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Starlet 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.

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The film itself deserves praise for its portraits of these two women and the different worlds they inhabit.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    It's an odd film in some ways. The porn milieu is detailed in ways at once sparing, in terms of actual screen time, and bluntly explicit. The odd-couple relationship guiding the story has its familiarities. But where it counts, 'Starlet' ... allows its characters room to maneuver within the potential cliches.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    A mismatched-friends drama whose overall sensitivity is belied by a couple of clumsily contrived plot points, Sean Baker's Starlet pairs story and setting perfectly.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Sean Baker's singular little ultra-indie is a strikingly unsentimental study in female friendship between unmoored souls in L.A.'s bleached, glamour-challenged San Fernando Valley.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

not for kids

Story about doing the right thing has heavy sex and drugs.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Starlet is an indie drama about a young woman who, after accidental good fortune, befriends an elderly lady. Despite the character's good intentions and a generally positive message of being rewarded for doing the right thing, the movie is set in and around the porn industry, and there are graphic sex scenes, nudity, and strong innuendo, as well as actual porn stars in the cast. Plus, one secondary character is a drug dealer, and many of the main characters smoke pot at some point. Language is also strong, including "f--k," and there's strong arguing.

  • Families can talk about Starlet's scenes that take place in the adult film industry. What impact do they have on the characters and the rest of the movie? How does the movie depict sex in general?
  • Is Jane a role model? Does she do the right thing? How does that stack up against the fact that she works in the porn industry and smokes pot?
  • Is Jane and Sadie's relationship believable? Have you ever been friends with a person not in your age group?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: A character is given a complex moral conundrum; she tries to figure out how to do the right thing and finds herself rewarded in ways she never could have imagined.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Though the main character is a good soul who tries to do the right thing and befriends and helps an old lady, she also works in the porn industry, lives with a drug dealer, and smokes pot. She's complex and can't easily be called a role model.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: Characters have intense arguments, and, in one scene, a character gets upset and starts knocking objects over, but no one comes to blows.

  • sex false5

    Sex: The main character and some of the secondary characters work in the porn industry. Viewers see a graphic scene of filming, with sex and nudity, both male and female. There are also several scenes of strong innuendo and many other references to the sex business. Two actual porn stars, Asa Akira and Manuel Ferrara, appear in the movie.

  • language false4

    Language: Strong language includes many uses of "f--k," "s--t," and other explicit words.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: One of the secondary characters is a drug dealer. Several characters -- in their 20s -- smoke pot during the course of the movie.