Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Reviewed by Clayton Barnett

The Premise
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.

The Review
Having heard zip about Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life I pleasantly surprised by this imaginative Ferris Bueller-like teen tale of rebellion.

Sorry parents, but your kid’s will lap up this anti-authoritarian story of a misfit kid who rallies against his school’s strict rules. Luckily there’s no vandalism here as his backlash is actually pretty artistic and creative – like making murals out of post it notes and turning the trophy cabinet an aquarium. If they love any of the anarchic Nickelodeon shows or movies they’ll love this.

Watching him break the rules with these elaborate pranks is a great fun but what really stands out is our hero’s 2-D doodles coming to life and interacting with characters on screen. While the story can be a little cheesy at times – there is a cornball romance – it does have a kicker of a reveal that might get you a bit emotional.

TV teen star Griffin Gluck (Private Practice) steps up to the big screen and does good work coming off as a modern day Ferris Bueller. Adults will enjoy the older actors enrolled in Middle School, with Gilmore Girls Lauren Graham, Modern Family’s own Principal Brown Andrew Daly as Principal Dwight, Napoleon Dynamite’s Pedro himself Efren Ramirez and best of all Rob Riggle (21 Jump Street) who always plays these type of comical bullies to a T. And don’t be worried that this is directed by the guy who made Paul Blart: Mall Cop, as he’s done a solid job adapting the award-winning kid’s book by author James Patterson (yup, the guy who does all the violent crime thrillers).

Warning to fans of the book the movie has tweaked quite a bit – but the spirit remains.

The Verdict
An imaginative, funny and poignant tale for the Nickelodeon age, kids will lap up the misfit nature of Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life and might even give them a creative idea or two.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 12th January 2017
Rating: TBC
Duration: 92 minutes
Genre:  Family, Comedy
Starring: Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Alexa Nisenson
Director: Steve Carr (Paul Blart Mall Cop)

The Extras
Isabella Moner's second time playing a character in middle school, the first being 100 Things To Do Before High School, her Nickelodeon tv show The movie is based on the book by the same name.

Mostof the interior school shots were filmed in the old Westlake High School in Atlanta. Cam Newton went to school here. While most of the school was empty during filming, it still was a working data-center for Fulton County Schools.

Exterior shots of the school were filmed at the Atlanta International School.

This will be Andrew Daly's second time playing a principal. The first time was as the principal in Modern Family

James Patterson, the author of the Middle School book series, made a cameo as a manager of the restaurant where they are at for their mom's birthday.