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Parents' Guide to


By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Well-acted amorality tale explores youth, privilege, murder.

Movie R 2018 92 minutes
Thoroughbreds Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+



This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 14+

Dark and funny film is decent but feels incomplete

I liked Thoroughbreds a lot, but felt it was much too vague on certain topics and characters. It is just over 90 minutes and I didn't feel like it was enough. I loved the idea, but just thought the writing wasn't where it needed to be. It got predictable as it went on. It is funny, but not laugh out loud and definitely not throughout. I don't think it is really a comedy. All of the characters were played well. It is dark, but still a fairly mild R. There is a lot of language, though. The violence is mostly off screen, but characters are seen covered in blood. There are references to a horse being killed. Drugs are discussed more than they are used. There is teen smoking and drinking. Mature teens should be okay if they can handle darker subject matter. I was really looking forward to this film, and it's not bad, but it needed more.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

This compelling indie drama's two lead performances -- with a memorable turn by the late Yelchin -- are outstanding enough to help viewers forgive the film's flaws. If Thoroughbreds is any indication. playwright-turned-feature director Cory Finley, like Martin McDonagh, seems fascinated with violence and morality and the various ways people can hurt one another. The setting of manicured lawns and expansive brick mansions (one which boasts not only marble walls and columns but also a tanning bed) is ideal for a drama about two young women with a whole lot of issues. Finley doesn't judge the girls (he humanizes each of them), but he also doesn't let them off the hook. As Amanda observes to Lily, there's nothing really overtly evil about her stepfather; he's just an "a--hole" she wishes were out of her life. He's a bro-ish jerk who wants to send Lily to the boarding school equivalent of rehab. Sparks, it should be noted, is scarily good as the sort of man who spends more time working on his body than really speaking to his wife or stepdaughter.

Despite the movie's dark proceedings, there's a heavy dose of humor here, mostly courtesy of Yelchin, in what is his final posthumous screen role. As a 25-year-old petty drug dealer who has dreams of one day owning the kinds of homes his young customers live in, Yelchin's Tim has some of the film's more memorable lines. The scene in which Tim discovers that Amanda and Lily are blackmailing him to kill a man just because he's got a conviction on the books and peddles marijuana and club drugs to eager rich teens is notable for how devastated and defeated Yelchin looks. He, like any adult viewer, knows they're right -- pretty, white, rich girls get second chances that he'll never be afforded. The movie's final act isn't quite as riveting as the brilliant setup, but this is a thought-provoking and engrossing crime drama.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: March 9, 2018
  • On DVD or streaming: June 5, 2018
  • Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy , Olivia Cooke , Anton Yelchin
  • Director: Cory Finley
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors, Latino actors
  • Studio: Focus Features
  • Genre: Drama
  • Topics: High School
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: disturbing behavior, bloody images, language, sexual references, and some drug content
  • Last updated: September 15, 2023

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