An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong

 (998)
6.11 h 30 min2009NR
Meet the 2009 American Girl 'Girl of the Year' in this feature film that follows the young lady as she makes her way in a new school.
Directors
Martha Coolidge
Starring
Sammi HanrattyAnnabeth GishTimothy Bottoms
Genres
Drama
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English
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Supporting actors
Jennifer TillyMichael Learned
Producers
David HigginsMark AminAndrew ReimerEllen L. BrothersCami Winikoff
Studio
HBO
Content advisory
Violencefoul language
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

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Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

998 global ratings

  1. 85% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 9% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 3% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 3% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

--corinne--Reviewed in the United States on April 30, 2014
5.0 out of 5 stars
About dealing with bullies
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The 8 year old niece gives this five stars! She wanted to watch it again after it was over, so that was also a pretty good indication she liked it. She said this is her favorite American Girl movie & she's seen them all except the Saige one.
The movie has a good lesson for young girls, about dealing with bullies at school and being a new kid at school. The girl in the movie is maybe in the third or fourth grade? I could almost see the little cogs turning in my niece's head as she thought the movie over versus whatever goes on in her school class. The movie thoughtfully shows how to deal with bullying and [SPOILER ALERT] the girls even reconcile and become friends at the end, so the movie depicted dealing with bullies as well as I could ever talk about it. So I didn't think it was a bad thing that the eight year old wanted to watch it more than once.
The movie's theme was a little too mature for the kindergartner niece, though. I think she said once, "That's mean!" in a shocked way at the bullying and then asked to watch gymnast McKenna Shoot For the Stars again. So this film is perhaps a little mature for kids under...7? These two girls really enjoy movies that have a heroine who is their age or a little older. The only downside is they are both asking for those expensive American Girl dolls now, not because the dolls are in the movie, they're not. The dear nieces, however, can read the DVD covers and are familiar with the brand. I wasn't expecting a request for the dolls, for some reason.
8 people found this helpful
annieReviewed in the United States on July 11, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
stand up for yourself!!!!
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we ordered this great movie from amazon and watched it today. Of all the girl of the year movies this one is the best. It is about chrissa maxwell who moves to a new school in minnesota from iowa. This girl tara is the bully leader in a clique of 3 girls. Sonali stands up for herself and comes out of the clique but not jayden. Tara is so mean to chrissa that she makes her day at school miserable. Chrissa befriends a homeless girl named gwen who is also picked on by tara and her clique. We relate to this movie in the way thaw both me and my daughter have been bullied at school and know how it feels! In the end chrissa stands up to tara and it has a happy ending.
8 people found this helpful
PMfanSince57Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2013
5.0 out of 5 stars
Chrissa Is a Good Lesson For Kids!
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In the 1920s, compulsory school attendance ages were raised from 12 to 16. From the two great TV series which were set earlier in North America: Little House on the Prairie (8 plus 1 seasons beginning in 1974) (about rural 1880s in the Midwest) and Road to Avonlea (8 Seasons beginning in 1990 via Sullivan TV in Canada) (about the beginning 1900s on Price Edward Island in Canada), the All American Girl Books explore the 9-10-11 year olds of various periods in the 20th and 21st centuries.
How many G rated movies are available for our kids of today?

In the 1950s kids no longer were kids when they reached high school in the 9th and 10th grades. In the 1960s kids were still kids until their last year in junior high. Today our kids no longer are kids around the 5th and 6th grades. It is very difficult for parents to keep their kids as kids during or post middle school. Kids are now wearing makeup in the 5th and 6th grades. There is just too much sex and violence on TV and in the movies and parents are letting their kids grow up too fast.

My son, who is 41, wishes we live in the 1950s, 60s (although he thinks he has understanding the violence in American from racism and Vietnam War), or the 70s when he was born. He thinks I am Beaver from Leave it to Beaver. He hates TV of today and prefers to watch Box sets of TV from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He grew up with Little House, while my daughter 34 grew up with Avonlea. They both love the 1991 TV series Eerie Indiana which had only 19-30 minute episodes before the show was cancelled. My son and I (he was 10) watched every Saturday morning the 1982 Voyagers series. It stimulated his fascination with history and he became a middle school history/civics teacher. His students think he is too square or old fashioned (I don't know the current words), but they love him and respect him. He does not have discipline problems like other teachers. He tries to include family values as well as love for your country in teaching. He does have students post current events on the bulletin board every week and there is discussion of what is going on today led by the student supplying the article.

So I grew up with Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. My sister had all the Nancy Drew books, but my brother only had a few Hardy Boys which I spent the summers in Texas afternoon siesta time reading both (with 100 plus temperatures outside) before going swimming at 4 pm. We went to movies on the weekends with loads of cowboy movies. My son and daughter also read the books during their summers. My daughter also did the Baby Sitters Club books and DVDs.

I have a 12 year old granddaughter and prior to this year grandpa sat down with her and watched an episode or two of Little House or AVONLEA, but she did not have my daughter's interest. She is the Harry Potter child and has read all the books and has all the DVD movies. So I gave her the Books on CDs which she has transferred to her IPOD????
I have purchased most of the American Girl DVDs for my granddaughter but she seems to be too old. Grandpa thinks all five he has watched are great. Kit Kittridge and Molly deal with WWII and being a kid. Felicity and Samantha are set an earlier pre WWI era. The 2009 Chrissa (Stands Alone) movie is super. Parents should watch this movie with their kids (tweens and under) and about bullying which existed in Little House and still exists in schools today. There are so many great reviews for this film, I can add very little. However, parents or parent need to watch this movie and see if their child or children are subject to bullying at school and see if they can help their kid(s) with a solution (not a get even).
My challenge to you is try some of the series I have suggested, but a must is Chrissa. I have not purchased McKenna yet, but it is next on the list. (The family is expecting a new grandchild, a baby girl in March. So Grandpa will still have all his kids movies from Disney to American Girl to watch with her.)

I could cure the current public school crisis by first rolling back the compulsory school age from 16 to 12 and each year after 12 years old or 6th grade, attending a school would be a privilege versus a right. Post sixth Grade Schooling would have four divisions (Academic, Life Skills, Preparatory, and Boot Camp) and moving from division to division would have the attention of parents. Progression would be based on performance versus age and social promotions. Students must be able to read and write at a 12 year old level to live today in our service industries, and high schools do not need classes loaded with non academic kids who can not read or write beyond the sixth grade. I know the majority of the people reading this review disagree and blame our failures on the schools and teachers. In this country we have the community colleges which give those adults a second chance at achieving what education they wasted during their teen age life. Post 12 year olds if they are not interested in school and their parents don't care, would be apprentices in the work force making little wage. Maybe during their teens they may want to go back to school and want to achieve.

Oh well, this would not work with today's politics and massive testing. So, just give us more G rated movies like the current American Girl series and parents sit down with you preteens and watchg Chrissa.
2 people found this helpful
Cheryl ReviewerReviewed in the United States on January 6, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars
WOW This is a film for all to see.
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Last night on HBO I watched the premiere of this American Girl movie. I enjoyed the Kit movie from last year, they are really on a roll now I have to say!! This movie is a MUST see for students from 3rd or 4th grade and up. The movie is about a 5th grade girl who is new to a school and is soon bullied by a click of 3 girls, one in particular named Tara. This is not a sugar coated movie and you see Chrissa's situation go from bad to worse as she struggles to handle it by herself.

I figured this movie would be like every other typical Disney-style movie where Chrissa will eventually get revenge on the "bad guy", you know with some plot where say she makes some elaborate contraption which will embarrass the heck out of Tara and spill green paint on her or whatever and everyone will laugh at Tara and Chrissa will be the hero. That is NOT how this story goes at all, and I am very impressed American Girl (who is in the DOLL business) did not fantasy candy-coat the story. Rather, as you will see, it is shown with much more realism and makes you think about what you would do if you were in Chrissa's (or her parents') situation.

