Family movie night? There's an app for that
Download our new mobile app on iOS and Android.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
While occasional examples of teamwork are shown, on the whole, this movie shows frequent bullying and excessive academic competition.
Positive Role Models
Brian is the target of hazing as well as physical and verbal bullying, but he does not quit and practices to develop his skills so he can improve his video game playing skills.
Violence & Scariness
In order to convey the excitement of virtual reality, the characters in the movie are placed in the scenes of the video games they are playing. With few exceptions, the characters are playing violent, war-themed video games in which they fire machine guns and assault rifles, as well as throw grenades and hammers. Characters are often shown being shot in the head by their rivals, and in one instance, a character is kicked off a tall building resulting in his death. In the "real world" of their high school, there is frequent taunting and bullying. The school bully punches a girl in the face. Characters are punched in their groins.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Tame kissing and flirting.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent language ("damn," "hell," "crap"), including from a teacher who calls a student a "punk-ass." Internet chatter scrolls across the bottom of the screen and displays "f--kin' prick." Some abbreviations for swearing, like "STFU."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Gamers drink Monster Energy Drink. A stock car is shown covered in advertisements for Monster Energy drinks.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A father sips wine. In a parody sequence in which an arcade is made to be like a "Rat Pack"-era casino, characters drink soft drinks out of martini glasses; one character downs his soda in one guzzle. A teacher tells kids to "take drugs."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Video Game High School is a quirky movie centered on gaming with some realistic video game violence and real-life bullying. The action of the war games the students play is conveyed through real-time action; characters are shown firing machine guns and assault rifles in battlefield scenes, with "soldiers" often shown getting shot in the head. These aspects of the film make it best for teens and older, and will be enjoyed especially by gamers who have seen the popular web series on YouTube. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
For teenage gamers and fans of the popular web series, Video Game High School is a quirky and action-packed story. It both celebrates gaming culture and parodies the cliques and competition of high school life, while finding room for a tiny amount of sweetness in the form of the budding romance that develops between Brian D and Jenny Matrix.
However, families wary of gun violence and school bullying will be uncomfortable with the regularity in which the two are shown in this movie. While it's technically "video game violence," the characters are placed in real-enough looking situations where they fire assault weapons at each other, hoping to score the maximum number of points by shooting their rivals in the head. The movie also treats bullying as simply a matter of course in high school rather than something that should be stopped. The quirky style of the movie makes it impossible to address these issues in meaningful ways, and so the violence and bullying leaves a bad taste in an otherwise exciting movie.
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.