The Edge of Seventeen

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Edge of Seventeen Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Excellent acting in poignant, mature coming-of-age story.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 38 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Ultimately promotes communication, perseverance, honesty, and self worth. Nadine's story encourages healthy family relationships through conversation and collaboration; it also encourages friends to be gentle and empathetic with one another. Shows the dangers of careless social media interactions and sexually explicit communication -- and the potential dangers of unsafe sexual activity

Positive Role Models & Representations

Nadine struggles for a long time to see her self worth but eventually realizes she's worthy of friendship and love. Mr. Bruner listens patiently to Nadine and offers her help. Darian shows his sister that he really cares about her, and Nadine realizes what a great friend Krista is and that she didn't need to make her brother and girlfriend choose between her and their happiness. Erwin is compassionate and sweet to Nadine.


One scene of teens making out has hints of non-consensual sexual activity, but it subsides quickly. A kid watches her father have a heart attack.


A teen couple is shown in bed together, clearly following a night of sexual activity. They're later shown kissing/making out and going up to a bedroom together. Nadine accidentally sends Nick a sexually explicit message letting him know about her sexual fantasies (that he put his penis inside her and that she give him oral sex, among other things). While in a hot tub, a girl jokingly suggests that she and her male friend get out and have sex, but she's just kidding.


Frequent strong language includes "f--k," "f--kers," "f--king," "s--t," "s--tty," "ass," "pr--k," "d--khead," "d--k," "t-ts," "Jesus" (as an exclamation), "a--hole," "crap," "damn," "hell," "psycho," and insults like "nobody loves you," "you suck," and "you're going to get AIDS."



Brands/products seen or mentioned include Petland, Apple, Puma, Honda Civic, Coke, Converse, Lays, Futurama.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Nadine and Krista drink to the point of vomiting and are very drunk. A group of underage teens drinks alcohol while parents are away. In another party scene, teens play beer pong and other drinking games.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Edge of Seventeen is a high school dramedy about an awkward teen (Hailee Steinfeld). The swearing, sexuality, and themes make it appropriate for mature high schoolers and up. Frequently used language includes "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "d--khead," and more, and the sexual content includes a social media message that lists out graphic things the main character would like to do with -- and to -- her crush. There are also a couple of scenes of teens making out and in bed. One scene briefly appears to border on nonconsensual sex; a girl asks whether a guy wants to have sex, then says she was kidding when he takes her seriously. Teens drink alcohol at parties and at home (no adults are present), sometimes to the point of throwing up. The main character lost her father four years before the movie's events take place. Despite the strong language and underage substance use, the movie actually encourages communication and could open the door for thought-provoking discussions between parents and teens.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byJohn A. March 4, 2021

Rated 15 (strong language, sex references, occasional suicide references).

SEX/NUDITY - Some strong visual and verbal sex references throughout. These references occasionally go into some crude detail, but mostly remain comical and lig... Continue reading
Adult Written byJulia M February 28, 2021

Ok movie

Wasnt a boring movie but the depressing vibe of it made me slightly uncomfortable. However, it was a very true story and one that had to be told. Good for older... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byJflores14 November 22, 2016

Hilarious, Fresh, and Addicting

I loved this one of a kind romcom. It had humor, wit, and charm. This is my favorite movie of the year and possibly one of my favorite movies ever. It sums up w... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byeva_07 August 5, 2020

Hilarious, Heartfelt and Smart

This is movie is truly amazing. Coming from a teenager I can relate to Nadine so much through out the movie. It's hard for her to make friends and be super... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN is a coming-of-age dramedy about awkward 17-year-old Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld). Still grieving her father's death four years after it happened, Nadine discovers that her ridiculously popular older brother, Darian (Blake Jenner), is hooking up with her best (and only) friend, Krista (Hailey Lu Richardson). This makes her feels utterly alone -- and leads to her making unwise decisions like accidentally sending a sexually explicit message to her longtime crush, Nick (Alexander Calvert). Fed up with life's unfairness, Nadine turns to her tough-talking but kind teacher, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), while also getting closer to sweetly smitten classmate Erwin (Hayden Szeto).

Is it any good?

Steinfeld's wonderfully nuanced, authentic portrayal of the delightfully opinionated, angst-ridden, and awkward Nadine turns this sometimes-edgy high school comedy into a touching gem. Steinfeld, who's 19 in real life, is likely to stop playing high schoolers soon, so there's something magically poignant about her expressive performance as a deep-thinking, grieving 17-year-old who only has one real friend. All of the performances are outstanding, actually, starting with Steinfeld and continuing through Nadine's core group of supporting characters, including Harrelson as her long-suffering teacher who secretly thinks she's great, Kyra Sedgwick as her clueless mom who openly favors her brother, Richardson and Jenner as her suddenly-in-love brother and bestie, and Szeto as her adorable suitor. There isn't a weak link in the entire ensemble.

Through Nadine, writer-director Kelly Fremon Craig captures the pathos of being a lonely hearted teen who's unsure of her value, her place in the world, and her own beauty. When Nadine ignores Erwin's interest because she's pining for bad-boy pet store clerk Nick, older audiences will want to yell "Noooo, look at the wonderful guy right next to you!" But in the midst of her adolescent angst, Nadine can't quite see that yet. Several scenes are cringe-worthy and uncomfortable, but who among us didn't feel that as a teen? There's a quiet power to Nadine's emotional fragility and what she learns about herself and the people who love and support her. Parents not easily embarrassed by seeing mature content alongside their teens should watch and discuss the issues explored in this heartfelt adolescent movie.

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