Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. It's shockingly funny - you don't sit there deciding to laugh. Your own laughter catches you by surprise. [14 Apr 1989]
  2. 100
    This is an amazing black satire filled with vicious biting words that snap like firecrackers.
  3. 100
    Wickedly funny. In fact, Heathers may be the nastiest, cruelest fun you can have without actually having to study law or gird leather products. If movies were food, Heathers would be a cynic's chocolate binge.
  4. 100
    More than just one of the best movies so far this year, it is a revolution in young-adult entertainment.
  5. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Lehmann isn't in perfect control - the movie gets off to a flat-footed start, and the conclusion is chaotic - but when Heathers hits its stride, it reaches wild and original comic heights. [2 April 1989]
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Daniel Waters' enormously clever screenplay blazes a trail of originality through the dead wood of the teen-comedy genre.
  7. Director Michael Lehmann made a stunning debut with this sharp satire of teen cliques.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    It's a tough entry into the tough black-comic genre; don't be surprised if it becomes a classic. [31 March 1989]
  9. Reviewed by: Emma Cochrane
    Michael Lehmann’s feature debut introduced the world to Christian Slater at his Jack Nicholson, subversive best and gave Winona Ryder a career-high role.
  10. Heathers gave me the creeps but it also made me laugh. This bizarre variation on that Hollywood staple, the teen movie, is one weird original. [30 Mar 1989 p.A12(E)]
  11. 75
    The sheer outrageousness of its attitude is enough to make Heathers a very welcome relief in a field dominated by sanctimonious and second-hand virtue. [31 March 1989]
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Dark, cynical, but deliciously funny, Heathers is a fascinating look not just at high school but at the way we look at high school.
  13. As snappy and assured as it is mean-spirited. Its originality extends well beyond the limits of ordinary high school histrionics and into the realm of the genuinely perverse.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    If Michael Lehmann's direction were a bit more astute, the movie could be the classic genre mutation it aims to be: Andy Hardy meets "Badlands." [17 April 1989]
  15. 63
    What sets Heathers apart from less intelligent teenage movies is that it has a point of view toward this subject matter - a bleak, macabre and bitingly satirical one.
  16. The flamboyantly filmed story makes some telling points about adolescent life. But despite its oh-so-cynical mannerisms, it falls all over itself to flatter an allegedly self-absorbed and self-pitying teen audience. [7 April 1989]
  17. 50
    Yes, it's a collection of barbs and sick jokes, but it's not fun, and it lacks a punch line...The young, inexperience director, Michael Lehmann, doesn't find the right mood for the gags. [17 Apr 1989]
  18. Unfortunately, director Michael Lehmann's point of view is swivel-mounted: He doesn't have the courage of his cynicism. [31 Mar 1989]
  19. Succeeds at least in being offbeat, but its inanities and glib pretensions are so thick that it mainly comes across as tacky and contrived.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 10
  2. Negative: 2 out of 10
  1. May 10, 2014
    "Heathers'" social commentary and dark humor cannot quite redeem the film from the doldrums that its jarring tonal shifts and stilted characterization methods produce. Full Review »
  2. Jan 12, 2013
    Thsi movie was a whinny complaint about how everybody is mean, and then a dramatization of angry people doing stupid things. I do not want to see this over dramatic 80's dribble ever again. It was not smart it was people with a good head on their shoulders throwing it away because they are incompetent. Full Review »
  3. Jul 3, 2012
    The story makes some telling points about adolescent life. But despite its oh-so-cynical mannerisms, it falls all over itself to flatter an allegedly self-absorbed and self-pitying teen audience. Full Review »