Parents' Guide to

Teenage Badass

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Fun, authentic band comedy has underage substance abuse.

Movie NR 2020 99 minutes
Teenage Badass Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

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Is It Any Good?

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

Twistedly funny and oddly authentic, this hilarious take on aspiring "stoner rockers" is pretty mature for teens but still fantastic. The question everyone will be asking is: Who are director Grant McCord and stars Mcabe Gregg and Evan Ultra, and why haven't we heard of these prodigies before? Answer: Maybe you'd know if you lived in Phoenix, considering that the script was written by Phoenix-based musicians McCord and Matthew Dho (who has a supporting role as a recording studio lackey) to reflect what it's like to be in a local band and how the members are really at the mercy of the lead singer/songwriter. Speaking of whom, Ultra (lead singer Kirk Stylo) is also a Phoenix musician who supplies all of the truly original songs and demonstrates great comic timing in his debut, lifted even higher by his cast mates.

Co-star Madelyn Deutch is wickedly funny, embodying the spirit of the girlfriend who controls the lead singer and thus believes she controls the band (or, as is said in the film, she's the Yoko). Gregg (who comes off like a slightly cooler Jessie Eisenberg) anchors the film with a sense of wonder at being a kid who's accepted into a band of older but not wiser musicians; he's also stunned in disbelief at their wild behavior. McCord and Dho wrote the film as a cautionary tale for those who don't hold the leverage, as advice to get contracts in writing, and as a heads-up to be very concerned about who's running the show. To that end, they've created an enjoyable piece of work -- but, as with a rock song, the positive messages may be drowned out by the loud noise.

Movie Details

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