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Underclassman Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 1.0

    out of 100

    Overwhelming dislike
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The loserville teen comedy Underclassman is like a student project sloppily cribbed from other kids' notes -- kids who have seen "Rush Hour" and still can't get over how funny it is to stick a noisy black guy in a distinctly nonblack setting.

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  • 25

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    That sound you hear is from jet engines gassing up, about to zoom Underclassman to DVD-ville.

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  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Underclassman doesn't even try to be good. It knows that it doesn't have to be. It stars Nick Cannon, who has a popular MTV show, and it's a combo cop movie, romance, thriller and high school comedy. That makes the TV ads a slam dunk; they'll generate a Pavlovian response in viewers conditioned to react to their sales triggers (smartass young cop, basketball, sexy babes, fast cars, mockery of adults).

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  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    What's remarkable is how absolutely every character in the film is a movie cliche.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    Nick Cannon, playing an L.A. cop who goes undercover as a prep school student, provides the few sparks this wan action-comedy can muster.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Even charming Nick Cannon can't save this movie.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the movie focuses on high school-aged boys engaged in illegal activities (stealing cars, in order to support a drug ring). They also drink, smoke, disrespect their teachers, and talk about sex (using slang referring to Viagra, erections, and sexually transmitted disease). The film also features mild images of action-movie violence: car/bicycle chases, fights, rough competition on the basketball court, and shoot-outs (including the use of a nail gun as a weapon). These rebellious students, adult villains, and some hardnosed cops lie to, betray, and disparage other characters. Women occasionally wear scant clothing, including one girl who sunbathes topless (she covers her chest with her arms). Some fart, bowel movement, and puke jokes.

  • Families can talk about Tre's desire to live up to his father's legacy as an L.A. cop. How does this put pressure on his own ambitions as a cop? When Tre goes undercover as a high school student, how does his flirtation with his teacher lead to questions about propriety (hers as well as his)? How does his relationship with his captain lead to tension (over material objects, like cars and property)? What might Tre do to change his status in the department, short of sneaking out without his captain's permission? That is, how does his misbehavior mirror that of the criminal kids he's supposed to arrest?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Characters lie, steal cars and sell drugs, cheat, shoot guns, argue, and make racial comments.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Action-movie-ish (fights, car crashes, shoot-outs, nailgun used as weapon).

  • sex false3

    Sex: Sexual talk/slang, some kissing, jokey reference to Viagra/erection, teacher and fake student/undercover cop flirt.

  • language false3

    Language: Mild cursing ("ass").

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: References to some popular cars, Ben& Jerry's ice cream.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: High school students drink and smoke, plot involves illegal drug sales.