So Undercover Movie Poster Image

So Undercover

(i)

 

Miley Cyrus stars in this forgettable dud of a campus comedy
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This isn't exactly a movie with heavy-hitting messages, but through Molly's adventure, viewers may catch on to the idea that people are more than they seem at first (like the fact that she realizes sorority sisters aren't all superficial and stupid), and that teamwork makes difficult tasks much easier than attempting to do everything by yourself.

Positive role models

Molly is a devoted daughter with a close relationship with her father, an observant private investigator, and an intelligent student. She encourages her sorority sisters to see past each other's faults and to work together to help a sister in need.

Violence

An angry girlfriend pours punch on top of her philandering boyfriend. Molly punches a guy and ties him up, and she's later involved in a car chase and a fight at gun-point to free a friend from being taken hostage. Pepper spray is used to immobilize a man, and a car blows up but doesn't injure anyone. No one dies, and no one is seriously hurt.

Sex

There's some kissing (between the protagonist and her love interest as well as other couples). There are references to sexual relationships, infidelity (Molly and her father track suspected cheaters for a living), some skimpy outfits (the sorority sisters fundraise by wearing teeny tiny bikinis during car washes), etc. There's also one joke involving a young woman's "personal massager," which is obviously a vibrator (although that word is never said).

Language

There is "s--t," "bulls--t," "assh--e," and a couple of religious exclamations like "Jesus!" and "holy s--t!"

Consumerism

Maybelline, Max Factor, LL Bean, Apple, Volkswagen, and other brands are mentioned or featured in the movie.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

College students -- most of whom are underage -- drink and play drinking games at fraternity/sorority parties. While it's not a substance abuse problem, Molly's father has a gambling addiction that costs their family thousands of dollars.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Miley Cyrus stars in this straight-to-DVD college comedy that may appeal to the singer-actress' former Hannah Montana fans. There are several references to sexual relationships, adultery (Cyrus's character is a private investigator), and strong language (mostly "s--t" and "ass"). The sorority sisters drink, talk about their boyfriends, and even their "personal massagers." Meanwhile, the protagonist learns that people can surprise you and that "sisterhood" is a powerful force.

Parents say

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What's the story?

Molly (Miley Cyrus) is a mature teen who works with her ex-cop dad (Mike O'Malley) as a successful private investigator specializing in adultery cases. Out of the blue, an FBI Agent (Jeremy Piven) recruits her to pose as a transferring sorority sister at a New Orleans college in order to cozy up to Alex (Lauren McKnight), a potential witness in an important Russian mafia investigation. Molly is supposed to convince Alex to turn over critical evidence, but first she has to convincingly play the part of a sorority girl -- a tough act made even more difficult when she starts falling for Nicholas (Joshua Bowman), who may or may not be involved in the case.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

So Undercover hinges on the very limited acting talents of Cyrus, who has proven once again (as with LOL) that she's not ready or able to carry a movie. Scottish director Tom Vaughan has made four very different movies -- from the weepy sick-kid drama Extreme Measures to the outlandish romantic comedy What Happens in Vegas -- and So Undercover had the potential of living up to his entertaining debut feature, Starter for 10, which also followed an eccentric group of college kids. But that campus comedy starred a young James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic Cooper and Alice Eve.

It's not that Cyrus is the only weak link in the story: the plot is predictable, the characterizations either flat or completely unbelievable (one co-ed is a chemistry major but doesn't know the definition of some basic words), and even the "twist" can be deciphered halfway through the movie. Piven and O'Malley are wasted in the film, so it's no real loss that they phone in their performances. Bowman, who stars on ABC's primetime soap Revenge, is handsome enough, but the romance between he and Cyrus is forced. The only redeeming aspect of the movie is the tender and close relationship between Molly and her father -- but that gets overwhelmed by the SO, like, ridiculous depiction of college life.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the way Molly pretends to be dumb in order to fit in with her sorority. What does she discover about her sorority sisters? Are they as airheadish as they seem at first?

  • Miley Cyrus has yet to make a movie as big as The Last Song, which came out in 2010; do you think she will make an acting comeback?

  • There are a lot of movies about young agents and spies. How does this one compare?

  • What do you think of the movie's depiction of college life? What stereotypes does it promote?

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:February 5, 2013
Cast:Jeremy Piven, Mike O'Malley, Miley Cyrus
Director:Tom Vaughan
Studio:Open Road Films
Genre:Action/Adventure
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:for some mature and suggestive content.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byGinaKite12345 April 12, 2013

So Undercover

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 9 years old March 17, 2013

What I think about So Undercover by Lucy Solomon

I think this is a great movie, but it does have kissing, sex mentioned, cursing, and some violence. On the other hand, it does express "Sometimes people aren't who you think they are". I enjoyed it a lot, and if you are a cautious, and not wanting your kid to know about some of those things, I say 12 is a good age. If you are OK with having your kids hear and see some of the things I mentioned, I say 9 or 10. I'm 9 and saw this movie. I loved it, and want to see it again, but do want to warn you about those details. My parents are the kind of cautious, careful people, but do let me hear curse words, and a little bit of violence. I am not normally allowed to watch PG-13 movies, but my parents did say OK to this one. I definitely approve. Just look out for what I mentioned! Enjoy the movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old March 9, 2013

Amazing!

Great movie with a little violence and swearing, but a fantastic movie for 9+