Parents' Guide to

License to Drive

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dated '80s teen comedy has car crashes, drinking, cursing.

Movie PG-13 1988 88 minutes
License to Drive Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 1 parent review

age 12+

love this movie.

a good movie mostly for tweens and teens. not bad. the eighties a feel good time. one f word used but like I said its for tweens and teens so its all good.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (5):

The filmmakers capture the embarrassment suburban teens feel when they yearn for independence but lack the wheels to achieve it. It would be difficult for any adult to watch License to Drive without experiencing an unending series of anxiety attacks. For health reasons, adults are therefore cautioned. That said, the movie undermines that legitimate observation with a celebration of the prefrontal lobes, the part of the teenage brain that is too underdeveloped to prevent impulse control. And that overkill is followed by one long car chase, the last refuge of a director who doesn't know what else to do. Teens may enjoy watching peers make bad decisions but most will understand that stealing Grandpa's prized car and driving without a license are activities bound, in real life, to result in an unpleasant aftermath. Although Les lies and drives illegally, he does avoid the behaviors modeled in many popular teen films -- smoking, drinking, bullying, doing drugs, and having sex. In any case, it's odd that after getting away with lying and destroying the car, Les jumps into his girlfriend's car right in front of his parents and drives off, still, we have to assume, without a license.

Movie Details

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