Kid reviews for Screenagers

Common Sense says

Docu about devices is relevant, if not revolutionary.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 36 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 34 reviews
Kid, 12 years old October 4, 2016

Worst, most inaccurate movie of our time

Ugh, I don't even know where to start.
Screenagers is a movie about the ups and downs of teen years. The ups and downs of on-again, off-again rules, that is. The movie starts off with a 12-year-old girl who goes to an AT&T store to see if there is a replacement battery for her flip phone, the only type of phone her mother would let her have. She then asks about a smartphone to keep in contact with her friends, and her mother is very quick to deny it. Then, after persistent begging, the mother gets her daughter an iPhone with full unlimited data, almost all social media apps, and no rules. The girl uses her given privileges until her mom and dad print up a contact for her and make her sign it-a contract the girl had no say in. The movie continues this theme: parents are more important than kids and children have no say in anything. This gets me infuriated. Sure, children don't have every right in the world and really shouldn't. But this movie shows how parents think it's okay to change rules suddenly and abruptly, without their kid's permission or opinion. A girl sends a picture to her crush of her in racy clothing and her parents don't seem to care very much when she gets immediate backlash about her body when the boy send it to the girl's best friend - and the best friend posts it on Reddit. People tell the girl to kill herself and that's she's fat and much more, to the point where the girl's wondering if the people in the comments are right. Meanwhile, the parents don't care. They think she should just pull away from the experience with a lesson and forget about it. Another boy (who is around college age and lives on a campus) spends hours gaming (very violent games) but does well in school and makes time for himself. The movie also doesn't realize that some people bond over video games and some video games have positive messages in how NOT to act. His clingy parents find him eating junk food, and immediately assume the worst. They send him off to an "internet rehab center" (TOO FAR) and he comes back embarrassed and full of guilt. This shows that the director thinks that parents should automatically assume the worst and take things out of control, and that they're always right. The message of Screenagers is that kids just exist for their parents to boss around and that children's opinions don't matter. The only lesson that anyone will pull away from this is how not to act as a parent and that it's best that children have a say in things sometimes.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Kid, 11 years old January 22, 2017

Great Documentary!

This movie made me realize how I should really start getting off my electronics and do things with real people.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Kid, 12 years old February 9, 2018

The movie is GREAT! The kid reviews are bad...

With some rare occasions, most **kid** reviews on this movie are terrible, saying how awfully bias this movie is. Dear Parents and Kids thinking of watching this movie, it’s great! Most of these terrible reviews are from bias little electronic addicted kids. In the movie, they have multiple points they bring up, from violent video games to social media. They talk to REAL kids about what they think, and use different points of views to discuss everyone’s opinions. The movie is brilliantly put together, with funny comments and great shots and cinematography. Unlike some of the kid reviews, this movie is not bias, and talks about doing electronics in moderation, and the effects it can have on your brain. I genuinely LOVED this movie, and believe that everyone can at least get some amount of information from it. Don't believe the terrible reviews!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byStarrylight October 31, 2016

Exploring the World of Screens... Badly

Screenagers attempts to educate both parents and children alike about the modern world that teenagers live in and their current obsession with electronics. It follows a mother who gives her 13 year old daughter a phone and their experiences. It aims to show the importance of balance between electronics and the real life. It, however, fails to properly execute this idea, lacking any nuance with it's message. Instead, it focuses on the downsides of electronics and never positives.
This is the movie's main flaw, and is present enough in it to ruin the whole experience. Documentaries are a very interesting format to convey a story, and when executed correctly, work very well. They work when they show many points of view and explore all the details of a situation. But the filmmaker's bias makes it so this documentary only explores all the bad things about electronics. They spend a large portion talking about video games and how bad they are (focusing on very young children, even though the movie is supposed to be about teenagers) and only briefly mentions that there isn't concrete evidence video games are bad and can be good before ignoring those and talking about how they are bad.
The movie also spends time talking about the impact of social media on children. This is the best part of the movie, as it raises some legitimate points and shows at least some understanding of the subject matter.
Almost as soon as you get into the movie, you begin to understand that the movie pushes a very clear message to not use electronics. This is very contradictory to what it says it is trying to say, which is to use electronics in balance. It pushes the message that parents should control every aspect of their child's lives and that electronics are bad. Because this message is so flawed and the entire film is about that premise, this promising film suffers greatly.
Teen, 15 years old Written byLouisBlossom March 18, 2018

Biased, and full of flaws:

Here I am going to be listing all of the flaws of this film, because there are so many. I will be touching on each topic discussed on here, and I will mention things that I discussed with my fellow classmates.

