A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids unfamiliar with the concept will learn about boarding school (albeit a fictionalized version of it). They may also end up interested in cooking and baking like the characters in the movie.
The movie encourages kids to stay true to themselves, find ways to make friends, and share their talents with others. The story also stresses open communication between parents and their kids.
Positive Role Models
Magnus is a sweet kid who despite being the odd duckling at the school is rather sure of himself, in part thanks to his great relationship with his encouraging father. Their shared love of food allows Magnus to teach his friends how to bake/cook.
Violence & Scariness
There is bullying at the school, as well as a professor who occasionally terrorizes some of the students, but is more bark than bite (except for the time he almost hits the main character). Kids put red ants in a new boy's salad.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The boys try to spy on Charlotte as she takes a bath (nothing is shown but her bare shoulders). Two adults flirt over late-night snacks.
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Nothing stronger than "bloody" or "stupid."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The kids use some alcohol in a recipe for a fancy cake, Chocolate Charlotte.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Feast at Midnight is a comedy, but includes a menacing teacher who nearly strikes a student (but is interrupted just in time) and some bullies who make the main character's life difficult by pulling pranks like sticking red ants in his food. In one scene, the boys try to peep on a young woman who is taking a bath (but nothing is shown beyond her bare shoulders) and occasionally they say "bloody" or "stupid" but nothing stronger than that. Sensitive kids may pick up on the fact the protagonist has a father who's very ill. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Boarding school stories like this one are always fascinating: adolescent kids living together and studying together and finding ways to break the rules. Part of the reason the Harry Potter series is so compelling is that it takes place at the most magical (literally) boarding school ever. Dryden Park is no Hogwarts, but the "types" are still there: the Draco-like bully; the Snape-like teacher who takes everything way too seriously; the academic know-it-all; and the misfit protagonist who longs to fit in to an otherwise closed social circle.
The best part of story is all the cooking sequences. It's like Big Night for kids. Magnus' ability to see pancakes while his friends only see milk, eggs, and flour is impressive, and it's amusing to follow the secret group of young chefs as they find more and more elaborate recipes to tackle, culminating in an all-out party for the school's one young woman -- Raptor's adolescent daughter. For a foodie-approved new-kid-in-school story arc, check out this harmless and sweet family movie.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.