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Parents' Guide to

Mending the Line

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Violence, language in tender, well-acted fly-fishing drama.

Movie R 2023 122 minutes
Mending the Line Movie Poster: Ike Fletcher (Brian Cox, left) and John Colter's (Sinqua Walls) faces appear above the title; below is a smaller image of figures fly-fishing in a river

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 16+


age 2+

micheal jackosn

this movie was one of the novies of all time. truly morbin and motivatinm baskemtball

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

It may be formulaic and slow, but this mentor-student drama is rarely dull, thanks to fine performances and languid pacing that lets us find the meditative rhythms of fly-fishing itself. "More great literature has been written about fly-fishing than any other sport," Ike says at one point, and, watching Mending the Line, you're likely to believe him. The movie's fishing scenes are full of myth and metaphor, philosophy and psychology, as well as a general sense of centeredness and well-being. There's also gratitude: When Ike first catches a fish, he cradles it tenderly, lets it go, and whispers, "thank you."

The mentor-student stuff is pretty routine, including Ike's hard-as-nails approach (he makes John clean the stockroom before even letting him handle a fishing rod). There are also the expected weepy hospital scenes, a somewhat turgid music score, and a largely unsuccessful romantic subplot, but the actors, including the great Wes Studi as Ike's best friend (and the only one who can put up with Ike's orneriness), are fully game. They embrace the tragedy and beauty of their characters, and they manage to sell moments that might have otherwise fallen flat in lesser hands. Ultimately, Mending the Line teaches us a little about fly-fishing, but a lot more about being human.

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