A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this Lifetime movie focuses on a mean-spirited prank among teens that leads to an intense, but largely offscreen deadly encounter. There’s a good bit of teen and adult drinking and one couple fools around at a rowdy high school party. Expect some mild swearing ("bitch," "crap") and a few intense fight scenes.
What's the story?
When Bianca (Nicole Gale Anderson) learns that her boyfriend hooked up with Dory at a party, she and her best friends Fallyn and Sarah concoct a nasty lesson to punish the girl. But the plan shockingly takes an even worse turn, leaving Dory dead, and Bianca is suddenly ACCUSED AT 17, of murder. The three girls have conflicting stories and it's clear that someone isn't telling the truth -– can Bianca's mom (Cynthia Gibb) find out what really happened and save her daughter?
Is it any good?
The story here is almost believable, as a plan to teach a teen a lesson results in terrible consequences, and it offers valuable lessons in honesty and how bad choices can lead to even worse choices. But the plot is overly dramatic, the acting is stiff, and the characters are thinly drawn. Bianca’s pal Fallyn (Janet Montgomery) in particular is hard to fathom as BFF in one scene, chilling sociopath in another. And Fallyn’s mom is a caricature of a spoiled lady-who-lunches, belittling her husband and quick to lie when the stakes are high and her comfortable life is threatened (usually with a stiff drink nearby).
Though the message of this film is important, Accused at 17 is tedious and preachy.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about pranks. What do you think about the prank that Bianca and her friends plan? How did the encounter go awry? Is this a realistic story?
What do you think about the way the two mothers are portrayed in this film? Which one are you supposed to sympathize with and why? Do these women represent stereotypes?
Talk to your teens about high school relationships and the intrigue/drama that goes along with it. Is friendship drama just a part of teen life or can it be avoided? What are some good coping methods when teens encounter unwanted drama?
For kids who love drama
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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.