pinwheel." Veronica is the victim of a rumor that she had oral sex with two jocks in one night. Jocks make a nerdy student say "I like to suck big dicks" outside a church. Two jocks strip down to their boxers. Veronica is forced to kiss J.D. and a college student against her will.

  • language false5

    Language: The F word is used frequently in over-the-top expressions like "f--k me gently with a chainsaw," "f--king psychotic," "stupid f--k," "they all want me as a friend or a f--k."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Swatch, Coke, Limited, MTV, Barbie

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Veronica, J.D., Veronica's dad, and a teacher smoke. A teen smokes pot under the bleachers. High schoolers are drunk at a college party and Veronica throws up.