The intent of this documentary was to show the potential dangers of technology and social media on a child (teenager). They featured multiple teen, teacher, doctor, and parent interviews touching on the topic.

Fault #1 - Bias:
This documentary holds a very strong bias that “tech is bad for teens” and fails to acknowledge ANY sort of positive factor that technology plays in modern life. They present teens to be these mindless beings who have no control over themselves whatsoever, and that technology controls them. The theme of this bias will follow into all other categories.

Fault #2 - Interviews:
There were a lot of interviews conducted in the making of this film. The problem with these interviews is that they all lean towards the bias, or paint the picture of teenagers being helpless and brainwashed by their iPhones. All of these interviews could easily warp a parent’s or child’s perception on the modern world, because it makes them believe “Man, all teens must act like this when they get an iPhone.”
The parent interviews only added fuel to the fire. They only interviewed parents who’s kids have had problems with technology, and not any parents who’s kids are perfectly fine with their iPhone. It makes the parent viewer automatically assume “I will have these problems too if I give my kid a phone.”

Fault #3 - Statistics and Experiments:
There are many statistics and facts littered around this film... but where did they come from?
Sometimes this documentary throws around random percentages or facts that are unsourced. We don’t know where the statistics came from, what test was conducted in order to get it, who was tested (age demographic), and where this test took place. Of course they show those sources for some of the experiments, but not for all of them.
There were all sorts of faults in the experiments that were conducted and shown too, and can easily be picked out. For example take the swimsuit/sweater experiment. They were testing the effect of social media and body positivity. The girls in the swimsuit performed poorly on the math test they were given than the girls in the sweaters. But what factors they didn’t acknowledge were parental influence on body positivity, previous academic success, whether the teens learned the information or not, the difficulty of the test, the teens just feeling uncomfortable in the sense of being cold or hot, or the teens feeling physically comfortable with the material they’re wearing (itchy/too tight/hurts), whether math is their best subject or not, etc.

Fault #4 - Mental Health Concerns:
The documentary tries to show that technology/SM causes and worsens mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression and body dysphoria.
As someone with diagnosed anxiety, depression and body dysphoria, I can say that technology did not cause those mental illnesses, or even make them worse. Not only are my illnesses genetic, but they were caused by parental pressure and neglect (mental abuse). If anything, technology became a source that I could turn to when I needed help, whether it was a text to a friend or a depression hotline, it helped.
And if anything, SM and technology encouraged me to take better care of myself, and gave me advice on how to do so.
The documentary completely ignores these factors and just brushes it off to be the iPhone’s fault.

Fault #5 - “The Contract” and restrictions:
For kids who are in junior high and younger I agree that some guidelines should be put into place when it comes to technology, but not too many. An iPhone is a responsibility that the kid needs to learn to manage. Demanding that you monitor everything your child does, and looking through everything they send is a violation of privacy, but also teaches your kid that they have no safe space to vent, and that they have no privacy whatsoever.
My parents used to go through my iPad and delete everything, and it gave me the idea that I cannot have any sort of privacy or personal collection of my interests. If anything their restrictions of demanding to look through everything makes me not want to show them anything, or tell them anything.
Yes you can be aware of what your kid does, but don’t control what they do. I think that an iPhone is a step towards young adulthood and responsibility that the kid needs to learn how to manage.
The contract that they sign in that film was forced upon the kid without any agreement on her side, and if I were her it would give me the sense that I’m not allowed any sort of freedom.

Fault #6 - Scripting and filmography:
Some scenarios and interviews in the documentary are so obviously scripted and staged to follow the director’s agenda. If you were to take a look at an average modern high school, you’d notice that this documentary’s representations paint a false picture of teen life. Sure we use phones for a lot, but most of the time they’re used for study tools, contact with parents, making plans with friends, and keeping up with school events and news.
In the classroom you’d notice that barely anybody has their phones out because they’re more focused on their grades and getting through the year so they can succeed.
Not only that, but no one says anything like the teens say in the documentary. I’ve never heard anyone say such stereotypical phrases in average discussions of technology.

