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The Breakfast Club 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The New Yorker Pauline Kael

    But all that this encounter-session movie actually does is strip a group of high-school kids down to their most banal longings to be accepted and liked. Its real emblem is that dreary, retro ribbon. [8 Apr 1985, p.123]

  • 60

    out of 100

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    The five young stars would have mixed well even without the fraudulent encounter-group candor towardS which The Breakfast Club forces them. Mr. Hughes, having thought up the characters and simply flung them together, should have left well enough alone.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Eminently watchable and consistently entertaining...It has a candor that is unexpected and refreshing in a sea of too-often generic teen-themed films.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Ty Burr

    From the neon-sign opening titles to the derivative angst of the dialogue, it's a touchstone of '80s pop culture, and a schizophrenic one, too.

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  • See all The Breakfast Club reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Socially relevant '80s teen flick.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film deals with themes that may be inappropriate for younger teens. Topics such as suicide, depression, social alienation, materialism, sex, and parental physical and emotional abuse are discussed openly. Main characters use very strong language, smoke pot on screen in the school library, and mock authority figures. One smokes cigarettes, draws a switchblade, and makes lewd gestures. He reveals cigar burns on his body as evidence of his father's abuse. The film does positively encourage the breakdown of social barriers as a means of identification and improved communication.

  • Families can talk about how relevant and realistic they feel it is. Do teens feel that their high school has a similar clique structure? Allison describes Bender's question about Claire's virginity as a "double-edged sword…a trap," stating, "Well, if you say you haven''re a prude. If you say you're a slut." Her argument is nothing new, but it does present a good opportunity for families to talk about society's views on sex and gender. Do teens still feel this double standard is in effect?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: High school students show disrespect toward authority figures. A student regularly destroys school property.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: A humiliating act against another student is described in detail. A student talks about considering suicide.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Discussion of virginity, a character places his head between a girl's knees.

  • language false5

    Language: S- - t, f- -k, and b- - -h are mentioned frequently.

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Students are shown drinking Coke.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters smoke pot. One smokes cigarettes in the school library.