Struck by Lightning

2012 NR 1h 30m DVD

Struck by Lightning

2012 NR 1h 30m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Ambitious high school senior Carson Philips is bent on escaping his narrow-minded hometown for college. His last few weeks of school unwind in flashback -- until the fateful day when lightning strikes.
Chris Colfer, Allison Janney, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, Sarah Hyland, Rebel Wilson, Polly Bergen, Allie Grant, Carter Jenkins
Brian Dannelly
Widescreen 1.85:1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
NR - Not rated. This movie has not been rated by the MPAA.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Struck by Lightning is a high school dramedy that will appeal to many tweens and teens thanks to star Chris Colfer (Glee), who also wrote the screenplay (which he also adapted into a book) and produced. As the title suggests, the protagonist is literally struck by lightning and tells his story from beyond the grave. Other than that, there's not much violence, but there is some sexuality (two teen guys are secretly fooling around in the boys' bathroom, and a cheerleader is having an affair with the football coach), language ("s--t," "a--hole," etc.), and substance use (a mother is addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs). The themes could spur conversation about life in (and after) high school, not following the herd, and finding your voice in the crowd.

Sexual Content

Two high-school guys are caught fooling around in a bathroom stall (they're shown fixing their rumpled clothes), and the captain of the cheerleading team has sex with the coach of the football team (they're in an office and start kissing passionately on top of a desk). A guy mentions that he has never seen a particular sci-fi film because he "sleeps with girls" instead, and a woman and a young pregnant pharmacist discuss contraception and premarital pregnancy.


The movie begins and ends with the death of the main character, who is -- as the title makes clear -- struck by lightning. His dead body is briefly shown.


Occasional use of "s--t," "a--hole," and "bitch," plus insults used against a couple of overweight and unpopular kids. Carson himself also insults the popular kids and their intelligence and small-town mindsets.

Social Behavior

Aside from the key blackmail aspect of the story, there are actually several positive messages: asserting your independence in high school, being confident in your ambition, and doing what you need to do to succeed beyond high school.


Not applicable

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Carson's mother is drunk a lot and is shown drinking alcohol on a regular basis (usually wine); she's also a prescription-drug addict. Carson is on anti-depressants.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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