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Parents' Guide to


By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Edgy coming-of-age comedy has language, drinking, violence.

Movie R 2018 84 minutes
Mid90s Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 14+

Exceptionally fantastic film is filled with mature elements from beginning to end

Mid90s (2018) follows Stevie, a 13 year old boy navigating through his adolescence after involving himself with a group of older teens in a skate shop. Because of this he is introduced to drugs and sex and begins to depart from his own adolescence. The film has almost every mature element in the book including lots of disturbing/violent images, pervasive language, drug use and some sex involving young teens. VIOLENCE: MODERATE In the very opening shot of the film, a kid is chased by his older brother. He runs into the wall smashing his face against it and he is tackled to the ground and violently slammed against the floor and beaten. He is shown with a large bruise on his chest. A boy is beaten by his older brother in the middle of the night when he approaches his bed wearing a mask and violently beats him while angrily telling him to “shut the f*ck up”. The boy screams loudly into his pillow and wails in agony. The scene isn't visually graphic to due to extreme low lighting but the audio makes it very disturbing to watch. A boy falls off of a roof while skateboarding and slams against a table, landing on his face. His friends think he is dead before he wakes up. Blood is shown oozing from his forehead and they place t-shirts on his forehead to stop the bleeding. There is quite a bit of blood but the scene isn’t intended to be disturbing but rather uplifting. A boy is repeatedly punched in the face by his older brother on the ground. He runs away and the brother screams and wails in horror and pain from his actions and from the outcomes of his choices in life. The younger boy goes to his room and tightens cords around his neck and strangles himself with them. The scene isn’t very violent but quite haunting. Two younger teens fight each other, throwing punches at each other’s bodies and heads yet neither of them get seriously hurt. Several teens get into a car accident. The car is shown flipped on its side and the teens inside are shown screaming horrified inside. One of them, the younger teen, is shown lying in broken glass with some blood spattered on the ground. The following scene shows him hospitalized getting oxygen and later waking up around all of his buddies. Nobody dies and the crash isn’t fatal, but the scene is very shocking, abrupt and sudden. LANGUAGE: SEVERE The language in this film is likely it’s most extreme element with near constant use of sexual expletives and derogatory terms. Around 171 uses of “f*ck”, 33 uses of “n*gga”, 7 uses of “f*ggot”, 48 uses of “sh*t”, frequent use of words like “p*ssy”, “d*ck” and “a**” - around 21 uses respectively, use of words such as “b*tch”, “damn” and other milder profanities along with some strong sexual banter and references. SEXUAL CONTENT: MODERATE There is lots of sexual dialogue and references in this film that make up a lot of the sexual content. There is also one scene that is quite strong in its depiction of sexuality amongst minors. Sexual dialogue includes a conversation amongst teens where they talk to each other about if they would rather give their father oral sex or “eat” their mom out. One teen says he would knock them out, another responds with saying that is rape. The conversation is very crude. A man is shown leaving a room with (presumably) a woman inside of it, zipping up his pants. Sex is implied. Two brothers talk about their mothers sex life and how when one of the brothers was younger he heard lots of “f*cking” sounds from the mother bedroom. Teens talk amongst each other about how much “p*ssy” they are going to get from a party. A young teen, who is barely 13 enters a room with an older teen girl after talking to her about mildly sexual topics. The younger boy takes off his shirt and pants down to his underwear and undresses the girl down to her bra and panties. He says that he is nervous and they both sit down on a bed and slowly make out with each other. Shortly after, the scene cuts to them leaving the room and the younger teen boy brags to his friends about how she slipped two of his fingers into her “p*ssy” and how she touched his “d*ck”. The scene, although it doesn’t explicitly show sexual activity, is quite strong and uncomfortable to watch considering they are both young teens. When a young teens mom confronts older teens about the matter of giving him drugs and alcohol, one of the teens ask if she was mad about the “fingering”. Shortly after they converse about wanting to engage in sexual activity with the mother in mild terms. DRUG CONTENT: SEVERE Teens including younger teens are shown using cigarettes, drugs and alcohol throughout the film excessively to the point of intoxication. It starts with one cigarette, then multiple cigarettes and then later scenes show them popping unnamed pills prescribed for ADD. Then, the young teen is shown smoking out of a pipe and using marijuana. In some scenes the teens, especially the younger teen of barely 13 is shown using alcohol. In one scene the young teen is shown guzzling down a massive bottle of beer in a restroom, other teens are shown drinking excessively to drunkenness as well. In some scenes, people are shown smoking and drinking the background, some are implied to be smoking drugs. Overall lots of drug content throughout in the film that is boosted in severity considering it almost always involves minors. OVERALL: 14-15+

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
1 person found this helpful.
age 11+

Mid90s review

very good movie. perfect for kids 11 or up.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (35 ):

This edgy comedy feels autobiographical because the characters' little triumphs are too little to be lied about; the details feel real. The characters' aspirations may not involve saving the universe, but they seem entirely important to them. The dual facts of that smallness and the unvarnished, shall we say, "messed-upness" of Mid90s fuel its authenticity and make it more memorable than most coming-of-age tales. It's very much in the vein of Summer '03 and other unapologetic portraits of teen fumblings in all their glory (and stupidity). The relationships at home, especially the lack of empathy and respect that Stevie and his brother show their mom, will make adults cringe. These kids make some very poor decisions, including getting into a car with a driver who's clearly hammered. But they also find real friendship on the way to exploring who they may want to be.

Suljic certainly inhabits Stevie. He was apparently around 11 when the film was shot, which underlines the uncomfortable feeling that 13-year-old Stevie is simply too young for the things he's getting into. Waterston is sympathetic, and Hedges is a rising star. But the movie's real find is professional skateboarder/musician Smith as Ray, the ringleader. His understated performance is quiet and assured. It builds your confidence in this aspiring skateboarder -- who, it turns out, actually sees the people around him. Hill immerses viewers in the world of skate culture and teen indolence but dodges "skate porn" and "nostalgia porn" (though he did shoot the movie in old-fashioned 4:3 aspect ratio) to focus on real-feeling characters who have believable struggles. There are sequences of Mid90s that some viewers will find totally unacceptable, but (with the exception of one character not being in jail at the end) everything about it feels totally believable.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 19, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: January 8, 2019
  • Cast: Sunny Suljic , Na-Kel Smith , Katherine Waterston , Lucas Hedges
  • Director: Jonah Hill
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: A24
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 84 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: pervasive language, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, some violent behavior/disturbing images - all involving minors
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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