Box art for The Breakfast Club

The Breakfast Club

comedy, drama, romance

They were five students with nothing in common, faced with spending a Saturday detention together in their high school library. At 7 a.m., they had nothing to say, but by 4 p.m. they had bared their souls to each other.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 14
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
0 out of 5

Socially relevant '80s teen flick.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film deals with themes that may be inappropriate for younger teens. Topics such as suicide, depression, social alienation, materialism, sex, and parental physical and emotional abuse are discussed openly. Main characters use very strong language, smoke pot on screen in the school library, and mock authority figures. One smokes cigarettes, draws a switchblade, and makes lewd gestures. He reveals cigar burns on his body as evidence of his father's abuse. The film does positively encourage the breakdown of social barriers as a means of identification and improved communication.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about how relevant and realistic they feel it is. Do teens feel that their high school has a similar clique structure? Allison describes Bender's question about Claire's virginity as a "double-edged sworda trap," stating, "Well, if you say you haven''re a prude. If you say you're a slut." Her argument is nothing new, but it does present a good opportunity for families to talk about society's views on sex and gender. Do teens still feel this double standard is in effect?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Audience Reviews

4 stars

While I thin it's one of the most negatively dated Brat Pack movies, it's still really fun and doesn't do any harm. It's a little corny and implausible, but the characters still work which was the main desire. Like it or not, a lot of the stereotypes still exist today; showing the true genius of John Hughes analysis. The cast is fun, even though there are some truly forced melodramatic performances at certain times. It has a fan base for a reason, it's a very close representation of all the cliques from High School and promotes change. For that it's pretty deserving of its reputation.

- ythelastman89, Monday, October 4, 2010

5 stars

Quintessential John Hughes and a classic of the 1980's. Very iconic and memorable. Required viewing. PERIOD. The set up is simple: five teens from different social cliques and backgrounds spend a Saturday in detention together and begin to see that they have more in common than they initially realized. Seeing as how I was only born a year after this movie came out, I don't have the nostalgia for it that many do. I did however, first discover it at a young and impressionable age, so, even though it doesn't resonate with me on a level like something from my own generation, it still hits big emotionally and with experiences and relatability. In a way, this movie isn't really dated becasue of that, and the message in general. It may be set in the 80s, and deal with instances and situations anchored in that time, but the overall impact and point is timeless, and I'd like to think that that was the whole point all along.

- cosmo313, Wednesday, April 17, 2013

4 stars

Perhaps I was expecting a slightly different movie. I was hoping for (and got to a large extent) an emotional drama that fully delved into and examined the high school psyche. 70 or so percent of the film is a comedy, not a terribly funny one, I may add, in which each of the five stars gets to make sure we know who they are and what they superficially represent. It takes longer than they need; we get the point after twenty or so minutes, though these scenes occupy at least an hour of the runtime. But in that remaining third of the film, when emotions fly and my original expectation is met, this film is absolutely top-notch; it gets it all absolutely right. My dad was almost exactly my age when this was released. Apparently high school is exactly the same now as it was then, because 25 years later, this film still gives remarkably accurate insight into the teenage mind.

- rjayhutchinson, Sunday, August 8, 2010