Parental Guidance

Why Parents Should Ignore Eighth Grade's R Rating

This earnest depiction of teen life will ring true for eighth graders -- and anyone who remembers what it was like to be 13 years old.

by | August 3, 2018 | Comments

Stand-up comedian Bo Burnham’s feature directorial debut has picked up rave reviews since it premiered at Sundance, but the MPAA has slapped an R rating on it, making it more difficult for younger viewers to see it. But, as Christy Lemire argues, this is exactly the kind of movie those teens and tweens should see, as she breaks down what earned the movie its rating and what you can expect going into it.


THE MOVIE

Eighth Grade (2018) 99%

Rating: R, for language and some sexual material.

Eighth Grade is one of the best movies of the year, so I’m thrilled that it’s opening nationwide this weekend to give more people the opportunity to see it. Writer-director Bo Burnham’s story about an introverted 13-year-old girl (the hilarious and heartbreaking Elsie Fisher) navigating the last week of middle school is emotionally raw and relatable in so many ways. Middle school is painfully awkward no matter who you are or where you are, and Eighth Grade captures this fraught moment in time beautifully. It also happens to be rated R, meaning that – in theory – a lot of the young viewers who would benefit from seeing it might not be able to get a ticket.

I urge you to consider allowing the older kids in your home to see this film. Here’s where the R rating comes from: There’s quite a bit of language scattered throughout. The characters talk the way kids this age truly talk, and that means some profanity. There’s also some discussion of naked cell phone pictures and whether or not a character is willing to perform a sex act on another, but it comes from a place of false bravado. And in one particularly tense scene, our heroine finds herself in the backseat of a car with a teenage guy who’s a few years older than she is – but how that moment shakes out might surprise you.

Eighth Grade also could help tweens and teens in the way it depicts the psychological impact of social media and the Internet in general. Fisher’s character, Kayla, finds herself obsessing over the popular kids’ Instagram feeds. She also projects an image of the kind of confident person she’d like to be through her own series of YouTube self-help videos — which only get a handful of views. Social media expedites and heightens the anxieties of this harrowing time full of insecurity, and Eighth Grade depicts that uncomfortable sensation vividly.

Like The Breakfast Club and Fast Times at Ridgemont High before it, Eighth Grade carries a rating that may make it seem too mature for your kids, but it’s probably exactly what they need to see right now as they figure out their place in the world. I highly recommend it for viewers who are in eighth grade themselves – and maybe even sixth or seventh —  and older.

