Parents' Guide to

Ghost World

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Offbeat indie dramedy will resonate with older teens.

Movie R 2001 111 minutes
Ghost World Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

such a cute and fun movie

this was a very fun movie! there’s quite a lot of language, mostly being spoken by 18 year old characters. nothing that a kid wouldn’t hear in school or on social media. a little bit of talk about sex and masturbation , but it could go right over someone’s head. no actual sex, two people lay in bed together. very funny and relatable characters!

This title has:

Great messages
age 15+

Different & cool!

This is probably one of my all time favorite movies ever! I first caught this on late night TV and watched the entire thing, then bought it shortly after. I love the quirkiness of it and how different it is than most films shown today. It's very retro and the music is funny. Best friends Enid (Thora Birch) and Rebecca (Scarlett Johansson) are outcasts who criticize pretty much everyone they come in contact with. Enid seems the most opinionated and Becca seems more quiet yet together. You rarely see the two smiling except if it's a mean comment about someone or something. After graduating high school, the two make fun of an ad in the personals section of the paper by a loser named Seymour and decide to play a prank on him, inviting him to a fake date to watch him leave empty handed. Soon after following him around, Enid finally talks to him during a garage sale and instantly develops a "thing" for him as she eventually grows more and more attracted to him. Becca just thinks she's nuts. The two girls' friendship starts to lessen when Enid starts hanging out more with Seymour than her own best friend Becca causing a lot more arguments and jealously amongst them. When Seymour surprisingly finds the perfect woman with Enid's help, Enid becomes jealous and breaks their relationship, sleeping with him and then taking off due to her insecurities. The story ends kind of cold. There's no violence except for some verbal abuse, language is very strong and frequent with lots of "F" words, there is teen drinking & smoking. Enid is tipsy from alcohol and sleeps with Seymour - just kissing and laying in bed is shown, some flirting, a sex shop is shown in a comedic way with Enid making fun of all the merchandise and the "creeps" who go there. Great funny movie that you can watch over & over. Okay for ages 16++!

This title has:

Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3):
Kids say (3):

Director Terry Zwigoff perfectly captures the ennui of transitioning from adolescent to adult. Enid, especially, isn't always likable (especially after seducing Seymour), but she and Becky are always believable as cooler-than-thou 18-year-olds who march to the beat of their own drums, completely uninterested in being like their "phony" peers.

Birch is a revelation as a girl-woman who thinks she's ready for an adult relationship but lacks the maturity to handle one. Buscemi is touching as a tragic "dork" loner who finds a kindred spirit in Enid, even though their intimacy is short-lived. Their performances make Zwigoff's adaptation of Daniel Clowes' popular graphic novel a must-see in the genre of offbeat coming-of-age stories.

Movie Details

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