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Nancy Drew

Published June 14, 2007 in Movie Reviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Warner Bros.
Nancy Drew Poster Nancy Drew
Okay, I am such a teenage girl. I loved Nancy Drew. It may not be the best kids movie ever but it did enough things right to keep me involved.

Movie Review: Nancy Drew


The classic teenage detective gets a modern twist when Nancy (Emma Roberts) spends the summer in Hollywood solving the mystery of a murdered movie star and her long lost heir. Bad guys chase her but she gets to the bottom of things.

Admittedly, everything is big and broad. They are talking down to kids but with the best intentions. The adults are total hams like Barbara Barbaras the realtor and the bumbling buffoon of a dad (Tate Donovan). The bad guys are all cute and lovable, played by Chris Kattan and the like. Nancy evades them with adorable tricks like posing as a church statue and descending from the roof Batman style.

But this style also applies to Nancy's overachieving. In her new school, she dominates the shop class, theater auditions and track team. She's ultra friendly to everybody. This is behavior young kids should learn. It validates individuality, brains and ambition.

There are awesome cameos from major Hollywood stars to quirky character actors. It just warms my heart to see all of them support this empowering girls' adventure.



The action is cute to put little kids in standard action situations. A van chase, a slow motion explosion and other staples are totally common, but just putting Emma Roberts in them is adorable. Nancy Drew is like a modern Goonie with stunts and smarts, or a teenage Spy Kid if you prefer.

The mystery fooled me. I thought it was obvious who the guy was but it turned out to be someone else. The film's jazzy score keeps it feeling like an old school detective movie despite the modern Hollywood update.

You should have a talk with your kids about the appropriate use of CPR. Or send them to a real class so they know the difference between an emergency tracheotomy and the Heimlich maneuver. Walking around Chinatown alone at night (or any time of day) isn't good either but that's the fantasy part.

Nancy Drew is the best chick flick since The Notebook. I still abhor the term chick flick but if you're gonna use it, at least let me support something that might counterbalance the sexism of the phrase with some good values for real girls.


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Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Warner Bros.
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