The We and the I

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The We and the I Movie Poster Image
Realistic look at teen culture has drinking, sex, language.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Beneath the bluster, the teens in this film just want to be liked. While they spend most of the film bickering, teasing, posing, and showing off, a few eventually manage to let their guard down and connect with each other.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most of the featured teens spend a lot of time trying to hide their real feelings behind a facade of bluster. It's a necessary skill to survive the harsh world of adolescence, but a few are also able to tap into their real feelings. These are the times when viewers get a chance to see young people actually managing to have mature relationships.


Plenty of bickering and arguing among high-spirited teens, and a few spats escalate into shoving, wrestling, and slapping. One random street encounter has a tragic ending that occurs off screen, but the news affects many of the characters.


Many discussions about sexual encounters, some flirting and kissing, and some flashbacks that show people fooling around. A few scenes feature brief glimpses of breasts, and there's a realistic drawing of a nude man. One girl has a sexual encounter while she's extremely drunk and doesn't seem to be making informed decisions.


Plenty of swearing as a group of rambunctious teens talks, teases, yells, bickers, and brags very realistically, incorporating profanity into almost every conversation -- including very frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "d--k," "bitch," and more. African-American characters often refer to each other using the "N" word.


Every character is deeply attached to their mobile phones, including models from Apple, Samsung, and other popular makers.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some flashbacks show teens at parties drinking, sometimes to the point of unconsciousness. A few people smoke cigarettes on a city bus. Characters discuss their past exploits involving drinking.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The We and the I offers a realistic look at a bunch of New York high school students taking a city bus home on the last day of school. All the teenage drama you'd expect is present as characters flirt, bicker, tease, and show off. The film captures youth in all its glory, and the teens all look, act, and sound exactly like real people. Expect near-constant swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and more), and some flashback scenes that include underage people drinking at parties (sometimes to the point of unconsciousness) and smoking cigarettes. Many characters talk about sex, and a few are actually shown fooling around, again in flashbacks, with some very brief nudity (breasts).

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

On the last day of school, a high-spirited crowd of New York high school students pile onto a city bus to make their way home through the Bronx. Director Michel Gondry sets all of THE WE AND THE I during this journey, as kids flirt, bicker, brag, and show off. The young actors look and sound just like real teens, and it's easy to see the shifting dynamics of friendships, sometimes fraught with conflict and tension and sometimes marked by the easy-natured interactions between close pals. Boys loudly jockey for position within their group, while girls do the same thing, though quietly and with more subtlety. All the while, potential couples warily circle each other, sometimes managing to make a connection.

Is it any good?

The We and the I is a thrilling look at youth, capturing the mood so perfectly that it almost feels like it could be a documentary. The stakes are low -- who will get invited to a party?, which couples will manage to connect? -- but they're exactly the things that seem so crucial to young people, and Gondry nails every rebuff and tentative connection.

The characters all have history with each other; they've been together in school for years, and they ride home together most afternoons. The film reveals the casual shorthand of people who know each other well and gradually makes it clear which ones have real connections and which are just long-time acquaintances. The beauty of the movie is discovering that so many of the passengers on the bus are just like people we all know.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the teens in The We and the I. Do they seem like real people? Do they remind you of anyone you know? How do they compare to other movie teens?

  • How does the movie portray teen drinking and sexuality? Is it realistic? Are there realistic consequences for the characters' decisions/actions?

  • What do you think about the various groups of friends in the film? Is it easy to tell how the characters relate to each other? Do the cliques seem familiar?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories about teens

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate