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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's tricky to find a positive message in this dark movie, but it could serve as a way to encourage parents to parent in a healthy, supportive manner and teens to seek help if they're overcome with disturbing feelings.
Positive Role Models
Few of the characters act reasonably or responsibly; one is specifically on a monumentally devastating, destructive trajectory that will leave much damage in its wake. Parents and teens alike are out of control, though one teen does end up telling the truth in the end. Also, nearly everyone is texting or at their computers in the film, even elementary school-aged kids, to the detriment of real-life interactions.
Violence & Scariness
A girl is shown cutting herself with a blade. Later, a corpse is shown in a bloody bathtub.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Conversations about "doing it" and wearing thongs to seduce guys met online. A rumor circulates about a teen performing a sex act on a classmate. Flirty chats.
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"A--hole," "slut," "d--k," "c--k," and "bitch" are used.
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Products & Purchases
Apple products (iPhone, laptop) are identifiable.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Mentions of teens playing beer pong; a high school party has teens drinking from telltale (though unlabeled) red cups.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this agonizing drama is a heavy-handed but still powerful and thought-provoking treatise on both teens' and adults' capacity to be destructive on social networks. It includes some hard-to-watch scenes of suicide attempts and online bullying. Also expect some swearing, play-by-play of discomfiting online chats, and self-abuse (cutting). There are also references to sex acts, one of which becomes a rumor that rapidly devastates a teen. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
When it's not pounding you over the head with its off-putting scared-straight tactics and overwrought messages about online anonymity, @urFRENZ is actually compelling. With its ripped-from-the-headlines story and atmospheric cinematography, it provokes viewers to think about the darker side of online friendships and social networking (frightening parents along the way).
Ignore the over-acting and sometimes heavy-handed plot-pushing, and there's plenty of material here to spark (hopefully) meaningful conversations with teens (it's a little too macabre for younger audiences). How do we really know who we're talking to online? Are social networks a safe outlet for teens who can't share their feelings in person, or are they cloaks for bullies? The answer in real life is much more nuanced than what @urFRENZ offers, but it's an interesting watch nonetheless.
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.
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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.See how we rate