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Barely Lethal's combination of bawdy humor and earnest affection for its high-school-aged protagonists is surprisingly well-balanced.
The New York Times
This isn’t exactly “Fast Times at Ridgemont High”; it’s more like a film version of a TV series you could comfortably let your tweens watch.
Hardly groundbreaking but this high-school actioner ghosts by on its charm and sense of fun.
The film settles into a time-honored groove of so many forgettable juvenile comedies before it.
A fairly amusing rough draft for a high concept high school romantic comedy.
Barely Lethal has some laughs, and will probably serve nicely as a movie you can land on for a few minutes when it shows up on cable. But it slides into the rote generic-teen-comedy mode too soon to be anything more.
While Barely Lethal is conscious of the clichés of the genre, it’s also the type of film that won’t let that get in the way of regurgitating them.
Los Angeles Times
The premise, that high school is more perilous than a life of espionage, is witty and full of potential. But Newman makes that case by staging his car chases and fight scenes with as much sense of drama as eighth-period trig.
New York Post
Treading the same halls as “Kick-Ass” and “Kingsman,” Barely Lethal imagines an academy of teen assassins. Life there is deadly, but not as scary as high school.
New York Daily News
This mashup of a teenage assassin lark and high school misfit comedy misses the chance to add a supercool heroine to pop culture.
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