Fat Kid Rules the World

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Fat Kid Rules the World Movie Poster Image
Unpopular teen faces tough climb in edgy dramedy.
  • R
  • 2012
  • 98 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

At the start of the film, Troy has few friends and not much of a life. But Marcus drags him out of his shell and encourages him to pursue music. Troy eventually becomes a school leader, organizing a concert to cheer up his despondent pal and reaching out to help someone in need.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Neither Troy nor Marcus seems like an especially positive role model at first. Troy is shy and insecure, with few friends and few interests, while Marcus lies, steals, and takes drugs. But the unlikely pair manages to bond, and their friendship brings out the best in both of them, with Troy becoming more confident and a true pal.


Troy imagines horrible things that could happen to him, including getting hit by a bus, slashed with a razor, and shot by a security guard. All of these brief moments involve notable blood and gore, but they're gone quickly as he's brought back to his senses.


Troy ogles girls at his school, including attempts to peek up their skirts. He also has a vivid imagination, fantasizing about girls tearing off their clothes or wearing skimpy/revealing outfits. In one scene, he masturbates while watching online porn (no body parts shown on screen). His friend Marcus works briefly as a male prostitute, servicing men in a bathroom at a park (activities are implied rather than shown). A nude man is seen briefly from behind drying off after a shower.


Frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "d--k," "prick," and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A teen character steals pills from his friends' bathrooms and brags about finding Oxycodone. He likes to drink beer and appears to be snorting something at a concert. He later collapses and is hospitalized, in part because of his drug habit.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fat Kid Rules the World features realistic high school situations, including an unpopular boy who's been ostracized for being overweight and a homeless teen who's angered everyone around him because he lies, steals, and takes drugs. There's plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," etc.) and many scenes involving teen drinking and implied drug use, though nobody is actually shown taking drugs. A few scenes include fantasy sequences; some are violent/gory, while others are sexual fantasies involving women in their underwear. One teen character briefly works as a male prostitute; another masturbates to online porn. Despite all of this edgy content, this book-based dramedy is uplifting because it shows how the two characters help each other overcome their respective problems in ways that are both satisfying and believable.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bymyfartstinkalot January 28, 2020


Adult Written byBestPicture1996 June 9, 2014

Faithful to the novel

"FKRTW" was a great read, really tapping into the angst of heavier people, something I can certainly attest to back in the day. What I like here is th... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byZambz August 16, 2013

15 or older.

This movie has barely any violence, just some unpopular teen with suicidal thoughts due to loneliness and depression. This movie is comedy.There are words like,... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old February 5, 2013

Good movie plot bad effects

You need to no that fat kid rules the world is a good movie with positive messages though some of scenes in this movie can be cheesy. There is violence because... Continue reading

What's the story?

Troy (Jacob Wysocki), the titular character in FAT KID RULES THE WORLD, is an unpopular loner, rarely noticed in his high school except when people mock him. He's got nothing going for him until he's befriended by Marcus (Matt O'Leary), a seemingly popular guitar player who encourages Troy to take up drumming and join his band. But Marcus has a few issues of his own, notably a drug habit and a penchant for lying to everyone around him that's gotten him kicked out of his house. Troy's burgeoning musical career soon earns him approval from his classmates, but it's unclear whether the boys' evolving friendship will be enough to help Marcus get clean and get off the streets.

Is it any good?

Little about this movie is predictable, which makes it both entertaining and uplifting. Fat Kid Rules the World (which is based on the novel by K.L. Going) features realistic high school conflicts, especially a main character who's ostracized and depressed in very authentic ways. The friendship between Troy and Marcus also seems believable, as they each sorely need things the other can provide -- Troy learns to be confident and make friends, while Marcus gets help getting clean. It's especially heartening to see Troy develop from a loner into a leader.

The film isn't like the typical high school movie. It doesn't build to a big contest or show at the finale, and it changes direction midway through, shifting from a story about two guys trying to get their band going to one guy trying to pull the other back from the edge. The shift is surprising, elevating the movie above run-of-the-mill teen fare.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Fat Kid Rules the World portrays high school students. Is it believable? Are there realistic consequences for how they act?

  • How has Marcus' drinking and drug habit affected the people around him? Why doesn't anybody trust him?

  • What brings Troy and Marcus together? What keeps them together? Do you think Marcus is using Troy? Is either of them intended to be a role model?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories about teens

Themes & Topics

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