Accused at 17
By S. Jhoanna Robledo,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Melodramatic teen tragedy is full of mean-girl drama.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie demonstrates that mean-spirited pranks and dishonesty are never good ideas, and that sometimes being honest means making tough choices. Also, peer pressure is bad.
Positive Role Models
The three best friends at the heart of the story turn out to be not very good friends to each other. Two of them lie to the police and try to frame the third. The parents have very different reactions, as one mom goes to the police to tell the truth while another is more interested in lying to preserve her comfortable life.
Violence & Scariness
Teens decide to dole out punishment through a cruel prank that leads to a pushing match that suddenly becomes a deadly attack. It's intense to see, even though almost nothing is shown on-screen. There are also a few bitter arguments.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two teens make out at a drunken party. It starts to get hot and heavy, and the scene ends as the girls starts to unbutton his pants.
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Some swearing, including "crap," "whore," "bitch," and "skank."
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Products & Purchases
Some visible car brands: Toyota Prius, Jaguar.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lots of drinking at a rowdy teen party. Some of the adults drink wine or other drinks at home. One high schooler mentions that he smoked pot.
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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.
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Where to Watch
Based on 1 parent review
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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?
- On DVD or streaming: August 2, 2011
- Cast: Cynthia Gibb, Janet Montgomery, Nicole Gale Anderson
- Director: Doug Campbell
- Studio: Lifetime
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 90 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
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