Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
High School's "lesson" is that teens can get away with anything if they learn to "loosen up" -- which apparently entails smoking pot and breaking all kinds of rules. In the movie's only positive vein, childhood friends who have drifted apart become close again.
Positive Role Models
The "good guys" in this movie sell and smoke pot, and the "bad guys" are uptight teetotalers.
Violence & Scariness
Many threats, but no actual violence. Even in a scary encounter with a drug dealer, no one is actually touched. Sexual harassment between a high school principal and his secretary is quickly thwarted.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two high school girls are seen fully naked, both from the front and from behind. A character attempts to seduce an older woman and fails. Almost constant sexual language and innuendo, of all different types.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Nearly constant swearing includes countless uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "p---y," "c--t," "c--k," "a--hole," "ass," "balls," "penis," "bitch," "hell," and "goddamn," as well as "Jesus f--ing Christ."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The behavior in High School isn't meant to be taken seriously, but teen characters regularly experiment with drugs. There's almost constant marijuana smoking, and an entire school's worth of teens unknowingly eats pot brownies.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that High School is a drug comedy about teen pot smokers who try to get their entire school stoned in order to thwart a mandatory drug test. There are no positive messages or role models here, and both language and sexual innuendo are extremely strong throughout. There's also some full-frontal female nudity. A scary drug dealer often threatens violence but never delivers. Several teens smoke pot regularly, and most of the characters in the movie are stoned at some point. The movie is aimed at teens, and it has an alluring subversive quality, but parents should be ready to put it in perspective and discuss real-life consequences. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director John Stalberg makes his feature debut with this low-key but amiable comedy, which borrows from many other movies (Animal House, Superbad, Pineapple Express) but still has its own spirit. Though it's not necessarily laugh-out-loud funny, it runs a bit long, and it grows a little lethargic in its final third, HIGH SCHOOL is still mildly amusing. One of its best and longest-running jokes has the confused characters asking each other "what?" again and again.
Oddly, though High School features the typical lame adult characters, Chiklis steals scenes as the principal, while Brody, as the psychotic drug dealer, steals many others. Their combined bizarre antics give the rather ordinary teens something to react to. The movie seems to condone drug use as a way to loosen up and see life for what it really is; the good guys don't really pay a price for their deeds. It will be up to viewers to decide whether the likeable teens are actually good characters.
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.