Barely Lethal Review

Barely Lethal

is a teen action film directed by Kyle Newman and stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jessica Alba and Samuel L. Jackson.

The story follows teenager Agent 83 (Steinfeld) who, when orphaned as a young child, has spent her life training as a secret agent by a government controlled facility named "The Prescott Academy".

Whilst growing up, 83 has always excelled in every field above her fellow agents but dreams of a normal life after watching movies like Mean Girls and Beverly Hills, 90210. Whilst on a mission to capture the dangerous arms dealer, Victoria Knox (Alba), 83 decides that this is her best chance at a normal life and fakes her own demise so that her leader Hardman (Jackson) has to declare her MIA.

Managing to find a family through an exchange program, 83 who adopts the name Megan Walsh, must adapt to normal life and attempt to keep hidden from The Prescott Academy in order to become an everyday teenager.

From the offset, its clear that this film is aimed at a younger audience with its quirky modern-day references and stereotypes, which is exactly what you would expect, so in that regard it achieves it purpose. On the other hand, the film never tries anything new and essentially what we have is a mixture of all of the films and TV shows that our lead protagonist is watching during the opening credits.

Whilst the story is very lack-luster and predictable, I did rather enjoy Hailee Steinfeld's performance in a different role to what I believe she has attempted before, although she has shone more in previous roles in 2015's Pitch Perfect 2 and 2014's Begin Again.

At this point, it's no surprise that Samuel L. Jackson is playing what could be determined as a very Nick Fury-esque character, as he is probably best known for that role by a lot of the younger demographic, specifically the one that this film is aimed at.

Although Barely Lethal doesn't attempt anything new or exciting, it is a watchable 90-minute flick that accomplishes the job it sets out to do and will not negatively affect young Steinfeld's career in anyway.

Personally, I can see this to be an entertaining film to watch as a young family with nothing to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately nothing more than that.

Barely Lethal is available on DVD and Blu-Ray now (and will most likely appear on streaming services in the near future).


There are no extras on the DVD version of Barely Lethal


The DVD disc is presented in a 16:9 ratio and is distributed by A24Films.

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