Eighth grade free movie

In all its boredom punctuated by sudden moments of unforgettable discomfort and horror, being a teenager could best be approached in a numb state. There is something anaesthetised, or at least tonally ambiguous in this gripping drama about a teenage girl in the US about to leave eighth grade, the last stage of middle school (the equivalent of the UK’s year nine, for 13- and 14-year-olds) and due to enter high school after the summer. Elsie Fisher is absolutely outstanding in the role of Kayla Day, like an undiscovered Fanning sister: her smart, observant performance gives the audience instant access to her vulnerabilities, hurt feelings and quiet determination.

Writer-director Bo Burnham has been known before this as a YouTuber and comic, but this is not exactly a funny movie, nor does it fit the more solemn conventions of the coming-of-ager. It appears to hover between two different high-school traditions. It has a bit in common with 90s comedies such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Clueless: cliques, loneliness, excruciating single-dad incursions into your private space. But in its weird, floating sense of detachment and alienation, as if witnessing the world while listening to music on earphones, there is a hint of dark movies such as Gus Van Sant’s Elephant (2003) or Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation (2018), in which we feel as if we are sleepwalking towards something truly horrible.

The striking thing about Kayla is that she herself is a YouTuber, but not the kind that makes the headlines. Kayla’s earnest (but perfectly sensible, and not contemptible) videos are about how to boost your confidence and self-esteem. Yet they are not a success. They have not gone viral, and she herself has not become the kind of non-MSM online celebrity that fills her elders with envious bafflement. Being publicly online is just normal. Kayla has a bit of a problem with her skin, but these spots miraculously vanish when you see her face on the computer screen. It could be that the pixellation involved has camouflaged them, or that she has a pre-taping makeup regime. (We see her watching makeup tutorials.) But Burnham does not deploy that discrepancy for ironic effect, and there are no moments of dramatic hesitancy or self-doubt in her own tutorials.

Disquieting … Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton. Photograph: Allstar/A24

Kayla lives alone with her dad Mark (Josh Hamilton) who seems almost too good to be true in his dorky well-meaning clumsiness, and Burnham interestingly defers the explanation as to his singleness. Mark has limited Kayla’s obsessive smartphone use at the dinner table to one evening a week, and he’s self-conscious about trying to make conversation when she is exercising that prerogative. But Mark misjudges his parental responsibilities when it comes to taking Kayla to hang out with her friends at the mall, and he has a weird habit of coming into her bedroom in just pyjama bottoms last thing, to say goodnight. It creates an all-but-inaudible background hum of disquiet. Is something not quite right?

There are various official and unofficial rituals that Kayla has to go through as she finishes Eighth Grade. Burnham effectively puts us on alert for a Carrie-style catastrophe, but the movie’s effect lies in then upending or withdrawing this state of impending crisis. Kayla has to endure, not a school shooting, but a school-shooting practice drill, which leads to a worryingly inappropriate and sexualised encounter with another boy. And it is all shot by cinematographer Andrew Wehde in a bright, clean, affectless way.

Always, Kayla is asked if she is “excited” about high school, and she knows that the polite, correct response is yes. But of course she can’t permit herself to be excited, and is smart enough to know that public displays of genuine excitement about that or anything else would be an incautious and presumptuous response. She is more anxious and uneasy.

One of the film’s most touching things is her discovery of a videoed message from her nine-year-old self to her current self, and then her shooting a new video message, intended to be viewed by her 18-year-old self. They are both full of upbeat, serious faith in the future, and very different from the imaginary letters to one’s own teenage self that middle-aged newspaper columnists are sometimes asked to compose and that invariably go on about getting a sense of humour – just the kind of condescension that any teenager would resent. Fisher’s portrayal of Kayla’s life has such charm and unassuming decency.

Eighth Grade

Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) runs a YouTube channel offering motivational advice about confidence and self-image, and to all intents and purposes, she has her life together. But off screen, she’s an anxious eighth grader, awkwardly ambling through the final days of her middle school years.
Finding it difficult to make friends, Kayla relies heavily on social media for gratification and struggles to communicate with her dad, who is constantly trying to break down her barriers.
Over the last few days of her middle school life, Kayla goes through various ups and downs as she tries to find her voice and make a lasting impression on her classmates. Slowly building up a confidence, Kayla makes friends with a group of 12th graders – but things turn sour, leaving Kayla feeling even worse than before…
In his feature film directorial debut, Bo Burnham explores contemporary issues through comedy and drama. Starring Elise Fisher (Despicable Me), Emily Robinson (Virgin Territory) and Josh Hamilton (13 Reasons Why), Eighth Grade has received critical acclaim and certainly one not to be missed.

Eighth Grade holding free screenings without enforcing R-rating

Eighth Grade


  • Movie


Eighth Grade, Bo Burnham’s insightful coming-of-age story, captures the experience of middle school in way that’s true-to-life and unfortunately relatable for anyone who’s struggled with fitting in. Although the film’s themes and dialogue feel honest for what 13-year-olds experience and talk about, Eighth Grade is rated R, which means individuals under 17 can’t see it without an adult — until now.

This Wednesday, A24 will be holding free, nationwide screenings in all 50 states, with no age restriction enforced.

