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Still shot from the movie: Mean Girls.

Mean Girls

Navigating the minefield of high school can be a tricky business at the best of times. But for Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), being a new kid at North Shore High makes it all the harder. But when she finds the natives to be a hostile group of Mean Girls, she plots her own retaliatory bullying tactics. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C-
Violence: C
Sexual Content: C-
Language: D+
Drugs/Alcohol: C-
Run Time: 97
Theater Release: 29 Apr 2004
Video Release: 20 Sep 2004
MPAA Rating: PG-13
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Navigating the minefield of high school can be a tricky business at the best of times. But for Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan), being a new kid at North Shore High makes it all the harder.

Growing up in the African backcountry where her parents worked as zoologists, Cady was taught at home. Now the 16-year-old is heading into the public school system. Unaware of the harsh social order that dictates everything from lunchroom seating arrangements to the latest fashion trends, the newcomer finds herself fumbling to fit in until she is befriended by two artsy outcasts, Janis and Damian.

Dressed in Gothic black, Janis (Lizzy Caplin) is keenly aware of what one bad rumor can do to topple a reputation. Spurned by the fashionable clique known as the ?plastics?, she and her gay friend Damian (Daniel Franzese), realize the pretty and intelligent Cady is the weaponry they need to wreak revenge on the school's Queen Bee and her trendy group.

After Regina (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen (Lacey Chabert) and Karen (Amanda Seyfried)--the school's most popular trio--invite her to sit at their designated lunch table, Cady agrees to play along with Janis' plan to dethrone the beauties.

However, a conflict begins when Cady falls for Regina's ex-boyfriend, Aaron (Jonathan Bennett). Breaking a cardinal rule of the ?plastics?, Cady is soon on the receiving end of Regina's wrath. But by now she's learned enough nasty tactics from the mean-spirited girls to launch her own cruel campaign.

Warmongers and tyrants could take lessons on stratagem and intrigue from these ingenious Juniors who fully understand the social politics of the high school landscape. Before long their feud of hurtful words has escalated to include every girl in the class.

But despite the attempt at realism, the film falls short when it comes to consequences. Rising from a virtual unknown to the pinnacle of popularity, Cady crashes into the depths of scandal when she is accused of pushing a girl in front of a bus. Although she has snubbed her real friends, lied to her peers and falsely accused a teacher of drug trafficking, her return to acceptance is surprisingly simple.

Money, good looks and power of popularity shouldn't prevent these Mean Girls from paying for their actions. However they do seem to contribute to a well-padded and short-lived fall from grace. Tackling the topic of teenage trauma is a worthy undertaking, but the finale of this film comes off a bit too glossy and lighthearted.

Mean Girls is rated PG-13: for sexual content, language and some teen partying

Cast: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tina Fey
Studio: 2004 Paramount Pictures

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About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

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