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Riding in Cars With Boys 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's as if the filmmakers, having committed themselves to the book, fled from its essence, which is wildness.

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    When Barrymore finally gets mean, the movie finally gets good. Then comes another sing-along, dammit.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    It's just another case of mourning over what might have been.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's Barrymore's most ambitious role to date. She proves she is maturing as an actress.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A film like this is refreshing and startling in the way it cuts loose from formula and shows us confused lives we recognize.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Not a great movie, although Drew Barrymore shines.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has non-explicit teenage sex and pregnancy. Characters drink, smoke, and use drugs, including use of a hallucinogenic drug while watching a child and heroin addiction. A character sells drugs, and Bev and Fay briefly become involved in helping him. There is a painful scene of withdrawal. All of this is presented in a realistic manner with realistic consequences that should help teenagers understand the seriousness of this behavior. There's also some strong language.

  • Families can talk about how families support members who have made bad choices and the importance of accepting responsibility for your mistakes. What did Bev's family do wrong? What did they do right? Why was she able to achieve her dream? What did Jason do to make her see things differently? What do you think about Ray's comment that the best thing he could do for Jason was to leave him?

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Tense family scenes.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Teen pregnancy.

  • language false3

    Language: Some strong language.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Substance abuse, including heroin.