The Clique

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
The Clique Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Materialistic book series is just the same on DVD.
  • PG
  • 2008
  • 87 minutes

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 93 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The message here, and parents might not be happy to hear it, is: Kids these days are smarter and savvier than adults might realize -- and can be much meaner too.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Massie is the flag bearer for basing her friendships on the labels her friends wear. Even parents get in on the image-centric discourse. Dylan's mother tells her she won't buy her a pair of pants until she gets back into a size 4 -- she's a size 6. Dylan then goes on a diet. The DVD is supposed to be a parody, but it's a very fine line


Rude behavior and insults could be considered emotional violence to some.


These seventh graders have never been kissed, but they obsess over older boys, even scheming to win a boy's affection by jumping out of a cake, scantily clad.


Girls call each other "bitch," among many other insults. Also "hell," "pissed."


Label worshipping to the extreme. From Prada, Fendi, Micahel Kors, Missoni and BCBG to the frowned-upon Gap and Old Navy, many mentions and much ado about clothing. Though she does not have the money to dress like the other girls, Claire lies, wheedles and takes donations from others to get the status symbols she thinks she needs.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Parents have cocktails at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this DVD based on the popular Clique book series by Lisi Harrison intends to make light of tweens' obsession with wearing the right clothes in order to fit in. The fashions themselves, the quest to achieve them, and the rude behavior that surrounds those who have them are all glorified. The music thumps a little louder and the shots are a little slicker when these 12-year-olds are parading down the school hallway in their designer duds.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bynekokitten May 12, 2013

Not Stuff We Should Be Teaching Girls

The book teaches girls what not to do more then what to do, which is dangerous due to how impressionable many of the kids in the intended age group happens to b... Continue reading
Adult Written byLindsey M. September 25, 2016

The Best Movie

This was the best movie. Some people think the swears were bad but there was barely any of them. It's not like your child is gonna start picking them up fr... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bynataliedance June 23, 2011

Wonderful movie with a great message. Perfect for tween girls

I love this movie so so much. I'm 15 and I think this movie is great. There are some scenes that I typically wouldn't want my own kids seeing if I had... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old June 22, 2014

Great Movie

They slightly cussed but that's it. Fine for tweens.

What's the story?

Claire Lyons (Ellen Marlow) doesn't realize what she's in for when she moves to Westchester County, NY. Her family is moving from a middle class Florida neighborhood to one of the chicest suburbs in the world. And to top it off, Claire is staying in the guest house of Massie Block (Elizabeth McLaughlin), queen of the clique called "The Pretty Committee" at Octavian Country Day school. Massie lives in a fairy tale -- designer room, designer clothes, beautiful hair, a pony, a chauffeur, and friends who all live in mansions and have credit cards at their disposal. Claire quickly learns that she's not welcome in this clique, especially wearing her Old Navy clothes. She immediately begs her mother to buy her some new duds, feeling desperately out of place. The clique continues to taunt her -- Massie in particular -- dissing everything about her. Claire finds a way, though, to fit in, if only for a moment. But how long will her new friendships really last?

Is it any good?

In this glimpse into the supposed lives of the ultra rich, tongue-in-cheek as it may be, there is the feeling that perhaps this portrayal of spoiled girls is not so far off the mark. Even more frightening is the fact that down-to-earth Claire admits that she wants to be friends with Massie and the girls even though they abhor their meanness. Claire's mother does a good job of bringing the family's values to the forefront of their conversation. She says things like, "She's going to like you because you're you, not because of what you wear." (Yeah, right.) After Claire has been humiliated and taunted relentlessly by the clique, her mother soothes her by saying, "You can't make someone like you." True enough, but the moony gaze that shines on Claire's face when Massie gives her a flower speaks volumes. Such complexity applied to the perils of middle school social ranking is heart wrenching, and it rings true, even if THE CLIQUE is meant to be a parody.

The acting is quite good across the board. The 12-going-on-25 routine is played flawlessly by Elizabeth McLaughlin. Though it's soaked in the trappings of luxury, there is a message here, and parents might not be happy to hear it: Kids these days are smarter and savvier than adults might realize -- and can be much meaner too.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to wear nice clothes. Some parents might remember Benetton sweaters, Ray Bans or Air Jordans being the must-have items when they were in high school. But cost-wise, these luxury goods were "bargain basement" compared to what The Pretty Committee wears every day.

  • Why is it so crucial to Massie that her friends wear the season's best, most expensive clothing?

  • Does this movie ring true for tweens in your town? Should parents give their tweens credit cards with no limits? Why or why not?

  • What would you do if you were in Claire's (tennis) shoes?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love all things tween

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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