Teen thriller/romance is gory but ho-hum. Skip it.
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.
Suggest an Update
A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that teens may want to see this predictable (though frequently gory) thriller because it stars TV faves Mischa Barton and Jessica Stroup, but it's really not worth their time. Neither female character is a worthwhile role model, and the movie is full of underage drinking, swearing, sexual overtones (and scenes of groping/making out), and heaps of violence -- with many lingering shots on the carnage.
Not bad, enjoyable!!
Report this review
What's the Story?
Mike (Matt Long), a high-school football hero made good, is home from college because his former team is retiring his number in homage to his prowess. In tow is his beloved Elizabeth (Jessica Stroup), a sweet young woman from an affluent family that he'd love to introduce to his parents. Everyone's likely to welcome her with open arms -- except his ex, Shelby (Mischa Barton). She's convinced that she and Mike are still an item and can't think of any reason that his new girlfriend should stand in her way...
Is It Any Good?
Problem number one: HOMECOMING can't seem to decide what it is. It starts out feeling any other teen romance and then ends up a quasi-slasher film. It's disorienting. (Actually, more like plain weird.) Problem number two: Barton. She appears to be channeling every other famous psycho ex-girlfriend role, with a little bit of Bette Davis gothic thrown in for good measure. Ditto Long, whose Mike seems so uninteresting that you have to wonder how he could have inspired such a tug-of-war in the first place.
Stroup, of 90210 fame, gives it the old college try -- pardon the pun -- but she can't quite elevate this mess from mediocrity. The plot's so tired that it wrings the life out of even the most suspenseful parts.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the movie portrays teen relationships. Is it at all realistic? Do high school relationships sometimes feel more serious than they actually are? Why?
How does the violence in this movie compare to other thrillers and horror movies? Does it succeed at blending the genres of teen romance and gory thriller?
- In theaters: July 17, 2009
- On DVD or streaming: April 20, 2010
- Cast: Jessica Stroup, Matt Long, Mischa Barton
- Director: Morgan J. Freeman
- Studio: Paper Street Films
- Genre: Thriller
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 2, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
Gripping tale of manipulation has cursing, violence.
One Hour Photo
Intensely scary thriller; not for every teen.
Kubrick's suspenseful horror classic is violent and dark.
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