A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Sometimes things aren't what they seem, and it pays to be a little bit skeptical. When there's trouble, bad decisions can make things worse.
Positive Role Models
Doug is a hardworking high school student with college dreams who's seduced by his neighbor's wife. While she seems nice at first, she may have an ulterior motive. Stereotypical portrayal of high school boys and older women, as well as attractive younger women and the older men they marry
Violence & Scariness
A man is murdered off screen; two characters struggle to figure out how to dispose of the body.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A high school student has sex with an older woman; they're shown passionately kissing and seemingly removing their underwear. Her naked backside is glimpsed a few times. Some discussion between teens about sex. Skimpy swimsuits, etc.
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Infrequent swearing includes "s--t."
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Products & Purchases
A character munches on Doritos in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink beer. An adult smokes and sometimes drinks bourbon.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Careful What You Wish For is a sometimes-racy thriller about a high school student (Nick Jonas) who gets involved with his wealthy neighbor's wife (Isabel Lucas) and soon finds himself embroiled in more than he expected. While there are plenty of scenes that show the pair passionately kissing and in bed (and other places) together, there's little nudity onscreen beyond her naked backside. She also wears skimpy swimsuits, etc. A dead body must be disposed of, teens drink beer, and one character smokes; there's some language, too (mostly "s--t" and the like). Some viewers may be bothered by the stereotypes the movie buys into regarding high school boys and older women, as well as attractive younger women and the older men they marry. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There's little that's a mystery in the purposefully mysterious Careful What You Wish For -- and there's also very little that's original. "You have no idea what he's capable of," says one character. (Actually, yes, we do.) Equally troubling is the film's sexism; it relies on cliches about high school boys and older women, as well as attractive younger women and the older men they marry. Jonas is a sort-of bright spot -- although the material leaves much to be desired, he shows some promise with his fairly grounded (if muted) portrayal of Doug.
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.