Story

Nancy (Emma Roberts) is famous in her small-town community for her ability to solve crime. But when Nancy’s father (Tate Donovan) has to move to the bigger, more dangerous city of Los Angeles, Nancy promises him that she will postpone her detective career for a while. Despite her best efforts, Nancy is unable to resist temptation. She discovers that the house she is living in is linked to a 25-year-old unsolved murder mystery of a famous movie star.

Nancy finds sleuthing and living in the big city is tough. Her old-fashioned ways and ‘do gooder’ intentions attract ridicule among the local police and her peers.

As in any true mystery, Nancy is aided by loyal supporters. Twelve-year-old Corky (Josh Flitter) adores Nancy’s unique ‘non-LA’ ways, and Ned Nickerson (Max Thierot) is ever hopeful that Nancy will put aside her sleuthing ways to notice him. Together they follow a range of clues and face many dangers as they attempt to crack the unsolved crime.

Themes

Murder; death of a parent

Violence

  • The movie focuses on the murder of Dehlia Draycott. Although the details of her murder are not explicit, the investigation and moments of suspense indicate the ways in which the murder was carried out.
  • Nancy is kidnapped and attempts are made on her life in several ways. Nancy is chased by Dehlia’s murderer and his accomplices. Also, she is nearly shot, blown up by a bomb, hit by a car and strangled.
  • Nancy herself uses violence to escape from dangerous situations.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes noted above, children in this age group could be disturbed by the following scenes:

  • Nancy is involved in a hostage situation where she and a security guard are tied up by two criminals.
  • There are two scenes where Nancy receives death threats over the phone
  • While in a car, Nancy and her father are threatened by the murderer. Nancy escapes by jumping from the moving car, leaving her father in the car.
  • Nancy is chased through a secret hallway by the murderer. This is a scary scene with strong moments of suspense.

From 8-13

Children in this age group could also be disturbed by the above scenes.

Over 13

Depending on their sensitivity, some children in this age group could also be disturbed by some of the above scenes.

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some mild sexual activity in this movie, including a kiss between Nancy and her boyfriend Ned.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Pepsi, Coke, Apple computers, Mercedes, Land Rover and Vogue Magazine.

Coarse language 

This movie contains some mild coarse language.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Nancy Drew is a movie remake of the mystery book series of the 1930s. It attempts to incorporate the charm of the old with the chic of the new. Unfortunately Nancy’s character is portrayed as annoyingly perfect and out of touch with the modern world, rather than as the feminist and independent character who has been admired over the years. This movie will probably appeal most to young teenage girls. 

The main message in this movie is that you should be yourself and make your own decisions despite the pressure of others around you. It has the following values that you could discuss with your child:

  • female resourcefulness, independence and strength
  • doing what is right
  • mother and daughter connection
  • honesty.

You could also talk about the consequences of peer pressure and of involving yourself in dangerous situations.