Fault #7 - Positive things this film failed to recognize:
I will present a list of things that technology is good for in a teen’s life.
•Studying: there are many study sources online that can help further a teen’s academic ability
•Current events: teens can stay updated with news and events and start discussions based off of what they find
•Help: If teens feel suicidal, depressed, anxious, etc. they can turn to a hotline for help, or quickly call up a friend if they need help
•Creativity: artistic and musical kids can create wonders on technology, and practice their skills anytime they want to
•Safety: letting a kid carry their phone means that they have a tool for emergency services if they ever need it
•Curiosity: there are sites out there that let kids indulge in their curious minds, and maybe even encourage them to try something new
•School: students use technology for almost all of their papers and projects, and it’s a tool that can help them work easier and learn from mistakes that they may make
•Happiness: teens can find new shows or musical artists/YouTubers/blogs that encourage them to be who they are, and make them laugh and smile when they desperately need it
•Reading: Instead of spending a lot of money on hard copies of book, you can buy them for way cheaper on a kindle/kindle app and teens can still enjoy books during their down time
•Escape: If kids are having a bad day or need to drown out the bad things that are happening at home/in public, teens can use their devices as a way to calm themselves down (especially in abusive households)
•A general tool for aid: if you’re a musician you can download tuners and metronomes. If you’re hoping to lose weight you can follow along with exercise videos online. If you’re an artist you can look up references and tips on how to draw. If you’re a baker, you can look up recipes and tips.

I hope my review helped you learn something, and encouraged you to not fall into the trap obviously set by the director of this documentary.
Thank you.
Teen, 14 years old Written bybanana.brandon January 12, 2017

Fosters distrust and paranoia against your kid(s)!

There were alot of take aways from Screenagers. After watching this with my family, I feel like my kids learned a lot and became more aware of how they used screens but resented the solutions presented. I feel like they didn't grasp everything as alot of the themes are complicated with cause and effect.
Anyways from a parent's perspective I began to agree with a lot of the topics . After we finished I was raging at screens and tech. The movie (more like anti-tech/anti-progress propaganda!) uses your children's shortcoming as proof of how tech ruins them. They say screens are distracting and addicting(which they are) but use that as an excuse rather than the reason that no parent or child is perfect. I payed right into that and punished my kids for forgetting to clean up or waiting a bit before starting homework and took away their screens because the movie made me think that that was the problem. But it's not and there were valid reasons for these mistakes. But I didn't listen and ruined the family's night!
Anyways, thanks for reading this ramble. I hope it helped. And please, watch with this in mind.
Teen, 13 years old Written byscotty420 November 22, 2016


Poor script and bad character development. Hard to understand any of the story.

This title contains:

Sexy stuff
Teen, 13 years old Written byHayden H. December 1, 2017

Hayden's review

This movie was extremely boring and I did not learn anything. I would not suggest watching it.
Teen, 14 years old Written byRb33 May 10, 2017

Very One-Sided, Don't Bother Seeing It

This movie was very one-sided and biased against the technology and gaming industries. It acted as technology is the worst thing to happen to the world and over exaggerated the supposed side effects of using technology. It rarely had a fair point and called on very rare and extreme cases of using too much technology to make its point. It barely said anything about real problems like cyber bullying and focused instead on the unproven studies that say violent video games cause kids to be violent. It also had very slanted arguments against giving teens phones, and used exaggeration to try to make parents think that their children are constantly on phones and using them for bad purposes. It called upon experts who have studied this for years to make points against technology, while having kids acting like they can't think of a reason to defend phones. Overall it was extremely one sided and most of its arguments against technology can't be taken seriously.
Teen, 15 years old Written bySaulatwood January 22, 2017
This was a good movie.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byaatwood18 January 22, 2017

Very Interesting!!

