Common Sense Media Says: Not for kids

All-night-party movie has rampant teen sex, drinking, more.


What Parents need to know

Parents need to know that Project X -- a very raunchy comedy about three high school seniors who throw a huge party that spins wildly out of control -- is packed with constant strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and much more), topless teens, sexual situations, graphic sexual innuendo, and excessive teen drinking and drug use (Ecstasy and pot). Punches are thrown, and though there's no actual fighting, the party has an increasing air of danger and violence (a flamethrower appears in the final act). The movie is funny in a shocking way, but parents will be appalled at its message: that a shy teen "needs" a huge party to break out of his shell and become a social success, regardless of the fact that the cost is thousands of dollars in damage.

Consumerism:Not applicable


Drinking, drugs, & smoking:Teens drink alcohol of all types excessively throughout the movie. Ecstasy is passed out at the party, and most teens take some. The three main characters buy and smoke pot.


Language:Constant, no-holds-barred swearing, including hundreds of uses of "f--k" and "s--t" (in every permutation), as well as "d--k," "c--k," "p---y," "t-ts," "faggot," "goddamn," "bitch," "penis," "vagina," "balls," "ass," "ho," "a--hole," "damn," "hell," "oh my God," and the "N" word, as well as heavy sexual innuendo.


Positive messages:The movie's central theme seems to be that the shy main character "needed" a party to help him out of his shell -- and that the rampant destruction of property and thousands of dollars in repairs were worth it. (In the epilogue, the father, though upset, even seems proud of his son.)


Positive role models:Teens disregard their parents' wishes and cause thousands of dollars' worth of destruction for a party.


Sex:Many teen girls go topless in the swimming pool. One girl flirts heavily with the birthday boy, kissing and licking his neck. They begin to undress for sex (their tops are removed) and climb onto a bed, but they're interrupted. The main character kisses two women. Minor characters are seen sporadically making out or engaging in foreplay. Also heavy, graphic sexual innuendo.


Violence:Most of the violence consists of quick, drunken outbursts at the party. Some punches are thrown, and there's a shoving match, but very little actual fighting. A little person punches several partygoers in the groin. A Taser is used. A bully shows up in a couple of scenes, but nothing much happens with him. A flamethrower is used, and the user eventually catches on fire himself.



What's the story?

Thomas (Thomas Mann) is a quiet, shy high school senior living in Pasadena. His parents go out of town for the weekend, leaving him on his own for his birthday. His loudmouth pal, Costa (Oliver J. Cooper), who once lived in Queens, New York, arranges a party to help Thomas out of his shell and meet some girls. Their friend JB (Jonathan Daniel Brown), a bespectacled nerd whose exterior belies a suave party animal, helps. Thomas hopes for a small gathering and to keep revelers in the backyard and out of the house, but Costa theorizes that the bigger the party, the more it counts, and before long, thousands of people show up, and the night spins wildly out of control.

Is it any good?

The all-night-party subgenre has been around for ages, including everything from American Graffiti and Sixteen Candles to Superbad. Though the parties seem to get crazier over the years, these movies almost always focus on young characters learning a lesson or coming of age. Not so in PROJECT X. Here, character is set aside to make room for a much more insane, out-of-control party experience, in which -- no matter how much damage is incurred or how much it costs -- it was worth it. As the movie goes on and the party rages harder, the images become more and more primal, like half-glimpsed snippets of a nightmare experienced through a drunken fog. It truly is out of control -- and, frankly, shockingly funny at times. Project X takes the perspective that a great party is one in which we can turn off our brains and let our bodies go wild. But that doesn't change the fact that it's too intense for teens, and too disturbing for parents.