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Parents' Guide to

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Book-based comedy has some rebellion, light romance.

Movie PG 2016 92 minutes
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 25 parent reviews

age 10+

It is really funny

I think it is okay for ten-year-olds because it is funny and good. There are also some positive messages and role models. Like there is a girl named Jeanne Galleta who sets up a club to protect polar bears.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
2 people found this helpful.
age 10+
This movie is great for kids who are going into middle school or are in middle school.

This title has:

Great messages
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (25 ):
Kids say (78 ):

This entertaining adaptation captures the spirit of the book's quirky main character's quest to break ridiculous rules and carry on after personal tragedy. Gluck's Rafe is as "adorkable" in the movie as he is in the book, with a whip-smart imagination and vivid drawings that come to life around him. The beauty of the title, Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, is that most adults and even some younger viewers can relate to the daily challenges of middle school: indifferent administrators, bullies, social hierarchies, and rules -- some that make sense and others that seem silly and/or pointless. Rafe and Leo demonstrate a strong friendship as they try to show their classmates how unnecessary most of the rules are to their education.

Daly is ideal as the principal who loves his rules and his No. 1 certificates for being first in the state's achievement tests (hilariously called the B.L.A.A.R). Parks and Recreation vet Retta co-stars as his devoted assistant principal, who -- like her beloved boss -- believes you should "teach to the test, not the students." (Um, nope.) Riggle makes the most out of playing Carl, Rafe's soon-to-be stepdad, who pretends he cares about the kids in front of their mom but really wants them out of the way. The light romance and rebellion make this a better fit for tweens and actual middle schoolers rather than really young kids, as does a poignant plot point that explains a lot of Rafe's behavior.

Movie Details

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