Tag Cloud

TV renewals zero dark thirty Pacific Islander ITV documentary Musical Summer sports jamie lee curtis The Walt Disney Company theme song Trivia Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt hollywood OWN Christmas rt archives Adult Swim BBC One science fiction classics Disney Channel stoner legend Sci-Fi cancelled TV series scorecard Broadway The Arrangement BET screen actors guild Fox Searchlight crime drama Mary poppins robots Classic Film Film Festival Oscars Musicals Shondaland news Spectrum Originals Dark Horse Comics Tarantino Esquire Nickelodeon natural history Women's History Month Cosplay archives renewed TV shows jurassic park rotten movies we love Turner Star Trek BAFTA romantic comedy Grammys Sundance TV pirates of the caribbean Amazon Awards justice league VH1 Marvel Avengers Chilling Adventures of Sabrina NYCC free movies VICE Bravo WGN Acorn TV Comic Book universal monsters Red Carpet CBS All Access toronto monster movies all-time know your critic dogs DC Comics mutant YouTube Red 007 TLC Mary Poppins Returns 45 Spring TV A24 films American Society of Cinematographers TV Comic-Con@Home 2021 video on demand Hear Us Out Tubi USA Network Fantasy critics rotten nfl Writers Guild of America First Reviews historical drama deadpool suspense satire blockbuster Video Games werewolf independent Columbia Pictures Anna Paquin festival Peacock popular Disney+ Disney Plus zombie worst movies basketball dragons Marvel Studios asian-american Trophy Talk 72 Emmy Awards scene in color Arrowverse binge high school MSNBC NBA teaser HBO Go reviews The Witch canceled sequel mission: impossible ESPN police drama USA concert unscripted Walt Disney Pictures Captain marvel Animation Academy Awards australia facebook serial killer MTV kong IFC Films Syfy Premiere Dates adaptation Emmy Nominations Interview Endgame BBC 21st Century Fox DirecTV scary movies Pirates 1990s ratings Crackle Legendary stand-up comedy movie twilight elevated horror cancelled Marathons hispanic PBS talk show Hallmark Christmas movies international chucky godzilla aapi animated SundanceTV kaiju singing competition 2021 political drama Superheroes PaleyFest RT21 Elton John series Music Tokyo Olympics TIFF trailers Ghostbusters disaster Toys Creative Arts Emmys children's TV strong female leads TCM Best and Worst Starz prank Photos VOD indie spanish language Reality Competition YouTube Premium 93rd Oscars Crunchyroll Disney Plus Winners TCA spanish TCA Awards new zealand Epix Netflix Christmas movies Film 20th Century Fox comics new york kids Extras RT History toy story Chernobyl golden globe awards sag awards 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards comedies boxing book adaptation target casting Western Set visit Amazon Studios based on movie Fall TV marvel cinematic universe french Teen Rom-Com GLAAD Mindy Kaling Martial Arts technology Sundance Now biography CBS Discovery Channel New York Comic Con 2018 Schedule nature Lionsgate tv talk TCA 2017 Wes Anderson parents GIFs Comedy Central Rock OneApp Marvel Television mockumentary 2017 Logo DC Universe comiccon DGA franchise anime Britbox Cannes worst President obituary Year in Review aliens composers zombies medical drama The Purge laika Calendar joker book superman quibi Reality History Mystery saw Emmys what to watch NBC miniseries Podcast boxoffice halloween tv telelvision travel video Song of Ice and Fire Turner Classic Movies First Look breaking bad Star Wars game show reboot Pop TV FXX Infographic 99% transformers Super Bowl Apple TV Plus SXSW Paramount Network Hulu 2016 streaming Comedy Amazon Prime comic books space PlayStation comic adventure San Diego Comic-Con The Academy cops The CW Apple TV+ Warner Bros. south america latino Thanksgiving Shudder fast and furious Netflix versus finale thriller stop motion indiana jones Vudu Holidays Character Guide hidden camera Disney cats child's play Superheroe ID die hard Exclusive Video cancelled TV shows FX on Hulu Cartoon Network Stephen King lord of the rings foreign ABC Family TBS Certified Fresh SDCC X-Men Mudbound dceu HBO Max Ellie Kemper fresh 2020 name the review festivals doctor who TV One Winter TV nbcuniversal cancelled television A&E ABC Signature richard e. Grant psychological thriller 90s women 71st Emmy Awards TNT olympics Hallmark Mary Tyler Moore LGBTQ blaxploitation Watching Series Food Network BET Awards Funimation dc emmy awards halloween crime thriller Travel Channel Biopics Lucasfilm psycho Amazon Prime Video live action Lifetime Christmas movies Image Comics Fox News cartoon japan DC streaming service National Geographic Box Office green book 24 frames Drama Masterpiece witnail MCU cults Rocketman streaming movies 2019 anthology cooking japanese The Walking Dead documentaries revenge TV movies Sony Pictures slashers 2015 vampires cinemax politics BBC America TCA Winter 2020 Disney streaming service IFC spain Polls and Games romance AMC dramedy a nightmare on elm street Television Critics Association television ABC YouTube diversity TV Land E3 dark FX Pet Sematary Freeform movies venice game of thrones football batman Pixar rom-coms El Rey Tomatazos Pop Country Brie Larson james bond crossover christmas movies Black Mirror TruTV Comics on TV screenings razzies Heroines Black History Month best spider-man cars Baby Yoda spy thriller heist movie FOX spinoff Election Quiz criterion Trailer sitcom HBO directors Pride Month harry potter remakes discovery docuseries king kong Apple Nat Geo supernatural CMT new star wars movies Opinion Tumblr Countdown GoT APB ViacomCBS Horror Rocky Paramount Plus CW Seed Action LGBT Nominations canceled TV shows war CNN black Alien ghosts Ovation YA Kids & Family award winner Sneak Peek WarnerMedia period drama italian 4/20 adenture Valentine's Day See It Skip It superhero Paramount Universal blockbusters Sundance true crime Binge Guide Spike golden globes Television Academy crime social media Holiday Awards Tour hist docudrama Showtime Family E! Lifetime sequels