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Sixteen Candles 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.

  • 70

    out of 100


    Ringwald is engaging and credible. For the boys, there's a bright, funny performance by Anthony Michael Hall.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    The movie is cheerful and light, showcasing Mr. Hughes's knack for remembering all those aspects of middle-class American adolescent behavior that anyone else might want to forget.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    This is a fresh and cheerful movie with a goofy sense of humor and a good ear for how teenagers talk.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Racy, drunken, hilarious '80s high school comedy.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that John Hughes' hilarious '80s high school comedy has both sharply observed moments and now-dated stereotypes. Although it's rated PG (it was released before the PG-13 option existed), this is an adult comedy with teen characters. The teens drink, have sex, and talk about birth control; in one scene, it's implied that a guy had sex with a girl while she was passed-out drunk. Parents may want to exercise caution with more impressionable kids, and especially preteens or younger. But this smart exploration of adolescent life will be fun for teens and adults.

  • Families can talk about Sam's insecurity. How could her family have eased some of the anxiety of adolescence?
  • Discuss the stereotype of Long Duk Dong. How has that stereotype changed today?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: While the movie doesn't raise profound issues, it addresses the difficulty of the teen/high school years in a way that teens can relate to. Sam's happiness is very much wrapped up in a guy.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: At the film's center is a plucky teenage heroine with whom girls can identify. That said, the Chinese exchange student is reduced to a grossly offensive stereotype, and Sam's elderly grandparents don't fare much better. Jake is earnestly sweet about his interest in Sam, but he doesn't demonstrate much respect for his longtime girlfriend, Carolyn.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Mild slapstick violence. In one scene, it's implied that a teen boy had sex with a girl while she was passed-out drunk.

  • sex false4

    Sex: Teens and sex are central, with lots of talk about body parts, much of it vulgar. Kissing. A shower scene shows a girl's naked torso. A high school kid coaxes a girl into giving him her panties and shows them to bathroom full of freshmen for a dollar. Drunken sex is implied.

  • language false3

    Language: Some use of the words "f--k" and "s--t."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Teens drink to the point of passing out. Hung-over characters question whether they were intimate while drunk. A woman overdoes muscle-relaxant pills and gets completely loopy.