John Tucker Must Die

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
John Tucker Must Die Movie Poster Image
Sketchy high school revenge comedy.
  • PG-13
  • 2006
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 37 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Girls engage in ongoing lying and tricking to "get even" with cheating boyfriend.

Violence

Basketball games get rough (body slams; hits in crotches); face slap.

Sex

High school girls wear skimpy clothing; boys wear lacy thong underwear; some kissing and petting; references to STDs; discussion of effects of estrogen pills (jokes when boy starts crying and acting "girly"); use of phrase "uncork and pork" to refer to boy's dating strategy.

Language

Several uses of s--t and one damn; pejoratives like "slut," shallow bastard," "pansy-ass."

Consumerism

Shots of junk food/logos in school food center (Coca Cola).

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking at parties.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that they'll have to do some course correction after their teens see this movie -- which they'll all want to do. If your kids think this is how to relate to the opposite sex, they'll never find true love. The almost constant sexual references -- both visual (mostly girls in scant costumes) and verbal (slang for genitals and activities) -- are hormonally age appropriate but not recommended as healthy teen interaction. Sketchy behaviors revolve around a high school basketball star who dates multiple girls; the girls seek revenge by humiliating him in public. Their strategies involve crass gender stereotypes (girls get the boy to behave and dress like a "girl," assuming this is a bad thing). Characters drink alcohol.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKate29 April 9, 2008

Actually...

I took my 11 year old and 13 year old daughters to see this with some friends. It actually wasn't as bad as I thought. Most of the "inappropriate... Continue reading
Adult Written byMovieluver101 July 9, 2012

Not for kids under 14, but funny :)

I think that this movie was a funny, hilarious movie that was very care free. I thought some parts were a little unecessary but, it was a good movie to watch, j... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written byshinysnowflake March 30, 2020

funny and cute

i think its an adorable movie that has a lot of comedy and could be enjoyed by all. I really think anyone could watch it, its not really that inappropriate. I... Continue reading

What's the story?

In JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE, John (Jesse Metcalfe) is stereotypical big man on campus, basketball star, and pathological cheater. Three of John's most recent squeezes -- head cheerleader Heather (Ashanti), blond techie Beth (Sophia Bush), and dark-haired-vegan Carrie (Arielle Kebbel) -- decide to teach him a lesson. So, they recruit new student Kate (Brittany Snow) as bait. Apparently damaged by her "totally hot" mom's (Jenny McCarthy) bad experiences with men, Kate agrees to seduce John and then dump him harshly. Obviously, this is a bad idea. Deploying the latest technology (bra-mounted cameras, mics, and monitors), not to mention mega-doses of estrogen, the girls repeatedly confront their target's strangely immutable popularity: When John cries in public, girls love his sensitivity; when he dons a thong, boys line up to wear them too, as it demonstrates their own avant-garde taste.

Is it any good?

Beginning with the fact that every "student" is visibly too old to be in high school, this film is out of joint. Its plot is drawn from any number of sources, including Mean Girls and The Perfect Man, with a dash of Heathers as well. The result is that Betty Thomas' movie strains to be sweet but also cynical, without satisfying on either count.

The main characters constantly indulge in sex-chatter and mildly trashy behavior, giddily exploring their deceitful powers. (Ostensibly, this is what it means to be an adult, as Kate's mother's experiences suggest.) Kate does meet an honest boy she likes but treats him badly as she pursues her aim to "get" John. The fact that the guy is John's younger brother seems an unnecessary complication: oh the insidiousness of high school comedies! Though everyone supposedly learns the value of honesty, the film closes with the song that spells out their priorities: "I want you to want me." The poor students in this high school are caught up, no matter which way they turn.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether this film presents a realistic depiction of cheating boyfriends and vengeful girlfriends. And what about revenge in general -- is it ever acceptable? Does John deserve to be put in his place? And while we're on reality checks -- whose mom looks like Jenny McCarthy? More seriously, though, what about the relationship between the mother and daughter? Does that bring up any hot spots with your own teens?

Movie details

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