Girl Fight

Movie review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Girl Fight Movie Poster Image
Dramatic anti-bullying movie raises social media issues.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 88 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Strong messages against bullying and violence. Underscores the legal and emotional consequences of what you choose to record and/or post online. Also raises ethical questions about the media and the ways that people choose to use it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Haley's parents are fully present in her life both before and after the attack. Some of the teens involved in the fight don't ever seem to understand the greater consequences to their actions.

Violence

A video featuring teen girls viciously beating up another teenager is repeatedly shown; the injuries are bloody and cause permanent damage. Some teens talk about being physically abused by their parents.

Sex

The teenagers are shown playing "spin the bottle" and kissing and lightly groping each other.

Language

Words like "bitch" and "dumb ass" are audible.

Consumerism

Lots of computers and video cell phones (iPhones, etc.), but no logos are visible. References are made to YouTube.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Underage cigarette smoking and drinking (beer, hard liquor, mixed drinks) visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that that this movie, based on a widely-publicized true story, contains some very violent scenes of a young woman being bullied and physically attacked by her teenage peers. Bloody wounds are visible, and serious permanent injuries are discussed. High school teens are shown kissing (including a same sex-kiss) and lightly groping each other, drinking (beer, hard liquor, mixed drinks), and smoking cigarettes. Words like "bitch" and "ass" are audible. It contains very clear anti-bullying/anti-violence messages, as well as strong warnings about the consequences of inappropriate online behavior.

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What's the story?

GIRL FIGHT, a movie inspired by actual events, stars Jodelle Ferland as Haley, a 16-year-old high schooler who wants to be socially accepted. When she begins hanging out with some popular kids at school, like Alexa (Tess Atkins), Kristin (Keely Purvis), Becca (Caley Dimmock), and Lauren (Genevieve Buechener), she thinks she's finally climbed to the top of the social ladder. But when her new friends learn about some negative comments she posted about them on a social networking site, the young women decide to teach her a lesson by viciously beating her up with the intention of posting a video of the attack online. Seriously injured, Haley and her parents (played by Anne Heche and James Tupper) find themselves trying to make sense of the social norms and laws that govern the modern world of online information and social media while seeking justice.

Is it any good?

Like most Lifetime movies, it's pretty dramatic, and it relies a bit too heavily on the continual replay of the vicious attack to make its point. But the overall film is successful in sending some very strong and clear anti-bullying messages. It also identifies some of the real emotional and legal consequences that results from posting acts of bullying, and other inappropriate behavior, on the Internet.

The movie highlights some of the disturbing trends that are appearing on the Internet thanks to the widespread use of computers, smartphones, and social networking sites. It also notes how the easy access to digital media outlets is motivating people looking for fame or notoriety to post inappropriate material online. Throughout it all, it underscores the need for responsibility, regulation, and parental guidance when it comes to communicating online.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about responsibly using the Internet and online social networking sites. What is okay and not okay to post online? What are some of the emotional consequences of posting inappropriate information, pictures, and/or videos online?

  • What exactly is cyberbullying? Why is being bullied online as bad as being physically bullied in school or around your neighborhood? Whose at risk of being bullied online? Why is it important to speak up if you know or see that someone is being bullied online?

Movie details

For kids who love drama

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