Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
Watch On
  1. 100
    More than just one of the best movies so far this year, it is a revolution in young-adult entertainment.
  2. It's shockingly funny - you don't sit there deciding to laugh. Your own laughter catches you by surprise. [14 Apr 1989]
  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
    This is an amazing black satire filled with vicious biting words that snap like firecrackers.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    90
    Daniel Waters' enormously clever screenplay blazes a trail of originality through the dead wood of the teen-comedy genre.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    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]
  7. Director Michael Lehmann made a stunning debut with this sharp satire of teen cliques.
  8. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    88
    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
    80
    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: Richard Corliss
    70
    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]
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    70
    Dark, cynical, but deliciously funny, Heathers is a fascinating look not just at high school but at the way we look at high school.
  14. 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.
  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. Succeeds at least in being offbeat, but its inanities and glib pretensions are so thick that it mainly comes across as tacky and contrived.
  19. Unfortunately, director Michael Lehmann's point of view is swivel-mounted: He doesn't have the courage of his cynicism. [31 Mar 1989]
User Score
4.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Jul 3, 2012
    0
    The story makes some telling points about adolescent life. But despite its oh-so-cynical mannerisms, it falls all over itself to flatter anThe 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 »
  2. j30
    Nov 11, 2011
    8
    Here's an 80's gem that's very entertaining and has some great quotes. It 's almost a guilty pleasure of mine that's hard to ignore. I can'tHere's an 80's gem that's very entertaining and has some great quotes. It 's almost a guilty pleasure of mine that's hard to ignore. I can't really recommend this to anyone that is easily offended. Full Review »
  3. Aug 1, 2014
    7
    At first Heathers appears to be yet another high school comedy featuring the usual clichés, albeit one that was actually released before theAt first Heathers appears to be yet another high school comedy featuring the usual clichés, albeit one that was actually released before the myriad of Mean Girls copycats. Pretty soon however events transpire to make it a much darker affair as the plot is taken in a rather unexpected direction.

    The biggest issue for me with Heathers is that it doesn’t quite seem sure whether it wants to be a dark comedy or something more serious, and these frequent tonal shifts can be quite jarring as you are never quite sure when you are supposed to be laughing. With a strong lead performance from a young Winona Ryder however the movie remains entertaining throughout featuring enough twists and turns to keep most people guessing as to what will happen next.

    It’s far from perfect but this is an 80’s movie worth watching.
    Full Review »