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Movie Review

John Tucker is captain of the basketball team and thought of as "somewhere between an Abercrombie model and a Greek god," by every girl at Forest Hills High. In fact, he's so well thought of (especially by himself) that he manipulates and beds multiple girls (Heather, the vivacious cheerleader; Carrie, the brainy school reporter; and Beth, the "easy" vegan) all at the same time.

Kate, the narrator of the story, is seemingly the only one to notice what's going on. But she's the new, invisible girl at school and says nothing. When John's three girlfriends inevitably find out about one another, a train wreck ensues and Kate is the accidental caboose that gets the girls thinking about revenge. They recruit her to help them ruin John's reputation, but when that fails they decide to re-create Kate in their combined image, and hatch a scheme to break John Tucker's heart.

Positive Elements

Kate is essentially a good, caring person at heart (we know this because she does things like showing up early for detention). But she gets sucked into a hurtful scheme that offers her popularity and a boyfriend—things she finds hard to resist. She wrestles with doing what she knows is wrong and eventually makes the upright choice. (The damage is already mostly done by then, of course.)

Kate's mom, when trying to give Kate advice, admits that her own poor choices have caused a loss of credibility with her daughter. The two talk openly and Mom says, "A month ago, you wouldn't like you right now." Kate replies, "A month ago nobody liked me." "I did," counters Mom. "Be careful you don't lose who you are." Mom decides to take her own advice and rethink her lifestyle. Kate follows her lead.

Scott Tucker, John's cute but not-so-cool brother is depicted as the only sincere person Kate meets. He shows genuine concern for her, and in the end, their friendship blossoms.

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

John Tucker is tricked by the girls and shows up in a female coach's hotel room one night wearing nothing but ladies' thong underwear. The coach drags him, virtually naked (but for a small triangle of red silk), into the hallway. What looks like the entire school population appears out of nowhere, snapping pictures and guffawing at the boy, while the camera slowly examines his form from various angles. Pictures of him show up at school the next day and one girl calls out, "Your butt is my screensaver!" To spin the gaffe into gain, he wears the underwear to practice and says it helps his game ("They're breezy, don't bind, and they give you just enough swing"). The whole team then starts wearing thongs under their uniforms.

And that's just one of the many sexual scenarios John Tucker trots out. Also in their effort to ruin John, the girls create a public campaign with pictures of him shirtless bearing the heading, "The Face of Genital Herpes." Kate is shown in bra and panties in several scenes and the girls attach a "boob cam" to her bra. The three ex-girlfriends (along with most of their peers) tend to wear form-fitting, breast and midriff baring/accentuating outfits.

Beth is known to be very "experienced" and she delivers many of the movie's off-color lines. It's worth noting that she carelessly refers to herself as a "slut" ("I was so upset I couldn't even enjoy the breakup sex. Oh my god. I'm such a slut!") and her friends fondly do likewise. She also tutors Kate with a sensual full-mouth kiss. (A gawking onlooker begs them to do it again.) Beth loses her skirt when it gets caught on John's Jeep, and her casual comment afterwards once again references the many, many times she's "lost it" with John.

Indeed, it's directly stated that dozens of girls have had sex with John. And he is shown kissing several, to prove the point. At one juncture he boasts, "I'll be scoring more than baskets," while pumping his hips in the guys' locker room. In a similar vein, a montage of quick clips show multiple men wearing the same robe in Kate's kitchen, implying that they've all stayed overnight with her mother. Most of Kate's friends refer to her mom as "hot!"

Tucker rounds things out with several lingering kisses, bottom slaps, bikini-clad "strippers" who pop out of John's birthday cake and sexed-up dance routines performed by the cheerleaders. Crude comments and innuendoes are made about breasts, penises, erections, sexual positions, oral sex and venereal disease.

Violent Content

The three girls dating John Tucker discover the truth during volleyball practice and begin fighting. Volleyball blows to the face, shoves and punches escalate into a brawl on the gym floor. And when John decides to break up with the girls, we see him slapped repeatedly in a fast montage. John gets into a shoving match with a basketball opponent. A food fight breaks out at John's birthday party and people attack each other with food and drink.

Crude or Profane Language

High schoolers spout a half-dozen s-words. Heather gets three-quarters of the way through "m-----f-----" before she's stopped by a friend. Later, "effing" stands in for the f-word. "D--n," "h---," "a--," misuses of God's name and "jeez" are also thrown in.

Drug and Alcohol Content

The girls discover that Heather has been taking her mother's estrogen powder in an effort to improve her bust size. They warn her that it will effect her natural production of hormones saying, "When you run out, you're gonna grow a mustache and a penis." Then the light bulb goes on, and the girls decide to slip the estrogen into John's "Bulk Up" protein powder. The ridiculous results have John throwing a tantrum on the court and complaining, "I'm anxious and bloated and my nipples hurt."

Though not directly stated, it appears that beer is the beverage of choice at John's party. And in the beginning of the film, Kate appears so straight laced that a girl asks her, "Are you a nark?"

Other Negative Elements


John Tucker Must Die, which at times feels a lot like Mean Girls 2, actually starts out with a cute, high school journal feel as Kate tells us of transferring from school to school and feeling like she was invisible in the midst of a crowd. But it quickly degenerates into a world of self-absorbed, sexually expert teens who lie to everyone including the completely clueless adults who play no role in their lives whatsoever.

In the world of movies, it's not uncommon to show people making mistakes as an illustration and encouragement toward good choices. And I appreciate that Tucker attempts to use a picture of deception and its penalties to promote honesty and open communication. But isn't it a bit erratic to preach one type of morality while indulgently wallowing in another? Virtually every female in this flick readily admits to having multiple sexual encounters with ... whomever. And nobody really cares. It's simple not a problem.

At John's birthday bash, after he and Kate admit that it was wrong to lie, the camera singles out a guy in the crowd who calls out, "There ain't nothin' wrong with hookin' up with the finest girls in the school!" Everyone cheers, a food fight erupts and we restart the fiesta. The final message then, is that casual sex is OK, even expected ... just don't lie about it. Last scene in the movie? A "chastened" John Tucker with his arms around two new girls, letting them know right up front that he's dating both of them. They smile. And giggle.

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Jesse Metcalfe as John Tucker; Brittany Snow as Kate; Ashanti as Heather; Sophia Bush as Beth; Arielle Kebbel as Carrie; Jenny McCarthy as Kate's Mom


Betty Thomas ( )


20th Century Fox



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On Video

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Bob Hoose

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

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