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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
What's the story?
During senior year of high school, three former best friends reunite to finish THE HONOR LIST. Back when they were freshmen, Isabella (Sasha Pieterse), Piper (Meghan Rienks), Honor, and Sophie were an inseparable quartet of BFFs. But by senior year the four had somehow drifted apart. When Honor unexpectedly dies, she leaves behind the request that the remaining three find and finish the bucket list they created of things to do before graduation. As they cross each item off the list, a lot of pain from the past comes back as well as the realization that they lost much more than they realized when they lost each other.
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.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the sex in The Honor List. Is it realistic? How much is too much to show in movies?
What about the alcohol use? Is it realistic? Do the characters experience any consequences?
What other movies have you seen about friendship? Which one do you like best? How does this one compare?
- On DVD or streaming: May 11, 2018
- Cast: Meghan Rienks, Sasha Pieterse, Karrueche Tran, Arden Cho
- Director: Elissa Down
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School
- Character Strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 103 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: Crude sexual material, thematic elements, alcohol use, language, and brief nudity all involving teens
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.