Kids in America

2005

Kids in America

Critics Consensus

An awkward blend of teen comedy and social commentary, Kids in America largely fails to provoke thought or laughter.

17%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 36

65%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,429

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Movie Info

Teenagers stand up for their rights and take on the woman who wants to scuttle their freedoms in this comedy drama inspired by a true story. Principal Weller (Julie Bowen) is the ambitious but hard-headed leader of Booker High School. Weller plans to run for superintendent of her school district, and believes if she wants to win she needs to project the image of a no-nonsense leader, and with that in mind she begins cracking down on what she sees as discipline problems at Booker High. However, in many cases what she sees as kids out of control are seen by others as kids expressing themselves, including a girl who wants to distribute condoms to recognize National Safe Sex Day, and two boys who are caught kissing in the hallway between classes. Mr. Drucker (Malik Yoba) is a teacher at Booker who tries to champion the students' rights of free expression, but his conflicts with Principal Weller end up costing him his job when he's fired for questioning her authority. Holden Donovan (Gregory Smith) is a student at Booker who is alarmed that the students have lost one of their few allies, and decides to do something about it -- along with his classmates, he sets out to establish and defend the right of free expression for high-school students, and launches a campaign against Weller's bid to become superintendent. Kids in America also stars Stephanie Sherrin, Nicole Richie, Adam Arkin, George Wendt, and Elizabeth Perkins. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast

Gregory Smith
as Holden Donovan
Stephanie Sherrin
as Charlotte Pratt
Chris Morris
as Chuck McGinn
Crystal Celeste Grant
as Walanda Jenkins
Crystal Grant
as Walanda Jenkins
Alex Anfanger
as Lawrence Reitzer
Malik Yoba
as Will Drucker
Andrew Shaifer
as Mr. Stratton
Julie Bowen
as Principal Weller
Nicole Richie
as Kelly Stepford
Adam Arkin
as Ed Mumsford
George Wendt
as Coach Thompson
Rosanna Arquette
as Abby Pratt
Elizabeth Perkins
as Sondra Carmichael
Charles Shaughnessy
as Sgt. Carmichael
W. Earl Brown
as Boss McGinn
Kim Coles
as Loretta Jenkins
Genevieve Cortese
as Ashley Harris
Samantha Mathis
as Jennifer Rose
Jeff Chase
as Coach Fasso
Raymond Braun
as Mo Williams
Damien Luvara
as Rick Gracia
Steven Rosenbaum
as Security Guard
Matthew Brent
as Nat French
Rosalie Ward
as Monica Rose
Amy Hill
as Mrs. Young
Ron Perkins
as Murray Rietzer
Derek Webster
as Police Officer #1
Eamon Roache
as Police Officer #2
Mary Strong
as Reporter #1
Derrick Jones
as Reporter #2
Suzanne Krull
as Reporter #3
Steve Kim
as Guitarist
Michael Tubbs
as Guitarist
Johnny Estes
as Guitarist
Jimmy Messer
as Guitarist
View All

Critic Reviews for Kids in America

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (6) | Rotten (30)

Audience Reviews for Kids in America

  • Apr 10, 2020
    Kids In America is more than just another teen movie, it's has a message to spread and came together in a very unique way. Principal Weller (Julie Bowen) is running for state superintendent and she wants her school to be perfect. All the troublemakers have been expelled and every little infraction means a long suspension. No one is happy about it, particularly the students, so they do the only thing they can, fight back! This film is based on a culmination of news stories from around the county, that feature students who were suspended for doing nothing more than expressing their first amendment rights. These stories are incorporated into the film and make up the basis for Weller's suspensions. As for the students, their ring leader is Holden Donovan (Gregory Smith), an honor student, and the last person you'd expect to be leading a student rebellion. I've long been a fan of Gregory Smith and this role was a detour from his normal routine. Smith always plays the sweet, lovable characters like Efram in Everwood or Dove in Rookie Blue, he's not known for comedy or for being the rebel. It was an interesting diversion that he pulls off quite well. The film is further supported by Julie Bowen and Nicole Ritchie, who are also playing roles that are out of their comfort zone. Kids In America is unique in that it's a comedy for teens that actually has a positive message. It also features a cast that is playing characters that they don't usually play, making for an even more enjoyable watch. Don't get me wrong I love comedies like Super Bad and 21 & Over, but it was a nice change of pace to see these kids acting out and getting into trouble for a cause, especially one that's near and dear to my heart.
    Todd S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 14, 2011
    As far as I'm concerned, Kids In America is very underrated. What you have here with this film is a comedy that exposes an important subject. People hate on this film because of the fact that Nicole Ritchie plays in this film. Well, her role I thought was so minimal that it really didn't bring anything memorable to the film. Her role wasn't an essential part of the film. I didn't care to see her on screen, and she didn't annoy me in the process. What I love about Kids In America is that it's very different that your usual Teen comedy. Where the usual teen comedy insults teens for what they usually "are", Kids In America takes a different, refreshing approach and creates something funny, charming but above all, smart. The casting choices are well done, and every actor is perfect for the part they played. The film is very entertaining, funny and well crafted. This is an underrated film that shouldn't be passed up. Most Teen comedies fail to capture what teen life really is about, but Kids In America is the only film of it's kind that is smart and exposes issues that people don't even care about. Kids In America is a better film than what people might think. A well acted film with laughs and drama about important teen issues. Sure the film could have been improved upon, but for what it does, it captures the essence of what growing up really is, and that is one of the reasons that this film works so well.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2007
    Honestly I thought it was going to suck.. but there is a certain real edge to the movie that you don't find in the vast majority of "teen movies".. Most of the dialogue and characters are spot on, teens act like teens.. yet it still manages to be entertaining and humorous while carrying a message without caving and going to extremes..No names for all but three of the major roles (Gregory Smith, Caitlin Wachs and Julie Bowen) adds to the feel.. A few moments of stupidity and one particular character hurt the movie.. but there are a few great standout scenes and characters that make up for it.. It's not perfect, but it wasn't meant to be.. otherwise you'd end up with that carbon copy teen movie..
    Nick G Super Reviewer

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