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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Live life to the fullest; it's too short to hold onto grudges and hate. Friendships bring joy to your life and help you understand yourself better. Don't let friends slip away.
Positive Role Models
Isabella is a great role model for body positivity, but she bails out of things too quickly when they get tough. Sophie made a vow not to have sex before marriage, is a good model for sticking to it and not letting others make her feel embarrassed, but she can be judgmental of others. Piper drinks heavily as a coping mechanism instead of dealing with her emotions and problems, but she's also the most committed to honoring her friend's last wish. Honor urges her friends not to hold onto the bad and to live life to the fullest.
Violence & Scariness
A hazing ritual involves making aspiring cheerleaders take off their clothes and dance in bra and underwear only and body-shaming Isabella. One punch in the nose, one slap in the face, and a boy grabs at a girl's crotch. A nonviolent death of a teen.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few brief kisses. Masturbation mentioned. A teen looks up how to get gum out of pubic hair, implying oral sex has taken place. Girls rip off their clothes in front of the whole school and are briefly seen fully nude from behind. Being a virgin or not discussed several times. A girl mentions she's on her period. Sexting is implied but nothing's shown. A teen boy is passed out on the sidewalk, wearing only boxers and socks.
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"S--t," "butt," "ass," "bitches," "slut," "ball sack," "hell," "bulls--t," and "f--k."
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Products & Purchases
A few mentions of specific tech, car, pop culture, and beverage products.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A teen frequently drinks from a sports cup implied to have alcohol in it and acts drunk on several occasions; eventually she says she thinks she has a drinking problem. In a nightclub setting, teens drink what appears to be soda. A parent drinks heavily, although we don't see him drink. Teens get drunk at a failed party. An adult shares a cigarette with teens; one of them coughs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Honor List is a fairly edgy high school friendship drama. Oral sex is implied, virginity is discussed, masturbation is mentioned, and teen girls are briefly seen fully nude from behind. Profanity is infrequent but strong, including one "f--k" and several variations of "s--t." One main character and a minor character show alcoholic tendencies, there's one scene set in a nightclub, and teens drink to excess at a party. An adult shares a cigarette with teens. Violence includes a punch in the nose, a slap in the face, and an attempt to grab a girl's crotch. The main setup of the plot involves a teen's nonviolent death; her friends and family members are very sad about her passing. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This friendship drama has too many shortcuts in the story to appeal to a broad audience, but it should really resonate with teens in the throes of those years when friendships are everything. The Honor List's biggest shortcut is that the reason the friendships ended in the first place is never fully explained. Using the flashbacks to eventually reveal what really happened would have added interest, intrigue, and a satisfying payoff. But the way it's put together leaves an unsatisfying, "But why?" in the back of your mind.
The characters are engaging and diverse, not only physically but in terms of strengths and flaws, too. A wide range of teen viewers, girls especially, will easily relate to them and root for the power of friendship. The story's pretty predictable and ends on a hopeful, hanky-ready note. For teens mature enough to handle the sexual content and alcohol use, it's an OK choice for a sleepover movie.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.