The Outcasts

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
The Outcasts Movie Poster Image
Smart-girls-vs.-mean-girls comedy has swearing, drinking.
  • PG-13
  • 2017
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive messages

The best friends realize that friendship is strong enough to overcome a lot of obstacles and continue into college, despite their upcoming separation. Encourages smart, dedicated-to-school kids to relax and enjoy themselves in addition to focusing on academic achievement. Also encourages all teens to look past superficial differences from others to see how they can connect.

Positive role models & representations

Mindy and Jodi are smart, talented, ambitious young women who work hard for their dreams and have to deal with disappointment, humiliation, and growing distant. Dave goes against his social group when he realizes how petty and wrong they are toward others. Several teens overcome their superficial impressions of other people. While the cast is notably diverse, there's also some stereotyping based on typical high school groups/cliques/social roles.

Violence

The girls push each other when they fight. Teens bully and push others against lockers. A girl gets knocked down by something purposely thrown her way.

Sex

Teens make out. In a nonsexual scene, a teenage guy urinates in front of two girls arriving to his party, who then joke about how it's the first live penis they've ever seen.

Language

Occasional strong language includes "s--t," "loser," "bitch," "beeyotch," "douche," "a--hole," etc.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

Teens drink (play beer pong, etc.) at a couple of parties, sometimes to excess.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Outcasts is a teen comedy about two smart, academically inclined best friends who are sick of being targeted by their high school's top "mean girl". There's some suggestive content (making out, a shot of a guy who pees in a fern in front of teen party-goers), occasional strong language (including "s--t," "a--hole," and more), and underage drinking/partying, sometimes to excess. But the movie also has clear messages about friendship and encourages teens to look past superficial differences. The movie stars an ensemble of familiar young TV actors who will appeal to fans of their shows (Victorious, The Middle, Hart of Dixie, Awkward., etc.).

User Reviews

Adult Written byfrench.cats August 22, 2017

A movie I can actually relate to on some level

I love that romance is only a background feature in this film and that the real focus is on the group of friends that comes together throughout the course of th... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byNadia Cloud April 14, 2018

Disappointing for a high school film!

I am a huge fan of high school films such as Mean Girls, The DUFF etc., but this one is very disappointing. The Outcasts is boring and does not have a good plot... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE OUTCASTS follows two best friends -- music geek Jodi (Victoria Justice) and science nerd Mindy (Eden Sher) -- who are finally ready, in their senior year, to branch out and attend a party hosted by the popular crowd. But during the party, queen bee Whitney (Claudia Lee) plays an awful prank on Jodi, and Mindy vows to get revenge. Her MO? To band together the various cliques of "outcasts" in the social order. With the help of school debate champ Virginia's (Ashley Rickards) meticulous files on seemingly everyone in the school, the girls reach out to leaders of the techies, sci-fi lovers, fantasy cosplayers, Girl Scouts, LGBT kids, band/theater types, etc. to form a coalition to usurp the "cool kids" from their top spot in the high-school social order. But then Jodi begins to worry that Mindy is taking vengeance too far and finds herself attracted to Dave (Avan Jogia), one of the guys formerly in Whitney's circle.

Is it any good?

The cast of charming veteran teen TV stars elevate this amusing, if derivative, entry in the "revenge of the nerds" subgenre of high school comedies about upending the social order. Sher is an expert at playing a geeky high schooler thanks to her years on The Middle, and Justice shows her range by trying on the role of a band geek with aspirations of becoming a singer-songwriter. Although mostly a comedy about the revenge-themed mission that MIT-obsessed Mindy launches against Whitney and her squad, The Outcasts is also a friendship drama about BFFs who must learn how to navigate their impending post-graduation separation. That particular aspect really resonates as authentic.

Of course, the Revenge of the Nerds-inspired part isn't without its entertaining humor. The way that the various geek groups band together is quite funny, particularly because Virginia has such thorough files on each "leader." The way the girls know how to poke through the armor and egos of all their potential allies is amusing, if cliched (there are plenty of "nerdy" teens who have no trouble finding dates). A highlight of the silliness is when precocious scientist Mindy unleashes a truth serum-like gas in public, and everyone starts blurting out confessional truths. While The Outcasts may not become a teen classic, it's diverting enough to rent/stream/watch with fans of the talented cast.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of pranking and bullying in The Outcasts. Is it realistic? Is there a difference between being pranked and being bullied? What are some ways to deal with bullying in real life?

  • Teens: Do you think the movie is realistic in its depiction of high-school cliques? How is social class established/reinforced among your own peers? Did you notice any stereotypes in the movie?

  • How does the movie portray drinking? Are there consequences? Why is that important?

  • Parents: This comedy has been compared to Revenge of the Nerds. How do you think it stacks up against that '80s classic? Is this one more appropriate for teen viewers?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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