Parents' Guide to

Most Likely to Succeed

By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Docu follows four promising students; some cursing.

Movie NR 2019 97 minutes
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The film dispels some stubbornly-held perceptions that we live in an equal-opportunity society where everyone who's smart and hardworking will do equally well. Director Littky is known for her photographs of celebrities, individuals whose "success" has made them objects of strangers' admiration. In many ways, this is a movie about the absurdity of labels like "celebrity" and "success," the title being the most egregious label of all, an almost baseless prediction regarding an undefined outcome. Littky offers success definitions from renowned sources, including Winston Churchill, Irving Berlin, and Gen. George Patton, but it's the descriptions of success offered by the subjects themselves that tell us much more about what makes a decent, good, happy life today than any labels or stereotypes can.

Peter says, "Success is a life surrounded by people I love who love me." Three of the four subjects talk about giving back and making the world a better place. In making this film, Littky reminds us that we still have much work to do to help every child live a better and happier life. Given the pressure cooker high school has become as kids declare failure when they don't get into elite colleges, Most Likely to Succeed dares to ask the reasonable question: Is the kid who was fifth in his class, took thirteen AP classes, and got a perfect score on his SAT any happier than anyone else?

Movie Details

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