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Superbad Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

Hell, it's as good as American Grafitti. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    76

    out of 100

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

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Some of the patter is funny, but the movie lacks the clever plot developments and the character nuances of a classic like "American Graffiti." And it's missing the belly laughs of earlier raunchfests "American Pie" and "There's Something About Mary."

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Side-splitting laughter, along with some powerful cringing, are likely to be audiences' dominant reactions.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Superbad is cute if you like guys who aren't even remotely bad, in a coming-of-age tale so old-fashioned the girls might just as well be wearing bloomers.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The movie is astonishingly foul-mouthed, but in a fluent, confident way where the point isn't the dirty words, but the flow and rhythm, and the deep, sad yearning they represent.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    What's most memorable, most striking about Superbad is the canny evocation of male friendship in all its richness and complexity.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Superbad reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Super bawdy, super profane -- and super funny.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this high school comedy has been marketed squarely at teens (the wide online circulation of an R-rated "red band" trailer helped a lot). Heralded as an instant-classic teen comedy on the level of Dazed and Confused or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it seems destined to be a hit. But parents should know that, like many real teenagers, the characters are obsessed with losing their virginity and talking about sex. Sex and, to a lesser extent, booze fuel every conversation, with very graphic dialogue about genitalia, sex acts, and pornography. "F--k" (and many derivations thereof) is used almost nonstop, and there's also a lot of underage drinking and a scene of adults smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. American Pie seems PG-rated by comparison.

  • Families can talk about what teens think of sex, how many of their friends they think are having sex, and what parents think of teens having sex. Do teens consider it a stigma to graduate from high school a virgin? This is a good opportunity for parents to answer teens' questions about sex, drinking, and the safe, responsible way to handle both. Parents may also want to put an over-the-top comedy like this in perspective. The movie's antics come at you fast and furiously, making some of the laughs mostly about the shock value. For example, do you think real cops would ever act like the two in the movie? What other movies and TV shows have a similar comedy style? Do you think there's danger here if a viewer doesn't understand the comedy on that level?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The underlying message could seem to be that scoring alcohol for a party will grant even the nerdiest kid "cool" status for a night. But by the end of the film, it's clear that the film's real point is that true best friends love each other unconditionally, not selfishly.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: McLovin gets pistol-whipped in the head by a robber; a fight breaks out at a party, where a few of the men suffer bloody wounds; a hobo kicks, punches, and pounds on various people at a bar; Seth accidentally punches Jules in the eye. In a daydream, Seth envisions a security guard slashing his throat. A woman's menstrual blood ends up on Seth's pants, causing a fight.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Sex (and various sex acts), virginity, and pornography are discussed in graphic detail throughout the entire movie. The near-constant conversation about oral sex and genitalia is finally matched by two short scenes of drunk, semi-clothed teenagers about to have sex -- although neither couple finalizes the act. There's also a scene that displays many drawings of penises, supposedly done by an 8-year-old.

  • language false5

    Language: The dialogue is filled with nearly ubiquitous curse words, primarily the "F-bomb" and its derivatives. There are probably two short conversations in the entire film that don't feature constant swearing; otherwise, they're the most commonly used words -- including "s--t," "dick," "p---y," "ass," "tits," "bitch," etc.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Old Milwaukee beer, plus other liquor brands that sound familiar but aren't real, probably because real alcohol companies didn't give permission to be used in a movie about underage drinking.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The plot revolves around buying alcohol for a high school party, so there's obviously a great deal of underage drinking. Teens also smoke cigarettes and are present at a party where adults are smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. The main drug, of course, is alcohol -- from vodka to beer.

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