Accepted

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Accepted Movie Poster Image
Dumb comedy about college students partying.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 18 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Students make up a college, lie to their parents, and celebrate their "independence" with lots of partying.

Violence

One student wants to learn how to make a "shank out of his toothbrush" while another teaches himself to "blow up stuff" with his mind (some comic explosions).

Sex

Several masturbation jokes; gags about awkward college boys lusting after girls; references to sex organs and one art student makes a "fertility" statue with a huge erection.

Language

At least one f-word; frequent profanity ("s--t," "hell," "damn it," p---y", "a--hole").

Consumerism

Repeated shots of Mac laptops; other brief mentions of products include Adidas.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Much beer drinking by students; parents drink liquor; some pot smoking and references; drug-related jokes and language.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie's premise involves students creating a "sham" university and lying to parents and authorities to make a facility for the classes they want to take (which include references to drugs). The made-up school's name is South Harmon Institute of Technology (you can guess the visible acronym). Characters frequently use this word (at least 40 times). The fake dean uses especially colorful language. Students drink beer, smoke cigarettes, and talk about drugs and sex (language includes slang for genitals and sex acts). Stereotypes abound.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymuffinberry April 9, 2008

Most Hillarious Movie of all Time

Bartleby a highschool student played by Justin Long a perfect actor for the part gets rejected by all the colleges he applied for, so creates his own college. H... Continue reading
Adult Written byMonera July 10, 2016

Mostly Brainless Comedy but Insightful Theme Hidden Within

The whole bogus college was an amusing idea, but obviously he should have just come clean to his parents. A lot was just wild partying and dumb people but the o... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written bysportzaholic7 April 9, 2008

Overall Funny Movie

This was a really funny movie, although it did have some language and drug references. There was also the problem that they were tricking there parents, which i... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byskater_gurl April 9, 2008

I laughed so hard I cried!

THIS WAS BY FAR THE FUNNIEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SEEN! I THOUGHT IT WAS HILARIOUS. MY FRIENDS AND I LAUGHED SO HARD THAT WE FELL OUT OF OUR SEATS IN THE MOVIE... Continue reading

What's the story?

When Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) learns that he has not been accepted to college, he decides to lie to his parents. With the help of his computer whiz friend Sherman (Jonah Hill), he cuts and pastes a letter of acceptance from a made-up school. He takes Dad's check for tuition when offered. When his friends and other college rejects see how well the scam works, the South Harmon Institute of Technology (you can figure out the acronym yourself...) is born and a redecorated psychiatric hospital serves as the campus. Without teachers or accredited courses, the students decide what they want to study. As the students spend their parents' money and convince themselves they aren't "losers" after all, they're discovered by rival students at another college down the road, in particular a fraternity, who make it their special mission to take down Bartleby. Meanwhile, the beautiful Monica (Blake Lively) is supposed to be dating one of the frat boys, Hoyt (Travis Van Winkle), but she's charmed by Bartleby's sensitivity and apparent devotion.

Is it any good?

Bogged down by lazy writing and shoddy filmmaking, ACCEPTED is a raucous but pointless endeavor. Borrowing from every other college-located comedy, Steve Pink's movie is also low on originality, even though it appears to celebrate "creativity" in its low-achieving heroes.

That the rebellion has no shape seems not to matter to anyone. The "students" prefer to contemplate punk rock and take long walks. While such activities are not negative in and of themselves, the film makes the kids look unnecessarily unintelligent, a crowd of socially inept misfits who make Bartleby seem sharp by comparison. This strategy is underlined by the fact that Bartleby's the one who gets a girlfriend. Of course, the film needs a happy ending, so Monica is only briefly pouty when she finds out he's been lying.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the pressures on college applicants to "get in": How might families work together to make this a less-stressful process? How might telling the truth be a more effective way for Bartleby to communicate with his parents? Families could also talk about the stereotyped portrayal of college life; what's it really like to be a college student?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate