Revenge of the Nerds

  • Review Date: March 19, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1984

Common Sense Media says

Racy college comedy has heart; OK for older teens.
  • Review Date: March 19, 2007
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1984

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive 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.

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

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

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

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol in excess, plus cigarette and pot smoking.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Nerds unite in this hilarious comedy about college freshmen Gilbert (Anthony Edwards) and Lewis (Robert Carradine), who find themselves in a battle against a jock-filled fraternity. After the jocks take over the freshman dorms, Gilbert, Lewis and a rag-tag group of genius outcasts decide to form their own fraternity. Led by insolent buffoon, Stan (Ted McGinley), the jocks of Alpha Beta fraternity and their sister sorority try everything they can to ensure the nerds are not granted fraternity status. Pushed to the breaking point, the nerds resort to desperate measures to get back at the jocks and their sister sorority. The nerds turn peeping tom and install hidden video cameras so they can watch naked women and a nerd wearing a mask pretends to be Stan so he can have sex with Stan's girlfriend, among other sneaky modes of revenge.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

REVENGE OF THE NERDS mirrors National Lampoon's Animal House, with one retaliation scene after another. But there's something decidedly different here: the nerds are really nice guys, which gives this film a more heartwarming vibe. While the story has heart and Gilbert, Lewis, and the rest of the nerds are likable, this film is definitely "college kids gone wild." There's plenty of binge drinking, sex talk, making out, nudity, foul language, and a little pot smoking. While the nerds use their smarts to get back at the jocks, they also cheat in a competition. None of the characters are shown studying or attending classes.

Stereotypes abound, and there's rampant bad behavior, sure, but there's a strong positive message about acceptance to enjoy, too. Unlike the protagonists in Animal House, the heroes in this film are sweet, smart guys who just want to be treated with the respect they deserve. The story shows the unfair treatment of people considered outsiders, and in the end, emphasizes the acceptance of outsiders.

Families can talk about...

  • 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?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 19, 1984
DVD release date:March 6, 2007
Cast:Anthony Edwards, Robert Carradine, Ted McGinley
Director:Jeff Kanew
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:R

This review of Revenge of the Nerds was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byhbc April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Over all I think it was agood movie Please be advised ;ots of Langauge

This is a movie I would recommend to adults not to Children under 17 because of the nudity and references to sex as being something you just do to lose your virginity and to me it berates women in general

Teen, 13 years old Written bycjsworld9000 October 19, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

Decent

There is a lot of nudity and bad concepts but it was a decent movie.

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bymuncher March 28, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

cool college steriotipic movie

its a good comedy strong for kids but they would enjoy as it is a comedy and it is all about accepting nerds

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism

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