Parents' Guide to

The Fallout

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Poignant drama shows impact, aftermath of school shooting.

Movie R 2022 92 minutes
The Fallout Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 13+


Omg my child loved it. It’s a good movie for teens.
age 14+

Solid acting, diverse cast in realistic film based on a school shooting

The Fallout is a film about teenagers, who are experiencing the aftermath of a school shooting. The film is fine for teens, but for mature ones. If your teens are sensitive, they’ll spend all day crying. So you might want to talk to them film - - and even though it’s really well- acted and realistic, you should remind them its just a film. The film shows messages about love, protection, trust and how death really impacts many people. It also shows how teenagers can deal with school shootings. Jenna Ortega and Maddie Ziegler are amazing actors, and are also really brave as characters in the film. Vada and Mia, share things with each other, and most importantly trust each other. While the violence isn’t really graphic, it brings huge emotions of fear, depression, and anger. Expect screaming, some blood, loud gunshots, and more. There’s also some potentially upsetting deaths that may be too much for kids - -and even some teens. There’s also lots of use of “f - - k” “s - -t” etc. there’s also some strong use of TikTok, iMessage and Instagram. Characters (Jenna Ortega mostly ) do drugs, drink a lot, and get drunk. The teenagers also consider this ok, and want to explain to their parents why they are doing this. They say it’s just because I’m going through a lot, it’s fine to do drugs - - so mind out for content like this. There’s also quite a bit of kissing (same & opposite sex) a sex scene, and some moaning. All in all, the Fallout is a great Drama, that’s best left for older teens or maybe the sensitive ones can wait.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (31 ):

Ths poignant examination of grief and survivor's guilt makes an emotional case for gun safety by giving audiences a first-hand look at what happens to teens who experience a school shooting. The Fallout does a great job of showing how messy grief can be, including the moments of stalling out, making mistakes, hurting others, and feeling lost and alone. Vada is extremely relatable in a haunting way, especially since her character shows the devastation that a needless crime can cause. The film makes the most compelling case since the documentary Us Kids for why legislation aimed at stopping school shootings is necessary.

Other characters, including Mia, Quinton, (Will Ropp) and Vada's sister, Amelia (Lumi Pollack), demonstrate the different ways that people can be affected by tragedy. And although Vada and Mia are the main characters (and their stories are convincingly realistic), you could argue that Nick and Quinton's stories are even more compelling. Nick uses his grief to become a gun-control activist, echoing the experiences of the real-life students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. And Quinton saw his brother die in front of him, making him the only main character to lose a family member in the shooting. But his story doesn't get as much play as it probably should, given that he's likely going through the most intense version of trauma and grief among the key characters -- and, in fact, he's written as the most stable and the least affected of them all. In light of how many Black people have experienced the effects of gun violence, it would have made more sense for the film to give Quinton a wider range of emotions to express. Instead, he verges on the cliche of Black characters (and, by extension, Black people in real life) being more emotionally opaque and "strong." All of that said, Fitch does a great job portraying Quinton and making him likable. Overall, The Fallout gives viewers a first-hand look at what kids across the country have, tragically, either gone through or fear going through at school. It drives home the point that no gun is worth more than a child's life.

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