Parents' Guide to

Eighth Grade

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Painfully realistic, tenderly acted coming-of-age dramedy.

Movie R 2018 94 minutes
Eighth Grade Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 47 parent reviews

age 17+

HAD TO TURN IT OFF

I cannot believe this only got 3 starts for the sexuality. Common Sense really dropped the ball. A 13 year old boy telling a girl he likes girls that are “good at b$ow j$bs” and the girl say she is “great” at them. Very graphic scene of a boy masturbating under his shirt in class and various other uncomfortable sexual situations. If you think this is normal for 13 year olds, you aren’t raising your kids right. This movie has references, scenes and language more in common with 80s t&a conedies like Porkies and Fast Times. DO NOT WATCH with your kids
age 15+

Inappropriate

If you want to spend family movie night watching tweens discuss oral sex, this movie’s for you.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (47 ):
Kids say (57 ):

Fisher is fabulous in writer-director Burnham's poignant, sensitive exploration of the challenges of early adolescence in the age of social media and constant phone use. Burnham understands that middle school is the most awkward time in most kids' life and that the eighth grade in particular is a fragile transition year as young teens struggle with social status, puberty, and preparing for high school. Kayla knows she's considered one of the quietest girls in her class, and she's fine with that, because at home she records and uploads videos of herself talking about gaining more confidence, getting out of her comfort zone, and other self-help topics. Personally, her goals are pretty universal: She wants more friends, in particular one Best Friend, and a possible romance. But her social anxiety and earnest demeanor make it difficult for Kayla to relate to other teens, especially well-liked girls like Kennedy (Catherine Oliviere), or Aiden (Luke Prael), the boy Kayla is crushing on, who's apparently only interested in girls who've gone past second base.

Eighth Grade is (thankfully) not as explicit as Thirteen, but it's nearly as heartbreaking for different reasons -- at least for parents of teens. Luckily the movie has a somewhat hopeful message, as Kayla recognizes that making a connection with her father and finding friendship are both possible, if not with the so-called popular kids she admires. The pain Kayla expresses is incredibly realistic, and it will squeeze adult audiences' hearts as they watch a young girl attempt to find her place in an unforgiving social environment. There's a wonderful "aha" moment when Kayla finds her voice, and the inner middle schooler in all of us will cheer for the shy girl who's willing to tell the truth to her peers: Don't front, it's OK to be grateful and kind and to have fun playing games with your family, and to not be in a rush to grow up before you're ready.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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