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Parents' Guide to

Whip It

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Roller derby dramedy mixes girl power and teen angst.

Movie PG-13 2009 111 minutes
Whip It Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 12 parent reviews

age 13+

Do what you love!

Whip it is about choosing your dream and making it happen. I really liked it. It had some funny moments and I adored Ellen Pages' character Bliss. She is fun, likable and dedicated to what she wants most. With a mother who forces her into beauty pageants, Bliss wants more than that. She appears to be more on the tom-boy side and would rather join Roller Derby than anything else - even if she has to lie her way into it. Really great cast - Director of the film Drew Barrymore was a blast...always funny. Iffy for young tweens, I'd recommend a 14 and older crowd as there is a good amount of violence (girl fights), sexual content and discussions/jokes, underage drinking. Also some language but nothing over the top. A great popcorn movie!

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
1 person found this helpful.
age 13+

Pleasantly Surprised!

I had no idea what to expect, but I liked it a lot. I think a mature teenager (especially one in public school) would be able to handle everything the movie threw at them. No graphic sex, minimal if any blood, and language that is probably no worse than what the kids see written on the bathroom stalls. The main character lies to her parents, but faces the consequences. Her friend drinks (Bliss doesn't) and gets arrested for it. Bliss gives her virginity to a guy she thinks she knows and loves, and he cheats on her and doesn't call her afterwards. All very realistic things teens do, and all very realistic consequences. We were a little embarrassed by some of the sexual content, but there was nothing graphic, and it was mostly because it was unexpected. It wasn't a stereotypical sports film, and I absolutely loved that. There were several pleasant surprises that kept me pulled into the movie. It felt... realistic in a good way, much like Juno. I think a world-savvy teen will be fine watching it, and my aunt swears it was perfectly appropriate to her two young girls, who probably were too young to get most of the jokes and drug scenes. Great movie.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great messages
Great role models
1 person found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (12 ):
Kids say (41 ):

Groundbreaking Whip It isn't, but who can argue with an entertaining girl-power flick? Page's Bliss exhibits some of the chutzpah of their most famous character to date -- pregnant teen Juno -- though she's an entirely different concoction. And though Bliss doesn't eclipse Juno's quirky charm, there's still plenty to like about her. She's a quiet rebel who'd rather wear Stryper T-shirts and military boots than the cutesy dresses that her pageant competitors prefer, and her taste in guys runs along the lines of long-haired indie rock hipsters, rather than boorish jocks (of course, working with generalizations like that, whose wouldn't?). Page manages to pull off "counterculture" without coming off as a poseur.

The supporting cast is terrific, especially Shawkat, who lights up every scene despite being written similarly to most other "cool best friend" roles. The ensemble also features Drew Barrymore, who debuts here as a director. She lets scenes unspool a little too long in places and hammers certain plot points home a little too hard, but she rightfully keeps things loose for the most part. And, since plenty of people will be wondering: The roller derby action isn't always suspenseful, but boy, is it fun to watch.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: October 2, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming: January 26, 2010
  • Cast: Elliot Page , Kristen Wiig , Marcia Gay Harden
  • Director: Drew Barrymore
  • Inclusion Information: Female directors, Bisexual directors, Non-Binary actors, Queer actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Fox Searchlight
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 111 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: sexual content including crude dialogue, language and drug material
  • Last updated: January 2, 2023

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