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Parents' Guide to

18 to Party

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Drama about '80s teen life is no party; smoking, profanity.

Movie NR 2020 80 minutes
18 to Party Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 2+

Stupid movie

You can party under the age of 18, like Birthday Parties for example. This movie is nothing short of idiotic.
age 12+


The best movie I’ve seen about youth since The Breakfast Club.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Its title suggests a Superbad-like quest for underage partying, but this film is actually a talky, dismal take on what it was like to be a kid in the '80s. Writer-director Jeff Roda tries to evoke The Breakfast Club-style confrontational conversations that draw out empathy, but too often, it just seems like the actors are running lines. The dialogue doesn't sparkle; in fact, it's incredibly redundant: Characters talk by repeating the same words to each other. And with everything taking place in one location, there's not a lot of action.

That said, the scene setting is tremendous. Costume designer Eva Lopez hits a home run, re-creating 1984 styles as they were rather than the fabulous way we want to remember them (see: the Valley Girl remake). And the movie's score is right on the money, using unknown dream pop tracks from The Alarm, Big Audio Dynamite, and The Velvet Underground to create the environment for anguished insecurity to take root. Roda also succeeds in taking Gen X viewers down memory lane by including mentions of pop culture moments past, like Watership Down and The Clash. But ultimately there's nothing to get your hooks into, no character whose story takes off. For older viewers, the game will be to spot something familiar, whether it's a reference or a situation. Younger viewers may look for an inroad to understanding the decade but leave wondering "where's the beef?" 18 to Party connects the dots but doesn't complete the picture.

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