Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Well-meaning but uneven tween drama; death, lies, swearing.

Movie PG-13 2022 87 minutes
Summering Movie Poster

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This indie tween friendship drama shows early potential, but the uneven tone and unrealistic plot twists dampen its impact. There's a lot to enjoy about the "tweens on a mission" storyline, a plot that audiences have been drawn to for decades. Whether it's in Stand by Me, which Summering seems like an homage to, or Stranger Things, it's easy to root for a group of preteens solving a mystery, even when they consistently engage in risky, age-inappropriate behavior. But while writer-director James Ponsoldt and co-writer Benjamin Percy accurately capture some of the feelings of being a tween girl, the dialogue is inconsistent, as are the girls' character arcs. The movie also tries to be both lighthearted and tear-jerkingly realistic, as with Daisy's backstory of a checked-out single mom (Lake Bell) who's mourning after the loss of (or the abandonment by) her husband. There are references to substance use and a startlingly upsetting (and contrived) scene between a sobbing Daisy and parent. One moment the girls are joking or trying to accomplish a goal together, and the next there's a literal gunshot. It just doesn't work the way the filmmakers intended.

Plus with four girls, a dead body, four moms, and a runtime of a little less than 90 minutes, there's not enough nuance available for each girl. Brief exchanges tell rather than show how different their personalities are. For example, Dina is logical and science-based, while Lola believes in spirituality and the afterlife. Ponsoldt did a lovely job with the adaptations of The Spectacular Now and The End of the Tour, so it's disappointing that Summering doesn't live up to those standards. But the four child actors deserve a shout-out for doing their best with the material. Hopefully they'll all be cast in more coming-of-age films in the future, but Summering, for all of its credentials, falls flat of expectations.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate