Grudge Match

  • Review Date: December 25, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013

Common Sense Media says

Two legends duke it out in underwhelming comedy.
  • Review Date: December 25, 2013
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013

Age(i)

2
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9
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie contains positive messages about the transformative power of forgiveness, the importance of knowing your parents, and the idea that age shouldn't keep you from doing what you've been called to do. Every character seems to have father issues they work out in the course of the movie.

Positive role models

Razor is hardworking and generous, but he's also unforgiving for most of the movie. He realizes that if he'd forgiven and moved forward as a younger man, he wouldn't have wasted so much time being lonely and unable to do the sport he loves. Billy realizes he's made some huge mistakes as well and wants to get to know his biological adult son.

Violence

It's a movie about boxing, and that's a violent sport. De Niro and Stallone get into a couple of brawls with each other and in one scene with an MMA fighter. The boxing match includes close ups of bloody eyes and bruises. A man is extremely upset when he realizes his son was left alone in a bar. A tasteless joke: "somebody rape this guy already" when two men are jailed for the night.

Sex

Several references to a tryst that results in an unplanned pregnancy; a few kisses and embraces between Razor and Sally. There are jokes about age (the two men are supposed to be around 60), as well as sex/ oral sex, because a man's nickname is B.J. A boy asks what a B.J. is, and a man says "butterscotch jellybeans" and then goes on to make a innuendo-filled comments about how men "love butterscotch jellybeans." A woman comes on to a man and encourages him to leave a bar with her. They are later caught in the back of an SUV with their shirts off (her bare shoulders are visible).

Language

Language includes uses of "s--t," "bulls--t," "chickens--t," "a--hole," "bitches," "damn," plus exclamations like "Goddamn it" and "Jesus!" coarse euphemisms and colloquialisms for sex (BJs, banging, screwing, etc.), and insults like "loser," "jackass," "moron," "coward," "Webster" (in reference to a short black man), various ways to say "fat" and more.

Consumerism

Lots of product placements, mostly car companies: Dodge, Cadillac Escalade, Mustang, Audi, Nokia Lumia phone, AT&T, ESPN, HBO (HBO Boxing), Target, Adidas, Dancing with the Stars, Apple iPad, Carhartt, Under Armour, Us Weekly, Geritol, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Billy owns a bar and adults are shown drinking a lot (Billy to excess). Billy drinks Scotch for breakfast. A young boy is left without supervision at a bar and watches adults drink, dance, and then he even plays quarters (without actually drinking).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Grudge Match is a boxing comedy starring two actors legendary for their on-screen boxers: Robert De Niro (Raging Bull) and Sylvester Stallone (Rocky). As one would expect from a boxing film starring older actors, there are a ton of age jokes as well as fights in and out of the ring (the two men are shown bloody and bruised by the end of the fight). There are a lot of references to weight, age, race, height, and sex (one character's name is B.J., which leads to a lengthy discussion of how much men like to "get" his name). One character is a borderline alcoholic, and the other can't let go of old hurts, but audiences will definitely cheer as the two epic actors get back in the ring.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In the early '80s, two professional Pittsburgh boxers and consummate rivals dominated the sport: Billy "The Kid" McDonnen (Robert De Niro) and Henry "Razor" Sharp (Sylvester Stallone). They both had undefeated careers, except for one loss each -- to the other. But after Sharp won their second head-to-head light heavyweight championship, he retired, leaving McDonnen waiting in vain for another shot to beat him. Thirty years later, a young boxing promoter, Dante Slate (Kevin Hart), hires both men to participate in a boxing video game, but when the men end up in a brawl that goes viral on YouTube, Dante has a brilliant idea: to host a GRUDGE MATCH between the two long-retired fighters. Razor reluctantly agrees and trains with his aging manager "Lightning" (Alan Arkin). Out of shape Billy, meanwhile, has trouble finding someone to train him, until his long-lost son B.J. (Jon Bernthal), an assistant football coach, introduces himself.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There is a sort of movie magic in seeing two screen legends go toe to toe, like when De Niro and Pacino played a master thief and dogged detective in Heat. But of course, Sylvester is no Pacino, and this is no Heat. Neither is it Rocky (despite the various references) or Raging Bull starring sexagenarians. As it is, neither man is particularly likable, and elements of the film (two different men drive rusted, beat-up cars in an age when cars are rust-proof; a man allows his newly met grandson to stay in the care of a bartender) are rather ridiculous.

But if you can keep in good spirits from the novelty of seeing De Niro and Stallone play 60-something boxing rivals, you will laugh a few times, particularly at the supporting characters played by Hart and Arkin, who are both genuinely funny actors. The boxing scenes are pretty uninspired, but given the actors' ages, that might have been for the best. Kim Basinger, still lovely at 60, co-stars as Razor's ex-girlfriend Sally, and Bernthal -- best known for his stint on The Walking Dead -- does his best as Sally and Billy's adult son. Are you going to sing "Eye of the Tiger" afterward? No. But if you stick it out through the credits, you will get a kick out of a cameo featuring real boxing rivals.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the popularity of boxing movies. Why are they such a significant percentage of sports movies? What are some of your favorites?

  • How does seeing Stallone and De Niro duke it out challenge your ideas about the "elderly" and how they should act?

  • Does violence in the context of boxing or MMA or other sports have less of an impact than other forms of violence? Why?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 25, 2013
DVD release date:April 8, 2014
Cast:Kevin Hart, Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone
Director:Peter Segal
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Sports and martial arts
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sports action violence, sexual content and language

This review of Grudge Match was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 17 years old Written byshrekmaster December 25, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

Grudge Match Doesn't pack a big punch

Really, the movie is fine. The violence is just sports boxing and its barely brutal. There is only talk about sex and adultery and even though it plays a major part in the film it is fine. There is drinking and language but meh...It's fine for my 5 year old kid and 9 year old kid

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byironkid21 December 31, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Entertaining, if mildly forgettable and sometimes the jokes are kind of messed up, boxing comedy is pretty funny and has some really good supporting performances!

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byStevie111 December 29, 2013
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

Very funny boxing comedy

It's a boxing movie, so people are beating on each other frequently, but more noticeably, there are crude sexual jokes and language that can get quite mature. But, it is very funnny

What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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