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Revenge of the Nerds Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 30

    out of 100

    The New York Times Lawrence Van Gelder

    It is the absence of genuine comedy that exposes glaringly the film's fundamental attitude of condescension and scorn toward blacks and women, and a tendency toward stereotyping that clashes violently with its superficial message of tolerance, compassion and fair play.

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  • 70

    out of 100


    Revenge of the Nerds shows more than enough smarts to deserve a passing grade.

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 15+

Racy college comedy has heart; OK for older teens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that students binge drink, and smoke cigarettes and pot in this R-rated college movie. There's a strong emphasis on "getting laid" throughout the film, which includes scenes in which students make out and engage in heavy petting. The panty raid scene includes full female nudity, and the frat boys expose their bare behinds in a mooning scene. The nerds install hidden video cams in a sorority house so they can watch them undress. Profanity isn't excessive, but a few bad words and suggestive phrases are uttered. There's no bloody violence, but much of the story line centers on getting revenge. There are many stereotypes targeting Asians, gays, fat girls, and more. The story shows the unfair treatment of people considered outsiders, and in the end, emphasizes the acceptance of outsiders.

  • Families can talk about the struggles that the nerds faced against the jocks. Why do you think certain groups of people label other groups as uncool outcasts? Who did you associate with more -- the jock-frat boys, or the nerds -- and why? What are the negative effects and dangers of teasing and bullying, and what can you do to help eliminate unfair labeling of certain types of people in your school environment? Was it right for the nerds to spy on the naked sorority girls to get back on them for their mean pranks? Are all nerds really alike? Are all sorority girls and jocks really alike? What were the other stereotypes in this film, and why can they be damaging, even and maybe especially in a comedy?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: College at its wildest: Binge drinking, cigarette smoking, drugs, and casual sex. Bullies try to destroy harmless nerds; both sides cheat to win school's contest; nerds peep on naked sorority girls using video cameras; nerd poses as jock to have sex with sorority girl. Negative stereotypes of jocks, frat boys and sorority girls, nerds, Asians, gays, African Americans, overweight girls, marching band members, and others. Positive messages: underdog nerds band together to fight jocks (David vs. Goliath); nerds prove it's cool to be smart. Main theme promotes tolerance and understanding.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A lot of semi-violent, cartoonish practical jokes and retaliation: jocks trash nerds' house, nerds sprinkle stinging chemical on jocks' jocks, jocks drop nerd off rooftop, etc.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Lots of making out and heavy petting scenes; full female nudity; partial male nudity (in a mooning scene); voyeurism; sexual intercourse assumed but not shown.

  • language false3

    Language: Occasional use of "s--t," "f--k," "asshole," "goddamn," "bastard," and "douche-bag."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false5

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Alcohol in excess, plus cigarette and pot smoking.