Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Movie Review

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is playing at Quality 16 this weekend (March 10-12) as part of their Free Morning Movies Series. With several schools closed due to power outages and many families who attend those schools without also power, this would be a great activity.

Yesterday I took my daughter and her friend to see the movie Middle School: The Worst Years of my Life. Next time, I’m going to plan our trip a little better. We saw a 4:15 show and it was no longer matinee pricing. I had debated the 1:45p or 4:15 show. Lesson learned, next time we will see a movie earlier in the day. 


CBS Studios provides this synopsis:

middle-school-the-worst-years-of-my-life-j3704_ms_keyart_188_f2_rgbMIDDLE SCHOOL: The Worst Years of My Life chronicles the trials and triumphs of Rafe Khatchadorian, as he uses his wits to battle bullies, hormones and the tyrannical, test-obsessed Principal Dwight.

Rafe has an epic imagination…and a slight problem with authority. Both collide when he transfers to an oppressive, rule-crazy middle school. Drowning in do’s and don’ts, Rafe and his scheming best friend Leo hatch a plan to break every rule in the school’s Code of Conduct. It’s Ferris Bueller meets Home Alone as their battle with Principal Dwight explodes into chaos both real and imagined. But Dwight displays his own fiendish creativity, striking back at the rulebreakers. Meanwhile, Rafe struggles to hide his misbehavior from Jeanne, the straight-A, overachieving girl of his dreams, and at home, his mother’s boyfriend — a moochy, jack-of-no-trades named Bear — threatens to become his stepfather.


Rafe’s revolution leaps from the page to the screen in this ambitious live-action/animated comedy based on the New York Times bestseller “Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life” by legendary novelist James Patterson. 

PRODUCED BY Leopoldo Gout and Bill Robinson of James Patterson Entertainment.
SCREENPLAY BY: Chris Bowman & Hubbel Palmer and Kara Holden.
BASED ON THE BOOK BY: James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts.

Movie vs Book

Both my daughter who has read the books and her friend who has not read the books enjoyed the movie.


According to my daughter the movie is only loosely based on the book. The characters are based on those in the book. However, the emphasis on the testing is unique to the movie. The Post-It Note scene is also unique to the movie.

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life - Post It Note Scene
Also, don’t forget to look for a cameo by author James Patterson. He’s the restaurant manager when Rafe’s family goes out for dinner.


Rafe starts at a strict new school after getting kicked out of his previous school. In the movie, the new school’s principal is obsessed with rules and test scores. When Rafe starts school, his rebellion against the rules also results in a war against the test. If you’re opposed to over-testing, you’ll also enjoy the message of the movie.

Parental Warnings

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life is rated PG. This makes it appropriate for most children. However, parents should be aware that the main character’s younger brother has died of cancer. 


Before going to the movie, check out the trailer below:


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Anna Mae

Anna Mae owns & operates Ann Arbor with Kids, a website dedicated to Family Activities in Ann Arbor. My husband and I moved to Ann Arbor in 2003 and our daughter joined the family in 2006.

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