Parents' Guide to

The Perfect Score

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Not terrible, but this MTV teen movie falls flat.

Movie PG-13 2004 98 minutes
The Perfect Score Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+


age 12+

Not as Bad As One Thinks

The plot isn't as superficial as other teen movies (Or adult ones for that matter). Yes, there is a character involved with drugs and they are cheating and breaking into a building. However, thinking kids will literally follow that example is taking it too far. There are other subtleties in the movie that go deeper than the teen mischief aspect. For example, all of the characters want a better future but feel trapped. Matty feels worthless without his girlfriend, Anna feels too much pressure being such a high achiever, Desemond doesn't want to go to the school his mother insists on and Roy, the one who takes drugs has hidden intelligence behind his addiction. Also, Francesca feels neglected by her father who owns the building they broke into. Each character brings deep questions such as "Is it healthy for Matty to base his worth off his girlfriend?" "Should Anna confide her feelings about being pressured?" "Does Roy have intelligence in him his addiction hides?" for example. Also, in the end, they don't end up cheating and take the test on their own merit. The movie overall has insightful themes to think about.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

The Perfect Score was produced by MTV, which may be why it feels more like a product created by a focus group than anything involving characters or story or a point of view. The characters even mention The Breakfast Club as slacker shorthand so that no one has to think too hard, screenwriters or audience.

The film is so slackly directed it might have been assembled by a focus group. Everything that someone thought might appeal to a teen audience is thrown into the mix. We get a little romance, a little angst, a little family pressure, a little (very little) low (very low) humor, a batch of MTV-friendly soundtrack tunes, and a lot of happily ever after. It's not a bad movie; it's just not a very good one.

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