More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Awesome: 24%
Worth A Look: 6%
Pretty Bad: 10%
Total Crap: 28%

4 reviews, 26 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Pollinators, The by Jay Seaver

Cold Case Hammarskjold by Jay Seaver

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache by Lybarger

One Child Nation (aka Born in China) by Jay Seaver

Kingdom (2019) by Jay Seaver

Chained for Life by Rob Gonsalves

Ready or Not by Peter Sobczynski

Nightingale, The by Jay Seaver

Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy by Jay Seaver

Death of Dick Long, The by Jay Seaver

subscribe to this feed

John Tucker Must Die
[] Buy posters from this movie
by EricDSnider

"Unoriginal, derivative ... and occasionally funny."
3 stars

The anonymous scribes who toil away at the Internet Movie Database have done my job for me. The plot outline for "John Tucker Must Die" reads: "Three ex-girlfriends of a serial cheater set up their former lover to fall for the new girl in town so they can watch him get his heart broken." Why spend paragraphs telling you what the movie's about when that one sentence tells you everything?

Sure, the movie, which by the way is a snarky and modestly enjoyable teen flick, WANTS to be about more than that. The new girl, the blandly pretty Kate (Brittany Snow), is new because her hot mom (Jenny McCarthy) keeps dating losers and moving to a new town every time a relationship goes belly-up. Kate herself allegedly undergoes a transformation in personality while hanging out with the three spurned lovers. So, you know, there are issues to be dealt with.

But the real point is to borrow from "Mean Girls" and "Bring It On" and even "The Longest Yard" (remember the gag where they secretly give a guy estrogen and he starts acting girly?), all in the service of this very basic high school plot. This one's as old as drama itself.

The cad in question is, of course, John Tucker (Jesse Metcalfe), who must not die -- curse you, black-comedy title! -- but must rather suffer embarrassment and shame for his crimes. His specific misdeed is dating three girls at once, all from different cliques so they're guaranteed not to talk to each other and discover what's going on. Heather (Ashanti) is head cheerleader, Carrie (Arielle Kebbel) is a gung-ho school journalist, and Beth (Sophia Bush) is a militant vegan; John has thought this out carefully.

The girls do finally have a conversation, the truth comes out, and Kate is befriended and put up to the task of wooing John and breaking his heart. The film hints at her having ethical qualms about this, but the fact is I couldn't tell the "new" Kate from the "old" one, despite her mom's insistence that associating with these three vipers has changed her. A couple more minutes spent establishing a personality for Kate in Act One would have helped provide contrast for her disposition in Act Three.

TV scribe Jeff Lowell's screenplay takes a stab at another conflict, too: Kate is actually in love with John Tucker's brother, Scott (Penn Badgley), who is less awesome and less idolized. This makes it awkward when she suddenly starts dating John, but it's forced awkwardness. Why does the movie need the Scott character? Isn't it conflict enough that her affection for John is a charade?

On the other hand, the film delivers a few smartly funny lines amid the teenage trash-talking. In reference to Beth, Kate says, "Being a vegan teen activist is usually code for 'easy.'" And in describing John, Carrie says, "He's a statue wrapped in a painting in a frame made of muscles." Anything approaching that level of savvy is going the extra mile in a teen comedy.

So it's not very original, and the ending is convoluted (it involves Carrie having some very impressive access to video footage of all of Kate and John's moments together), and much of what happens is unlikely, to say the least. But it's not grating the way many of its genre are, and the pandering it does to its teenage female audience seems good-natured, not cynical. ("Look at these cute boys!" the movie seems to say. "We like cute boys, too!") It's good for a few laughs. And it has a great title.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 07/28/06 18:14:31
[printer] printer-friendly format  

User Comments

8/24/10 Jordan The end made me mad. A cake fight and all is forgiven, sure... 2 stars
1/09/09 Anonymous. john tucker deserved it. 3 stars
5/16/08 Karrie Millheim cute movie. guy cheats and the girls get revenge 4 stars
3/03/07 David Pollastrini All the women in this film are hot! 3 stars
2/19/07 sun shine This movie sucks 5 stars
1/26/07 Sugarfoot John Tucker must die, but so do the producers as well. 1 stars
12/31/06 tanya hernadez i loved it, the producers sure made fortunes on this one!! 5 stars
12/15/06 Samantha This is a moive you can watch over and over..YEAH its just that great 5 stars
11/19/06 Daniel Brown This movie sucks.Why couldn't he just dump her before she dumped him 1 stars
11/15/06 ava hilarious the best 5 stars
11/13/06 cody I saw at friend house, it had lot funny moments, but nothing new man. 3 stars
11/01/06 sofie best film eva - beta than mean girls 5 stars
10/31/06 ES blah-blah-blah no redeeming qualities, one fun moment 2 stars
10/04/06 Baldeadly This was like 'Mean Girls' gone wrong. It was funny and I would defo watch it again 4 stars
9/29/06 Ryann I thought it was a good deminstration of how high school can be.. the plot wasn't exciting 4 stars
9/15/06 Courtney This was the best movie i have seen in a while 5 stars
9/14/06 Lucy Lymonhurst Preposterous,but not enough so for a film whose voice of wisdom is played by Jenny McCarthy 2 stars
9/01/06 Mr Bayg More like, "butt sucka must cry!" ...except for the poontang picture. 2 stars
8/18/06 Tiffany havent seen it yet, but really want to. 5 stars
8/14/06 Corey. Hilarious. Easy on the eyes. :P I love Jesse Metcalfe. 5 stars
8/06/06 Mase Desperatley wants to be Mean girls, closer to the dredful "she's the man". watchable i gues 3 stars
8/06/06 Tonya I loved very funny 5 stars
8/05/06 Jessica really good for teenagers 5 stars
8/05/06 lola well i think it was a great movie since jesse is a flippen sexy!! 5 stars
8/03/06 Eddie robertson Havnt seen it yet but it looks awsome 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  28-Jul-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Nov-2006



Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast