Snack Shack parents guide

Snack Shack Parent Guide

Too raunchy for teens and too stupid for adults, this is a film without an audience.

Overall D

Theaters: Determined to make money, 14-year-old friends make a bid to run the snack shack at the local pool. Soon they are squabbling over the work load and the attentions of the new lifeguard.

Release date March 15, 2024

Violence B-
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D-

Why is Snack Shack rated R? The MPAA rated Snack Shack R for pervasive language, alcohol and drug use, some sexual material and smoking - all involving teens

Run Time: 112 minutes

Parent Movie Review

It’s another wide-open American summer in Nebraska City, 1991, and 14-year-old best friends A.J. (Conor Sherry) and Moose (Gabriel LaBelle) have big plans. They’ve been homebrewing beer in Moose’s basement, and they figure they can make enough money selling it to other underage drinkers to have a completely insane summer break. When Moose’s dad rumbles the operation, though, the boys are on thin ice and under strict instructions to get a real job.

Thinking outside the box, the boys clear out A.J.’s savings account and put in a bid with the city to run the Snack Shack at the local pool. They get off to a profitable start before their friendship gets a little rocky. New lifeguard, Brooke (Mika Abdalla), has turned both their empty little heads, and with tensions already high over the distribution of labor in the Shack, Moose and A.J. need to sort out their friendship, their priorities, and their plans for the summer.

Not to pick on the little things, but this movie doesn’t work. Neither of the lead actors or indeed, their characters, look or act fourteen years old (which would matter less if other characters didn’t constantly mention their age). Were the boys sixteen, the story might be believable; at fourteen, no suspension of disbelief is big enough for viewers to swallow what the script offers.

An even bigger issue is that our heroes are supremely irritating. The characters are long on flaws and short on endearing traits, and over the film’s slow runtime, I started resenting them. I must point out that this problem isn’t entirely implausible – I mean, when was the last time you spent two straight hours with a fourteen-year-old without getting annoyed? I’m being facetious, but the movie is almost as stupid as you remember your own adolescence to be. If you enjoyed being a teenager more than I did, maybe this film will just feel like golden-hued nostalgia.

Leaving the teenagers alone for a minute, Snack Shack doesn’t score a home run for adult audiences. It’s tragically familiar, deviating not one inch from the formula you’d expect, which might be tolerable if the film managed to be funny at regular intervals, but I don’t think I cracked a smile between trailers and final credits. That’s a rough sell for a movie that already asks you to put up with nearly constant teen substance use and endless amounts of profanity (including over two hundred sexual expletives). The only thing that might make you think is wondering how the screenwriters managed to fit all the profanity in between the non-stop hormone-fuelled lust-a-thon going on over the new lifeguard.

Too raunchy for teenagers, too stupid for adults, and just generally directionless – I can’t find a reason to recommend this film to anyone. Frankly, I barely found a reason to stay awake beyond watching the profanity count bloom into the triple digits. Oh, and because I get paid to stick around in mediocre and monotonous films. Unless you’ve also found a sponsor, I recommend just taking a miss on the empty calories that fill Snack Shack.

Directed by Adam Carter Rehmeier. Starring Conor Sherry, Gabriel LaBelle, Mika Abdalla. Running time: 112 minutes. Theatrical release March 15, 2024. Updated

Snack Shack
Rating & Content Info

Why is Snack Shack rated R? Snack Shack is rated R by the MPAA for pervasive language, alcohol and drug use, some sexual material and smoking - all involving teens

Violence: Teenagers are seen beating one another up, in one incident leaving characters visibly bloody. A traffic fatality is mentioned.
Sexual Content: Teens frequently have graphic discussions about sexual situations. Teens are seen kissing and groping one another.
Profanity: There are at least 201 sexual expletives, 73 scatological profanities, and frequent uses of mild curses and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult and teen characters are seen drinking socially. Teens brew their own alcohol. Teens are also seen smoking cigarettes and marijuana frequently.

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Home Video

Related home video titles:

Less raunchy, more relatable teen coming-of-age films include Eighth Grade, Napoleon Dynamite, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Half of It, Boyhood, Stand by Me, Bend It Like Beckham, Mean Girls, and Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret.