Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

High school rape, teen drinking in intense movie.

Movie PG-13 2004 93 minutes
Speak Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+
It was very good movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (6):

This is a startlingly good film on what has become a familiar subject in both fiction and life -- the story of rape and its lasting effect on victims. Kristen Stewart's singular poise and self-possession (four years before she achieved infamy as Bella in the Twilight series) as the traumatized Melinda help the audience begin to understand how a victim might feel that her free will has been erased by rape. The attack destabilizes the security of her world -- no wonder she might feel reporting the attack would be useless and even self-defeating. Director Jessica Sharzer deftly organizes the story around several moving epiphanies that at first seem extraneous to the issue of rape but brilliantly expose the connections so many moments of emotional breakthrough have with reaching sufficient maturity and strength to stand up for oneself. The movie recaptures the powerlessness kids can feel in school, well illustrated when at the last minute a cruel teacher forces a shy girl to orally present her extra credit assignment rather than simply hand it in to him. Speak nicely makes the argument that slashed arts curricula in schools also can have lasting negative effects on students deprived of increasingly rare opportunities for self-expression.

Movie Details

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