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Whip It Review

Movies.com Critics

3.5

Dave White Profile

Un film de Smashley Simpson. 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
    68

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    To paraphrase Devo: Whip It, not so good.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie is Drew Barrymore's directorial debut (she also plays fellow Hurl Scout Smashley Simpson), and it's clear she's more attuned to grrrlishness than real athletic power.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Clicks on so many levels -- heartwarming family story, rough-and-tumble display of grrrl power and a secondary but tender and convincing romance.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    An unreasonably entertaining movie, causing you perhaps to revise your notions about women's Roller Derby, assuming you have any.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Whip It reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 13+

Roller derby dramedy mixes girl power and teen angst.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this coming-of-age sports dramedy -- which stars Juno's Ellen Page and was directed by perennial teen fave Drew Barrymore -- offers empowering messages for girls, especially those with unconventional interests/hobbies. Although the main character lies to her parents and hurts her friends, she faces the consequences of her behavior and learns from her experiences. Expect plenty of aggressive skating and confrontations during the movie's fast-paced roller derby scenes, as well as some strong language, underage drinking, and sexual references (including a scene in which a teen couple kisses and gets mostly undressed underwater).

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays underage sex and drinking. Does it seem realistic to you? Are the consequences believable?
  • Why do you think Bliss feels the need to lie to her family about what she's doing? Is that a realistic take on parent-teen relationships?
  • Why is it that in many movies, it's the unconventional teen who pushes the limit?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The movie celebrates unconventional girls who may not be interested in traditionally female hobbies and are longing to find other ways to express themselves. Some of the "toughness" is heavy-handed posturing, but a lot of it is played for laughs. Even the "villain" isn't necessarily a bad person -- she's just a tough girl looking to win. As typical of this genre, parents and their kids start off completely not understanding each other but find common ground through communication and acceptance. A mentor reminds the main character to appreciate her family. On the downside, there's some stereotypical treatment of small-town life.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Bliss lies to her parents and hurts her best friend, but she ultimately faces the consequences of her decisions with grace. She's also fundamentally a kind-hearted person looking to cement her own identity in a world where girls' images are largely defined by beauty. Her parents at first come off as being close-minded, but they have a deep well of compassion toward their daughter and eventually embrace her uniqueness.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Roller derby is very aggressive, and the film showcases plenty of bruising, bone-crunching action. Characters are elbowed, kicked, and pushed around, and they sometimes end up bloodied. There's also some outright fighting, and trash talk is a common occurrence on the track.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Teens kiss and make out, and one couple goes all the way -- no sensitive body parts are shown, but you see them stripping to their skivvies underwater in a swimming pool and later holding each other out of the water (bare shoulders showing). The girl later discusses the experience euphemistcally with her mother. References to penis size.

  • language false3

    Language: Fairly frequent use of language like "jackass," "hell," "s--t," "bitch," "screw," ass," "balls," and "goddammit." There's also one use of "f--k," and a character gives someone the finger.

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Brands/logos seen on screen include Google, Coleman, Zenith, and Barbie -- though all play fairly minor roles.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some underage drinking. A teen girl gets drunk at a party and makes out with a random guy before throwing up; later, a teen is arrested after being caught with a drink in public. One character (not a teen) does a kegstand. A mother hides her smoking from her daughter. A father drinks beer while watching sports and lets his teen daughter take a (big) sip. A mother mistakes a marijuana bong for a vase.

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