Parents' Guide to

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Book-based drama for mature teens tackles tough subjects.

Movie PG-13 2012 103 minutes
The Perks of Being a Wallflower Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 26 parent reviews

age 10+


This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
age 14+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (26):
Kids say (134):

Watch out for Logan Lerman. If his work in THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER is any indication, he's that rare young actor who can carry the weight of complex emotions without reducing them to tics that are too often the actorly shorthand for teenage alienation. As Charlie, Lerman is fantastic and sympathetic -- key for a film of this make. We believe his diffidence, we understand his fear. The same can be said (to a slightly lesser extent) for both Watson, who's passionate and forceful as Sam in a way that she wasn't -- or couldn't be -- as Hermione Granger, and Miller, who has made a cottage industry out of playing vulnerable, eccentric characters (which is admirable, but it would be great to see what he could do playing a quieter role).

Author Stephen Chbosky directed this adaptation of his book, and the movie bears the imprint of his careful hands. But it feels strangely modern for a story set in the early 1990s (the cultural references say as much), and Charlie's stunning revelation in the end is hurried, and so doesn't stun as much as it should. The parents, too, feel like afterthoughts, confusing given the caliber of actors playing them (Dylan McDermott, for one). But on the whole, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a gem, and certainly not a wallflower to ignore.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: September 21, 2012
  • On DVD or streaming: February 12, 2013
  • Cast: Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman
  • Director: Stephen Chbosky
  • Inclusion Information: Non-Binary actors, Queer actors
  • Studio: Summit Entertainment
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: Book Characters
  • Run time: 103 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content including references, and a fight - all involving teens
  • Last updated: June 2, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

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.

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.

See how we rate