I had never thought that excessive "screentime" could lead to so many problems in your life.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Teen, 13 years old Written byBrennanhatessoc... April 15, 2019


Ok, I saw this in a school assembly. The only thing good about it was that I missed class. This film portrays us teenagers as complete idiots and portrays the adults like fricken Einstein. Very one sided.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Sexy stuff
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byRoastedpie111 March 2, 2018

Kill it

It portrays Teens as complete idiots and they never use a good argument they. Totally begin to switch sides of the argument constantly. They act like teens are the only addicts. also d*mn is seen and there are sexual themes that appear. Also all the Kid interviews were definitely scripted you could tell how fake it was (kids today would not be nearly that honest) Kids are awful actors always

This title contains:

Teen, 15 years old Written byGalacticSky May 25, 2017

Good intentions, but terribly executed...

Though this movie was intended to be educational and helpful to the target audience that was watching the movie, I believe that this movie poorly executed this whole entire topic using poor acting and stereotypical parents. This movie did mention multiple points, but poorly backed them up. The only times where the research did prove true was when they mentioned how the brain worked and functioned as a whole. However, the rest of the movie was repetitive and always called video games and social media "harmful" and/or "negative" and showed video games/SNS in a terrible light. However, what this documentary doesn't show is the benefits of gaming and SNS. The whole documentary is only stating poor reasons on why gaming/SNS is bad, rather than pointing out both sides and resolving the issue. The acting gave the wrong vibe towards the audience as if the kids were not all that intelligent and uncapable of producing ideas on why to get a phone or piece of tech. This documentary was biased and gravely lacks information and is a bore to watch. I do not recommend this to people who wish to watch this for an educational purpose.
Teen, 16 years old Written byClarkDaBoss January 26, 2017

Best comedy movie all year!

Today I watched this with my class in school, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! This was the best comedy movie I have seen in a long time. The blatant bias they showed only furthered their amazing mockery of stereotypical parents, and it only got funnier when they chose the best child actors to be in this mockumentary. I didn't know children could even act that whiny and self-conceded! I will definitely watch this again. I rate it 10/10 but said one star to catch peoples attention.
Teen, 16 years old Written byApolloartemis March 22, 2021


Reading the kids reviews was... illuminating. The thing is, this film did not say "Devices are evil, parents throw them all away and lock your kids in cages!" like most of the reviews have expressed. (Keep in mind: my parents did not in fact force me to write this review or watch the film. This is my own opinion as someone who has struggled with screens.) I can see how if you were forced to watch this in school you might not enjoy it very much. The thing is I like my screens. I use them in so many aspects of life. Yet I do not disregard the well researched points brought up in this documentary. It's not "just for boomers and karens". It is for anyone who wants to take steps towards improving their mental health and learn more about these things that dominate a big part of our lives. I would recommend this to anyone with an open mind. Parents, please do not force your kids to watch this. Kids and teens if you decide to watch watch with an open mind not just expecting the usual lecture and hating it before it even begins. (Also I said 13 but it is really about maturity level and how open minded you are.) Thanks :)

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Teen, 17 years old Written byThisWebsiteIsTrash December 7, 2019

This movie friggin sucks

Look buddy, whoever said that were” addicted” and “don't listen to negative reviews” is a soccer parent. Hell, i mad a YTP out of the trailer for this one sided crappy movie made by boomers and karens. Do not watch.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBigBoyTom15882 December 5, 2019

Ok Boomer

Waste of time. You shouldn't even bother watching it. It is full of incorrect facts. OK BOOMER
Teen, 17 years old Written byJapanesemammal November 20, 2019

Typical "ViDeO GaMeS BaD! PhOnE BaD, bOoK GoOd" Propaganda

This film, I don't even want to call it a film, because I don't consider it to be one, is the most boring, cliched, biased piece of trash I have ever seen. The usual "video games make kids violent" and "phones are evil, and make kids do horrible things." You can predict what they're going to say almost every time.

There's also these horror stories presented about kids who are "AdDiCtEd To ThEiR ScReEnS" and end up facing these terrible repercussions. One kid in particular got sent to a rehab center, and someone else got cyber bullied. Overall, the message of this film is that teenagers are idiots with no self control, who need guidance from adults from the evil technology.

There's also a rap song at the end which is God Awful. Overall, this movie is boring, and condescending.
Kid, 12 years old November 19, 2019