A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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).
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There is "s--t," "bulls--t," "assh--e," and a couple of religious exclamations like "Jesus!" and "holy s--t!"
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Products & Purchases
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.
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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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.