21 and Over
By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Raunchy buddy comedy is all about getting wasted.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
In the process of reuniting to celebrate a 21st birthday, three formerly close friends rekindle their friendship. Though their antics are juvenile -- and many of their actions, especially when it comes to excessive drinking, flat-out irresponsible -- their feelings are heartfelt. Jokes rely on sexism and stereotypes for laughs.
Positive Role Models
Miller and Casey are devoted to Jeff and struggle to get him safely home after a wild night. But they're also poor influences who induce Jeff to go out drinking the night before an important medical school interview. They also glorify drinking to excess, insisting that it's their duty to get as wasted as possible when one of their number turns 21.
Violence & Scariness
Several people get into a barroom brawl, throwing both punches and stools. They later go at it again, with one man using a baseball bat to destroy several household objects. A woman uses self-defense techniques, including a knee to the groin, to subdue a man. Two almost-nude men are subjected to ritual violence, including being spanked with a paddle. They later wrestle each other, still almost completely naked. A buffalo charges through a crowd, butting several people.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Many, many crude sexual references, though little actual physical contact. A guy and a girl flirt with each other all through the film and eventually kiss. A guy drinks shots that are tucked between breasts and placed on navels. A few brief flashes of topless women, and several longer scenes feature almost-nude men seen from behind. Two men walk around wearing nothing but socks on their penises; they also make out. A stuffed animal is shown glued to a man's genitals.
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Near-constant swearing includes just about every crude word imaginable. "F--k," "s--t," "p---y," "ass," "bitch," "t-ts," "d--kwad," "c--klicker," "goddamn," "oh my God," "douche-bag," and many more. Almost every sentence involves profanity.
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Products & Purchases
Some characters drink Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. Other labels/brands seen include Budweiser, Bud Light, and Soundgarden.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The characters spend an entire debauched night getting more and more wasted, with many sequences of people drinking beer, shots, more beer, playing drinking games, slurping liquor off of women's bodies, sucking straight from a keg tap, and drinking some more. A few scenes feature people smoking pot, and one character mentions that he spent an entire night dancing after taking LSD.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 21 and Over was written and directed by the same team that wrote The Hangover and features the same type of raunchy humor, if perhaps at not quite the same level of excess (though it's plenty over the top!). The comedy follows three friends through a single night of debauchery as they celebrate a 21st birthday, a momentous event that they believe should be celebrated by getting as wasted as possible. They drink at parties, they drink at bars, they even drink in a taxi. Then they drink some more, until one of them is completely passed out. There's a string of misadventures, a few fights, and some sexual harassment -- plus near-nonstop profanity ("f--k," "s--t" and much more), people smoking pot at a party, and a few brief glimpses of topless women and almost-nude men seen from behind. Men make out in one scene.
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21 and Over
Based on 2 parent reviews
Funny at times with some crude references
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What's the Story?
It's Jeff's (Justin Chon) birthday, and Casey (Skylar Astin) and Miller (Miles Teller) -- his two best friends from high school -- show up unannounced to celebrate. And because he's turning 21, it's (apparently) his duty to get as drunk as possible, a task all three embrace with gusto. Over the course of one wild night in 21 AND OVER, the three guys get wasted, assaulted by a psycho male cheerleader, trampled by a buffalo, and kidnapped by hostile sorority sisters. It's a night that none of them will forget ... except that there are parts that might be hard for them to remember.
Is It Any Good?
Lost amid the bros-gone-wild shenanigans of 21 and Over is an interesting story about male friendships and brotherhood. Emphasis on "lost." Because, aside from the rare bits when the story delves into why guys do or don't support each other in times of trouble or confusion, what we get is unoriginal, crass material that fails to capture the subversive fun of The Hangover.
21 and Over was directed by the guys who wrote that 2009 bachelor party-gone-bad hit, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, and they're clearly trying to capture the proverbial lighting in a bottle once more. No can do. The jokes are either tired or sexist -- and in some cases, both. The characters are one-dimensional and stereotypical (oh, wow, an Asian father who's obsessed with his son going to med school), and their night-of-endless-snafus just really isn't all that amusing. Instead of a night out, they probably should've called it a night.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the movie portrays drinking. Is it glamorized? Are any of the consequences realistic? What message does that send?
Parents may also want to put an over-the-top comedy like this in perspective. The movie's antics come at you fast and furiously, making some of the laughs mostly about the shock value. What other movies and TV shows have a similar comedy style? What's the appeal of this kind of humor?
Talk about the friendships at the heart of the movie. Do they feel real? Do these guys actually care for each other?
- In theaters: March 1, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: June 18, 2013
- Cast: Justin Chon, Miles Teller, Skylar Astin
- Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
- Studio: Relativity Media
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking
- Last updated: December 2, 2022
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