Released 1999


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Movie Summary

Darren Stein

Jawbreaker is a 1999 film starring Rose McGowan as Courtney, the leader of the popular girls of Reagan High School. Her followers include Julie (Rebecca Gayheart), Marcie (Julie Benz), and Liz (Charlotte Roldan). On Liz' birthday, the other girls decide to kidnap her for her birthday, scaring her and taping a Jawbreaker into her mouth to keep her silent. The prank goes horribly awry and when they open the trunk to reveal that it was just a trick, they find Liz dead. Unable to taint their high school reign with a reputation as murderers, they decide to conceal the accident as being committed by a stranger. However, they are discovered by unpopular student Fern Mayo (Judy Greer) and in exchange for her silence, they offer her what every girl in school dreams of- membership into their exclusive clique. Popularity goes to Fern's head as she enjoys her new life as â€œVylette,â€? and she begins to butt heads with Courtney, using her knowledge of the truth as leverage while Courtney similarly threatens to reveal her true identity. While Marcie, the ultimate follower, simply goes along with Courtney's lead, Julie struggles with her conscience and her hand in her friend's death. Courtney secures her plan by framing a random guy from a bar (Marilyn Manson) as Liz' rapist and murderer, but the girls are still under heavy scrutiny from the detective investigating the case (Pam Grier). While Vylette struggles to maintain her image and Julie to cope with her guilt, the girls must decide the price of popularity- and murder- and if it's worth the battle to take down Courtney, the most evil girl in high school. The song 'yoohoo' by Imperial Teen, gained considerable popularity and made Jawbreaker's soundtrack successful in its own right.



Metacritic Score

  • 38

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    A slick production of a lame script, which kills time for most of its middle half-hour. If anyone in the plot had the slightest intelligence, the story would implode.

  • 30

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    The film's bright look and visual energy are much more liberating than the machinations of its teen queens.

  • 30

    Variety Emanuel Levy

    The strongest dimensions of this self-conscious but centerless film are four sexy actresses parading in colorful costumes and Amy Vincent's radiant lensing, which makes the picture...

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Teen, Dark Comedy