Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Superbad Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Super bawdy, super profane -- and super funny.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 60 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 154 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

The underlying message could seem to be that scoring alcohol for a party will grant even the nerdiest kid "cool" status for a night. But by the end of the film, it's clear that the film's real point is that true best friends love each other unconditionally, not selfishly.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite strong, unconditional friendships, the characters in this movie are too lost in their own adolescent angst and insecurity to be considered role models.


McLovin gets pistol-whipped in the head by a robber; a fight breaks out at a party, where a few of the men suffer bloody wounds; a hobo kicks, punches, and pounds on various people at a bar; Seth accidentally punches Jules in the eye. In a daydream, Seth envisions a security guard slashing his throat. A woman's menstrual blood ends up on Seth's pants, causing a fight.


Sex (and various sex acts), virginity, and pornography are discussed in graphic detail throughout the entire movie. The near-constant conversation about oral sex and genitalia is finally matched by two short scenes of drunk, semi-clothed teenagers about to have sex -- although neither couple finalizes the act. There's also a scene that displays many drawings of penises, supposedly done by an 8-year-old.


The dialogue is filled with nearly ubiquitous curse words, primarily the "F-bomb" and its derivatives. There are probably two short conversations in the entire film that don't feature constant swearing; otherwise, they're the most commonly used words -- including "s--t," "dick," "p---y," "ass," "tits," "bitch," etc.


Old Milwaukee beer, plus other liquor brands that sound familiar but aren't real, probably because real alcohol companies didn't give permission to be used in a movie about underage drinking.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The plot revolves around buying alcohol for a high school party, so there's obviously a great deal of underage drinking. Teens also smoke cigarettes and are present at a party where adults are smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. The main drug, of course, is alcohol -- from vodka to beer.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this high school comedy has been marketed squarely at teens (the wide online circulation of an R-rated "red band" trailer helped a lot). Heralded as an instant-classic teen comedy on the level of Dazed and Confused or Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it seems destined to be a hit. But parents should know that, like many real teenagers, the characters are obsessed with losing their virginity and talking about sex. Sex and, to a lesser extent, booze fuel every conversation, with very graphic dialogue about genitalia, sex acts, and pornography. "F--k" (and many derivations thereof) is used almost nonstop, and there's also a lot of underage drinking and a scene of adults smoking marijuana and snorting cocaine. American Pie seems PG-rated by comparison.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTHEReviewKING August 13, 2020


Really good movie yes it has talk of sex but nothing over the line it also has language and some use of alcohol
Adult Written byJabrams.aar December 13, 2009

Good for the older crowd. Not for anyone under 17.

WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!? It was hilarious.. But letting ANYONE 15 watch it? Wow. This world is going to hell quick.. There is entirely too much... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byprofessional mo... July 30, 2019

Calm Down!!!

Ok, so the movie is a great coming of age movie but seriously calm down yes it talks about sex but it never shows nudity. You should be having the sex talk youn... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byChezitacos9018 March 29, 2021


There is tons of swearing, drinking, and sexual talk, and some brief nudity, but I feel like it should be suitable for teens 13 and up. Kids at probably 95% of... Continue reading

What's the story?

Judd Apatow's raunchy teen romp SUPERBAD centers around Seth (Jonah Hill), a potty-mouthed porn aficionado who, more than anything, wants to lose his virginity before college orientation. His BFF is Evan (Michael Cera), a mild-mannered, Dartmouth-bound guy who's equally interested in sex but not as brash about it. Thanks to a surprise pairing with his dream girl, Jules (Emma Stone), during Home Ec class, Seth gets invited to a hot graduation party. Filled with giddiness at the prospect of scoring with really drunk girls, Seth offers to buy all of the party's alcohol. He's counting on help from his and Evan's even nerdier friend, Fogell (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), who's just scored a fake ID with the singular name "McLovin." After the promise has been made, the film turns into an Odyssean quest for the booze and splits into two storylines -- Seth and Evan's alcohol-acquisition misadventures and McLovin's unexpected ride with two incredibly inept police officers (Rogen and Bill Hader). Ultimately, Superbad is about two inseparable best friends who are hopelessly lost without each other, even though they claim otherwise. Even if they don't get any -- they still have each other. And it's likely that in years to come, they'll have the constant adoration of teens everywhere to keep their hope for good sex and good friendship alive.

Is it any good?

Superbad is exactly what you'd expect from a Judd Apatow acolyte like Seth Rogen and his childhood pal Evan Goldberg; for starters, it's hilariously raunchy and ridiculously quotable. It's also a frighteningly realistic view of what 18-year-old high-school graduates are obsessed with -- sex, booze, and best friends. While the bad cops are funny, albeit unbelievable, the film's at its best when it focuses on Seth and Evan.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what teens think of sex, how many of their friends they think are having sex, and what parents think of teens having sex. Do teens consider it a stigma to graduate from high school a virgin? This is a good opportunity for parents to answer teens' questions about sex, drinking, and the safe, responsible way to handle both. Parents may also want to put an over-the-top comedy like this in perspective. The movie's antics come at you fast and furiously, making some of the laughs mostly about the shock value. For example, do you think real cops would ever act like the two in the movie? What other movies and TV shows have a similar comedy style? Do you think there's danger here if a viewer doesn't understand the comedy on that level?

Movie details

  • In theaters: August 16, 2007
  • On DVD or streaming: December 4, 2007
  • Cast: Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Seth Rogen
  • Director: Greg Mottola
  • Studio: Columbia Tristar
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 104 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: pervasive crude and sexual content, strong language, drinking, some drug use and a fantasy/comic violent image -- all involving teens.
  • Last updated: April 23, 2021

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