Expelled

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Expelled Movie Poster Image
Star vehicle for young YouTube celebs has iffy messages.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 23 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The positive message doesn't come until the end -- that Felix needs to stop trying to cheat his way out of trouble and just go back to school and do the work.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Felix flouts the rules, breaks and enters, blackmails, etc., and in the end still gets his way. He doesn't care whether he's expelled, grounded, or otherwise punished. He doesn't face consequences until the very end. Felix's parents do care about him, but they have no idea how much he's deceiving them.

Violence

Two characters are shot with a sedative dart; lots of slapstick humor (people falling, crashing into things)

Sex

Sexy photo of a teacher. Scene of Felix shirtless.

Language

"Ass," "damn," "hell," "crap," "frickin'," and "balls." Insults: "douche," "stupid," and "idiot."

Consumerism

BMW, Apple.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Expelled is a high-school comedy starring Vine/YouTube sensation Cameron Dallas and a handful of other social media celebrities. It has strong echoes of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but it's not just about how a popular high schooler cleverly manages to skip a day of school; instead, Felix (Dallas) is out to keep his parents from finding out he's been permanently kicked out school. The messages, until the very end, are all about how to get one over on your parents using technology, but ultimately there are consequences for Felix, and he realizes that he needs to go back to school and listen to his parents about his future. Expect any Vine or YouTube-obsessed tween or teen (especially those smitten with Dallas) to want to see this comedy.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byoverloader. February 11, 2015

laughed too hard

This movie is amaaaaazing! I love it. I laughed too hard.
Teen, 15 years old Written bykxaly January 12, 2015

Bleh.

Honestly, it's really trashy and juvenile. Don't bother watching unless you're into Cameron Dallas. In my case I can't stand any of these Ma... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byJmillerjackson March 23, 2015

Horrible

The plot was stupid, Cameron Dallas acting was horrendous enough that I couldn't even watch half of it without turning it off.

What's the story?

After committing a series of punishable offenses, Felix (Vine/YouTube star Cameron Dallas) has been EXPELLED from Eastwood High. Instead of being upset, Felix takes it in stride (he's always wanted out of high school, anyway), but he needs to make sure his parents don't find out, because they've already sent his even-more-infamous older brother to reform school in Montana. To make sure his parents don't catch wind of his expulsion, Felix enlists tech-savvy friends and frenemies to help him fake a report card, intercept phone calls, and spy on the principal for leverage. But keeping up the ruse starts to become a full-time job for Felix, who eventually starts second-guessing his choices.

Is it any good?

Plot-wise, this is an obvious homage/theft of Ferris Bueller's Day Off: a cooler-than-thou teen uses technology to keep his parents from knowing he's ditching (or in this case expelled from) school. Just like in John Hughes' classic, someone pretends to be Felix's father, he has a stand-in mannequin in his bed, and he fools a principal intent on his demise. Chances are if your kid is an avid Dallas fan (and those chances are good -- the 20-year-old has millions of followers on Vine and YouTube), Expelled has been downloaded and streamed on a device in your home. If not, then there's really no reason to pay for it other than to see the handsome but not exactly talented young star strut around with a perpetual smirk.

Unlike Ferris' memorable young actors (Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Jennifer Grey, Mia Sara), none of these young social media celebs (the movie also features Lia Marie Johnson, Marcus Johns, and Andrea Russett) has enough screen presence to carry a 90-minute movie (although apparently they DO have enough talent for bite-sized digital videos, some of which last just a few seconds). To make matters worse, the message isn't even an adolescent cry of "carpe diem!," but rather a troubling "isn't it easy to deceive and blackmail adults with our superior powers of technology?"

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of YouTube/Vine personalities like Cameron Dallas. Why are they famous? Do you think they're good actors, or do you prefer their shorter comedy videos?

  • Talk to kids about the consequences of being expelled and lying to parents, teachers, and other authorities. Kids: Do you understand the difference between Felix's antics and what would really happen if you did what he did?

  • What role does technology play in the movie? Do any of the characters use tech responsibly? Is the way it's used here a realistic depiction?

  • For those who've seen Ferris Bueller's Day Off, how do the two movies compare? What scenes or moments were similar despite the difference in decades? Do you think this film will have as much of a cultural impact?

Movie details

For kids who love comedy and YouTube

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