After his principal (Andy Daly) destroys his sketchbook, Rafe (Griffin Gluck) and his best friend Leo (Thomas Barbusca) decide to "destroy his book" and break every rule in the school's Code of Conduct.

Director:

Steve Carr

Writers:

Chris Bowman (screenplay by), Hubbel Palmer (screenplay by) | 3 more credits »
5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Griffin Gluck ... Rafe
Lauren Graham ... Jules
Alexa Nisenson ... Georgia
Andrew Daly ... Principal Dwight (as Andy Daly)
Thomas Barbusca ... Leo
Retta ... Ida Stricker
Adam Pally ... Mr. Teller
Luke Hardeman ... Shon (as Luke Christopher Hardeman)
Jessi Goei ... Bella
Jacob Hopkins ... Miller
Patrick Fagan Patrick Fagan ... Boy Candidate
Isabela Merced ... Jeanne (as Isabela Moner)
Isabella Amara ... Heidi
Madeleine Stack ... Girl at Assembly #2
Efren Ramirez ... Gus
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Storyline

Imaginative quiet teenager Rafe Katchadorian is tired of his middle school's obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild. Written by CBS Films

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Rules aren't for everyone


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for rude humor throughout, language and thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Griffin Gluck and Andrew Daly were both in the same episode of Silicon Valley See more »

Goofs

The principal throws Rafe's journal in the bucket of acid causing it to splash on the sides. In a following shot, the bucket is perfectly clean. See more »

Quotes

Principal Dwight: I... like... my... big... but... Do you... like... my... big... but...
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Connections

References Die Hard (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Tubthumping
Written by Judith Abbot (as Judith Abbott), Dunstan Bruce (as Duncan Bruce), Darren Hammer (as Darren Hamer), Danbert Nobacon, Alice Nutter, Louise Watts, Allen Whalley (as Allan Whalley) and Paul Greco
Performed by Chumbawamba
Courtesy of Republic Records/EMI Germany
under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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User Reviews

 
Twizard Rating: 89
23 November 2016 | by goolizapSee all my reviews

As I've said a thousand times before, the lack of live-action comedies for the younger members of our society saddens me. In the '90s, when I grew up, you couldn't get away from them. It was awesome. But nowadays, pre-teens' only options for movies are of the superhero variety. Or some other big budget franchise. Unless they merely want to watch animated films with characters that aren't human. And I'm not knocking computer animation. It's just that during a time when empathy is getting further and further away, it's nice for kids to see "tangible" characters that they can actually relate to.

And there have been some good live-action options for kids semi-lately. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, for example, was perfect. But many others dumb themselves down for children. And when this happens, you lose the parents as well.

Middle School isn't like that. It's full of quality humor and an engaging storyline that will find both kids and adults laughing out loud--the latter might even be surprised with how much they like it.

The film follows Rafe (Griffin Gluck), a middle schooler who's been inexplicably kicked out of his previous two schools. His active imagination, along with problems with authority, get him into trouble. Especially at his new school, where the principal (Andrew Daly) acts as a warden, creating asinine rules. The kids aren't allowed to talk in the hallways, wear colorful clothes, or even draw pictures.

Rafe isn't having any of this nonsense and wages a war with his principal in a Home Alone-type of way. It's highly entertaining seeing what he comes up with and how his life progresses with those around him, including his best friend, Leo (Thomas Barbusca), his sister Georgia (Alexa Nisenson), and his cool insouciant teacher, Mr. Teller (Adam Pally).

And with the quality talents of Rob Riggle, who plays Rafe's borderline-abusive future stepfather, and Daly, Middle School has humor for young and old.

Yeah, the script has some issues with a couple of jarring tonal shifts, but it also refreshingly surprises us when we least expect it.

I have a hard time knocking a film that does its job. It never talks down to kids--in fact, it gets kids all too well. There isn't some over-exaggeration of how much they use their phones. Even the banter feels lifelike. It speaks to adolescents who are at that "middle" stage between childhood and responsibility-hood. It's a fun time that most of us took for granted. But Middle School pleasantly brings us back so we can live it over again with Rafe--in a stunningly committed first-person narrative.

This film isn't just going through the motions, folks. There's a lot of genuine intent throughout. Plot points and jokes that are obviously very well meditated upon. While sitting and watching this movie, I legitimately thought to myself, "This isn't just a moneymaker for them--they actually want it to be good." Even if it were among the other classic live-action kid films of yesteryear, I would still go out of my way to watch it. I wish I had this movie when I was growing up. But at least I have it now.

Twizard Rating: 89


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Details

Country:

USA | Cambodia

Language:

English | Khmer

Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,878,437, 9 October 2016

Gross USA:

$20,007,149

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,316,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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