The film follows Kayla (Elsie Fisher) as she navigates friendship, family and self-discovery during her final week of eighth grade. Unlike other recent coming-of-age stories like Lady Bird and Boyhood, which both take place in the early 2000s, Eighth Grade is fully modern and refreshingly non-nostalgic. Parents needn’t be worried with regards to any adult content. Although the f-word is used a handful of times, and sexual activity is alluded to, it’s nothing most preteens aren’t already talking about with their own friends.

Find your local screening here, and be aware that tickets are first come, first serve.

Image zoom A24

  • Movie
  • Comedy
  • R
release date
  • 07/13/18
  • Bo Burnham
  • Elsie Fisher,
  • Josh Hamilton,
  • Daniel Zolghadri
Complete Coverage
  • Eighth Grade

Includes a conversation with writer/director Bo Burnham and actor Elsie Fisher

Thirteen-year-old Kayla endures the tidal wave of contemporary suburban adolescence as she makes her way through the last week of middle school—the end of her thus far disastrous eighth grade year—before she begins high school.

2018, 95 minutes, color, DCP | Written/directed by Bo Burnham; with Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, and Jake Ryan

Ticketing/Parking Information

Film Independent Members can reserve screening tickets starting at 12:00 pm on Thursday, June 14. | Screening tickets are free; limit two per Membership. | Proof of Member status is required to reserve tickets during advance reservation period.

$6.00 covered parking is available in the structure adjacent to the Writers Guild Theater; north of the building and south of Wilshire Blvd., on the west side of Doheny Dr.

PLEASE NOTE: Tickets may be picked up on the day of the event, as early as 6:00 pm, at the Film Independent box office table located inside the Writers Guild Theater lobby. Tickets are for general, unreserved theater seating. Ticketed guests must be in their seat(s) 15 minutes prior to the advertised start time or seat(s) may be released. Reservations do not guarantee entry, even with a ticket in hand. Entry/seating will be handled on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are nontransferable and can only be picked up by the individual who reserved them.

Event details and guest participation are subject to change or cancellation without prior notice.

‘Eighth Grade’: Free Screenings Across Country Won’t Enforce R-Rating

The acclaimed middle school dramedy received an R-rating for several uses of explicit language and sexual content.

For one night only, those under the age of 17 won’t have to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to attend free screenings of the R-rated dramedy Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as an eighth grader navigating the final days of middle school.

A24, which made the acclaimed coming-of-age film, is hosting the screenings on Wednesday in 51 theaters — situated in every state of the U.S. — and is inviting moviegoers of all ages to attend. “No ratings enforced,” proclaimed a release announcing the event.

Eighth Grade, which opened in cinemas late last month, is rated R for language — i.e., several uses of the word “fuck” — and “some sexual material,” according to the official movie ratings website. The ratings system is administered by the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners.

Since A24 is renting the theaters for private screenings, there is leeway in terms of ratings enforcement, according to sources. A24 didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, nor did the MPAA and NATO.

When Eighth Grade received the rating, A24 and director Bo Burnham didn’t appeal the decision. In past years, disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was infamous for blasting the ratings board and using a film’s rating to spin headlines.

In Los Angeles, the participating theater working with A24 is the ArcLight Hollywood. In New York City, the free screening will be at the Alamo Drafthouse Downtown Brooklyn 7.

Through Sunday, Eighth Grade has grossed $6.6 million at the U.S. box office after first opening in select cinemas several weeks ago and then expanding nationwide this past weekend to mixed results.

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Where to Stream:

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Get ready to pull out your middle school time capsule, because Bo Burnham‘s indie sensation Eighth Grade is now streaming on Prime Video. Starring up and coming talent Elsie Fisher, Eight Grade follows Kayla Day, an awkward teenage girl in her final weeks of middle school. Burnham’s film was hailed by critics as “achingly honest,” “a revelation,” and a “generous portrait of adolescent awkwardness,” and even earned rave reviews from teen movie queen Molly Ringwald, who described it as “the best film about adolescence I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe ever.” This is The Breakfast Club‘s Claire Standish we’re talking about — that’s high praise.

Like many middle school girls, Kayla struggles with self-confidence, but she tries to hide her anxieties by producing motivational vlogs about her “life.” After posting each video, Kayla falls into a social media wormhole that only increases her anxiety: the more she looks at her classmates’ photos, videos, and posts, the lonelier she feels. Kayla’s single father (Josh Hamilton) tries desperately to connect with her, but his efforts just push Kayla further away. As high school approaches, both Kayla and her father are forced to face the things they’ve been avoiding and maybe grow up a little in the process.

Eighth Grade currently has a 99% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and for good reason: it paints a heartfelt, nuanced portrait of adolescence unlike any show or movie out there. The film, from lauded production company A24, has been nominated for dozens of awards since its July 2018 premiere, including Best Actress in a Comedy at the Golden Globes, Best Directorial Debut at the National Board of Review Awards, and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Most recently, Eighth Grade was nominated for three Critics’ Choice Awards, and Fisher took home an awards for Best Young Actor/Actress.

Under A24’s existing deal with Amazon, Eighth Grade will be available to stream exclusively on Prime Video for the foreseeable future (if you don’t have a Prime account you can also rent/purchase it on VOD or via Amazon, iTunes, Vudu or Google Play). But that being said, you should probably still stream Eighth Grade ASAP, or at the very least, before the Oscar nominations are announced on January 22.

Watch Eighth Grade on Amazon Prime Video