Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life is a 2016 American family comedy film that was directed by Steve Carr and was written by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer and Kara Holden. This film is based off of the 2011 novel that was written by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts that operates under the same name. The film features Griffin Gluck, Lauren Graham, Rob Riggle, Retta, Thomas Barbusca, Andy Daly and Adam Pally and follows a middle school student who is set out to break every one of the many rules that are made and enforced by his strict principal.
This movie tells us the story of Rafe Khatchadorian (played by Griffin Gluck) and his passion for art and not too much else. He transfers during the middle of the school year to Hills Village Middle School after being kicked out of his previous school. On his first day, he meets the principal, Ken Dwight (played by Andy Daly). Principal Dwight runs the school with an iron will and forces his students to comply with an extensive set of senseless rules.
Principal photography for this film started on November 21, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Lionsgate ended up releasing this movie on October 7, 2016 and it ended up receiving mixed reviews from film critics and has grossed over $20 million. According to the review aggregator on Rotton Tomatoes, this film has an approval rating of 55% based on the 29 reviews that were submitted and has an average rating of 5.3/10. Metacritic has reported an average rating of 51% based on 13 critics indicating “mixed or average reviews”. And audiences that were polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of an “A-” on an A+ to F scale.
The Film Itself (4/5):
Surprisingly enough, I really enjoyed Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life. It took a little bit of adjustment from the beginning as it feels very much like one of those made-for-tv movies that airs on Nickelodeon, especially with the overall camera work and the very much pun-intended humor off and on throughout. Some of the quips that were said from all of the primary cast members were quite funny; some including your typical high school’esque sexual innuendo. It may have been me, but I found them funnier than I really should have.
Picture Quality (5/5):
I couldn’t expect anything more than a crystal clear image with the 1080p resolution that Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life comes in. Being able to completely see and understand everything as the film progressed while not wearing my glasses was very much appreciated. Giving audiences a surprisingly vivid color palette, I was able to see every minor detail, including the shine on some of the cars that are included in the various scenes.
Audio Quality (5/5):
While watching through Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life, I was pleasantly surprised at the films use of the multiple channels. Being able to hear all of the supplemental sound effects from the various angles allowed for an extremely immersive experience for the wife and I. Everything about this films audio was beautiful, crisp and clear; without having to manually adjust the volume levels whatsoever throughout this film, you can tell that the production crew really worked hard with this release.
The Packaging (3.5/5):
Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life comes packaged in your standard Blu-ray amaray case. Included within the case is the standard Blu-ray disc of the film as well as the standard DVD copy of the film. Both discs feature artwork similar to that of the disc case, however each disc features different art. There is also a digital copy redemption pamphlet included to allow consumers to add this film to their digital libraries as well as a slip cover made available with this films initial pressing.
Special Features (4/5):
I was surprised to see what additional features were included with this release of Middle School: The Worst Year Of My Life. Featuring various behind-the-scenes aspects of the film, it was quite the enjoyable experience to go through these. Included with the Blu-ray release is:
- The Middle School Life
- Middle School = The Worst / Making Movies = The Best
- The Wedgie Wheel
- Yolo: Behind Operation Rafe
- Gag Reel
- Deleted Scenes
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
English: DTS Digital Surround 2.0
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1
English, English SDH, Spanish
Original Film: 92 minutes
Overall, I really enjoyed Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life. While it felt as if it started out much like those movies you see on Nickelodeon, but once we got into the story that it’s trying to tell, my wife and I became enamored with the film and couldn’t look away regardless of any of the distractions that were surrounding us. The story of this film was one that you definitely want to pay attention to as you watch it because there are a few twists that I didn’t see coming. The overall visual and audible quality of this movie was excellent, allowing audiences to experience no issues while watching this film. The Blu-ray release is packed with as much additional content as one could expect with a films release. I would definitely recommend this film if you’re looking for some good, clean fun. Middle School: The Worst Years Of My Life hits stores shelves here on January 3, so if you’re interested in checking this film out, order it now!
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.