I actually have someone who has been bullying my 10 year old daughter over the past few months and ironically I got a few pointers from this movie last night, it made me think a little different about how to approach the situation. It also reinforced some of my beliefs on what makes someone a bully as well as providing some tips on ways to keep Chrissa staying strong.

Like other viewers, I bet you will be curious to see what bully Tara's parents look like - in every other movie (e.g. Camp Rock) the snobby/mean girl's mother is usually some self-centered witch who is nasty with her daughter and thus the chain continues....in this movie, you never get to see her parents. I think that is a good thing because it really let me focus on the rest of the story. I am seriously considering buying a copy for my local school and/or library to donate it, it was that good. The acting was fantastic and Chrissa is absolutely charming, I would love to have a friend like her for myself or my daughter!
98 people found this helpful
wildthotzReviewed in the United States on January 20, 2009
5.0 out of 5 stars
I was bullied - this is MUST SEE story
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I have never written a review before. After seeing this movie on HBO, I had to have it. I came to Amazon (best and first place to look for nearly anything), and when I read one review that said they could only give the movie 1 star because of the content, "The bully is relentless and very mean. So, just be warned..." I knew I had to write something.

If you've never seen, or been party to bullying in school, then this movie might seem tough to watch. But my own experience in school was much longer, with much worse events of meanness and cruelty than depicted here. In my estimation, they did a marvelous job of creating scenarios to show the type and depth of stunts children can pull, without making it too traumatic to watch. I was bullied as a new girl for 3 years, 4th to 6th grades. As I watched this movie, it was indeed difficult, but I could not turn away. I thought several times, "I remember how that felt, but what could I do?" As another reviewer reflected, I'd seen other movies address it as comedy, nasty parents and mean kids get their due in the end, and I know in real life, that is NO solution.

When the tide began to turn, and I saw how the insightful adults intervened in Chrissa's life, and gave useful & credible advice, I began to cry. When I saw how she then began to handle the situation, it was the first time in all my 44 years I realized there really had been something that could have been done in my case. There really ARE ways to deal with the issue that are not stupid or demeaning, but truly constructive for ALL parties concerned.

So sure, perhaps you might rent this movie first. But share it with every child or parent you know. You may well never know when some poor child is subjected to this... I never told a soul until I was 30 years old. Any person who is bullied, who bullies, or who sees it happening to others should have this glimpse into the real issues and real options regarding such vicious behavior.
7 people found this helpful
AGCReviewed in the United States on February 6, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Very upsetting!
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This movie makes an attempt at addressing bullying, a very important topic for young kids and girls. However, it takes it too far. The point about bullying is made early, with opportunities to see the effects of mean girl behavior in multiple situations. Unfortunately, it does not stop after expected consequences and leads to a young boy getting physically injured. This was VERY upsetting for my 8 year old daughter. I was disturbed by the persistent, repetitive bullying behavior that really never let up. You should definitely watch this movie WITH your child because it opens up opportunities for discussion. We have ongoing conversations about kindness in our family, school, and community and are sensitive to issues around inclusiveness and the hurt around exclusion.
2 people found this helpful
Tilly's reviewsReviewed in the United States on January 10, 2017
5.0 out of 5 stars
A Great American Girl Film that will Help Many Young Girls!
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One of the Best American Girl movies! This thoughtful, well made film successfully treats the topic of school bullies with realism and excellent help and advice. A very impressive film with a wonderful young actress and great supporting actors. If your girl is being bullied at school, I highly recommend this film. Hopefully, it will provide some good insights for how to deal with bullies and their methods. A good film for parents and elementary school teachers to view as well.
5 people found this helpful
PLReviewed in the United States on April 23, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
A amazing story
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I loved this movie. It was about standing up to bullies in a nice movie . When watching this movie kids learn how and why too tell someone you trust if you are being bullied. I loved all of it. Mom usually is on my phone when we watch a movie but this made her gaze at my screen . I would tell everyone I meet watch this outstanding movie. I would love to watch another American girls movie.Maya Ludwig(8 years old).
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