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Pumpkin Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    As PC busting goes, this first feature directed by Tony R. Abrams and scribe Adam Larson Broder shoots at close range, and there's something endearing about the way the filmmakers fire away so eagerly at such fluorescent-colored targets.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Wildly uneven but nonetheless intriguing and funny.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Pumpkin's two greatest strengths: the majority of the film is original and engaging, and Christina Ricci turns in another fine performance. This pair of assets alone is worth the price of admission.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Is alive, and takes chances, and uses the wicked blade of satire in order to show up the complacent political correctness of other movies in its campus genre.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 16 & under

Black comedy about disability full of profanity, sex.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pumpkin is a black comedy that aims to satirize Greek life by showing its characters as hopelessly conformist, shallow, self-serving, and oblivious to the suffering or setbacks of others. The premise involves a sorority girl falling in love with a teenaged boy with physical and intellectual disabilities. Though the movie aims to subvert stereotypes, it does so through profanity (including "f--k"), sexuality (including topless women having sex), crassness, and a grab bag of political incorrectness that insults ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, and gender. Best for mature teens who can separate the underlying messages from the caricature in which they are presented.

  • Does the film portray developmental disability accurately? How or how not? Why do you think the filmmakers chose to present disability in this way?
  • Does the relationship between Carolyn and Pumpkin seem likely -- that a boy in a wheelchair could be inspired by a pretty girl to get out of a wheelchair and start walking and playing sports?
  • Does the film's attempt at satirizing the more conformity-minded among us work? Why or why not? Does the film inadvertently reinforce the very messages it aims to undo? Why or why not?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Pumpkin offers positive messages about recognizing prejudice in ourselves, and what it truly means to accept differences. It also warns against the dangers of conformity and status-seeking.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: The film's satirical nature often presents characters as deeply conflicted, shallow, or self-serving. Some characters stand out as pure or true in comparison, but often in such broad strokes that it's difficult to see them as anything but types used for how they illuminate the flaws of others.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: The film contains a scene of a wildly exaggerated car explosion, which leads to the paralysis of the driver. In another scene, a teenager wrecks a car but is not injured. In another scene, a college-aged man fights a teenage boy, delivering six or eight punches before being hoisted up and thrown to the ground. Blood is shown briefly with one fighter's bloody nose.

  • sex false2

    Sex: In one brief scene, a man is show in montage form having intercourse with three different women who are on top of him; each is topless and shown briefly from the side. In another scene, a college-aged woman is shown in bed with a teenage boy, covers pulled up to their necks, as if to suggest having had intercourse (the woman is called a slut, whore, prostitute, and pedophile by his mother). Sensuality occurs elsewhere in the movie, with a teenage boy looking at a bikini-clad centerfold. A man and woman kiss in bed, half-dressed. Girls dance suggestively in hula skirts and bikini tops. A guy hugs a girl and slides his hand to cover her behind.

  • language false3

    Language: The film contains pervasive use of profanity and politically incorrect, racist, and prejudiced language, in addition to scenes where gender-based critiques are commonplace, such as calling bigger women "mastodons." Characters are referred to by their ethnicity, such as when sorority sisters discuss getting a Filipina to join the sorority purely for the sake appearing diverse. Characters' ethnicity, sexual orientation, or abilities are used to imply their rank in social hierarchy, such as when a guy says he'd heard of guys "losing their chicks to black guys or lesbians, but to a retard?" Disabled individuals are discussed more basely, such as when an intellectually disabled character is said to "become aroused more easily." Profanity such as "Jesus Christ," "f--king ridiculous," "bitch," "whore," "slut," and others are used frequently.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: An adult woman referred to as an alcoholic is shown in a few scenes drinking cocktails during the day. In one scene she is shown slurring her words angrily after drinking.