The Boy Next Door

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
The Boy Next Door Movie Poster Image
Rotten thriller about sex, violence, and obsession.
  • R
  • 2015
  • 91 minutes

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 16+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Lying and cheating are judged in a simplistic, black-and-white way. Some characters pay dearly for their mistakes, while others get away clean.

Positive Role Models & Representations

At first, Claire is presented as an admirable, struggling single mom, but she makes a major judgment in error and then behaves badly while trying to set things right again. She's stalked and tormented but gets away scot-free from her own dubious choices.


Bloody corpse. Characters are tied up and tortured, with bloody wounds. Eye-stabbing and gouging. Women treated roughly. A character brutally beats up a bully, smashing head into metal lockers. Brief attempted rape, thwarted by crotch-kicking. Guns and shooting. Character crushed by heavy object. Wall punching, with bloody knuckles. Allergy-related seizures and epipen injection. Taunting bullies.


Graphic sex scene includes kissing, undressing, hands cupping breasts, hands slipping under panties, a naked male bottom, and thrusting. A second sex scene shows a naked female bottom an implies oral sex. More naked male bottoms are seen. Main character in revealing nightie and high heels. Plenty of ogling of body parts. Some innuendo.


Multiple uses of "f--k," "s--t," "p---y," and "goddamn."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Casual wine drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Boy Next Door is a thriller about a deceptively charming stranger who turns into a manipulative, homicidal stalker. It has two fairly graphic sex scenes that include partial nudity (breasts, bottoms), thrusting, the implication of oral sex, and more. There's some innuendo, skimpy nightwear, and general ogling, too. Violence escalates in the final act, with a bloody, gruesome beating and killing (a bloody corpse is seen), characters being tied up and tormented, and the rough treatment of women, including an attempted rape. There's also some bullying. Language isn't constant but is peppered with words including "f--k," "s--t," and "p---y." The movie is quite awful, but Jennifer Lopez fans may want to see it.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byd.fotheringham March 21, 2020

Really bad

Too dirty and a pointless story. Acting lacklustre and the characters I don't care for at all.

Oh and be warned the sex scene is really long but right at... Continue reading
Adult Written bydvdgirl January 29, 2019

Good for older kids

If there seventeen and up it’s fine and it was a bit scary but a good thriller you know one of those movies where a guy or girl is obsessed with someone. A very... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old February 13, 2021
Teen, 15 years old Written byMrAnonymous August 24, 2020

For mature audiences and adults.

Genre: Mystery/Erotic thriller

Strong sex and sex references, Strong violence and threat and strong language.

What's the story?

High school teacher literature teacher Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) has been raising her teenage son, Kevin (Ian Nelson), on her own since her husband (John Corbett) left her for a younger woman. Then a hunky young neighbor, Noah (Ryan Guzman), who says he's "almost 20," moves in next door to take care of his uncle. One night, Noah seduces the sexy, lonely Claire, even though she knows it's wrong. Afterward, Noah becomes obsessed with her. First he threatens her reputation and her job, and before long he starts manipulating her family. But when Claire's husband makes an attempt to reconcile with her, Noah begins to show homicidal tendencies.

Is it any good?

Director Rob Cohen has made some terrible films, and this one is no exception. Not one thing about THE BOY NEXT DOOR is even remotely credible, much less suspenseful. Characters never once behave as a human being might behave in a similar situation; they're each written and directed to move the plot. A character can turn from respectful and loving to hateful and accusing just because the plot calls for it, not because it feels like an organic, emotional change.

As a result, the movie feels like it's filled with awful performances, not least of which is Guzman (from the Step Up movies). Lopez comes out the best, which isn't saying much. Mainly she's posed wearing flattering outfits and flaunting soft hair. The "deceptively charming neighbor" plot is used quite often in thrillers; a movie like The Guest shows how it can work, but THE BOY NEXT DOOR is one of the worst examples (only slightly better than No Good Deed).

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about The Boy Next Door's violence. How much of it is directed at women? What attitude does the movie have toward women? Is the violence meant to be thrilling?

  • How much sex is shown? How is it shown? Is it meant to be titillating, or does it have an emotional impact?

  • How are bullies shown and treated in this movie? What are other ways to deal with bullies?

  • What does this movie have to say about male and female body image?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

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