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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages on diversity and inclusion, teamwork.
Positive Role Models
Sloane is a trans woman who finds belonging in gaming and talks about how there were more Starbucks than people like her in her hometown. Jenna is in a wheelchair after a childhood accident left her paralyzed from the waist down and finds community and belonging through gaming and through her celebrity as a social media influencer. V stands up to the sexism she encounters while trying to be on her school's esports team. Lots of stereotypes.
Diversity by gender, ethnicity, race, ability, body type.
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Violence & Scariness
Some scenes of video game violence, as knights and wizards fight with swords, axes, and spells.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Crass talk and trash talk about sex, masturbation. References to sex toys and sex acts.
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Strong language throughout. "A--holes," "s--t," variations on "d--k" ("d--kbag," "d--kwhistle," etc.), "c--k," "queef," "t-ts," "bitches," "ass," "badass," "goddammit." Middle-finger gesture, masturbation hand gesture. Announcer makes joke about a team's mascot that references a sex act involving defecation.
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Products & Purchases
Mercedes-Benz plays an outsized role near end of movie. Pizza Hut boxes clearly shown when team orders pizza. Ruffles potato chips are the brand of choice. Direct reference to video games like Assassin's Creed, Sonic the Hedgehog, Minecraft, Fortnite, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Lead character and best friend shown tripping on mushrooms after lead character's roommate gives them laced cookies and doesn't tell them they're laced. They're shown high, giggling, hallucinating Mario bouncing around the dorm room. Talk of being high on Ecstasy. Head coach of the esports team, a professor at the college, takes the team to an old rec room filled with classic video games and pinball machines and gets them drunk as a way to relax and bond as a team.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 1UP is a 2022 comedy in which a team of college-age misfits form an all-female esports team to take on the sexist boys' team at the school. There's diversity on the team, including a trans woman and a woman in a wheelchair. Characters talk about finding a sense of community and belonging through gaming, in ways they rarely if ever experienced in the rest of their lives. The film has crass talk and trash talk about sex and masturbation, references to sex toys and sex acts, the middle-finger gesture and masturbation hand gestures. Strong language throughout includes "a--holes," "s--t," variations on "d--k," "c--k," "queef," "t-ts," "bitches," "ass," and "goddammit." An announcer makes a joke about a team's mascot that references a sex act involving defecation. A lead character and a friend are shown high on mushrooms after the lead's roommate gives them laced cookies without telling them they're laced -- earlier, the same roommate tried giving them drugged brownies. An adult coach/chaperone gets the team drunk in an old rec room as a way to relax and bond. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
You can't break stereotypes and clichés while also heavily relying on stereotypes and clichés. And yet, 1Up tries to do just that. It champions diversity and inclusion in an arena (esports) that has had its share of controversy concerning the overall culture, even as countless individuals have found a sense of belonging and community in that culture in ways they may not experience in the off-screen world. The movie does its best to address and confront these aspects to gaming culture, but it's also trying to be a kind of coming-of-age college comedy with bawdy language, dorm room 'shroom trips, and awkward first dates.
It doesn't work, mostly because it's trying to break the mold while remaining firmly entrenched in the mold of the "scrappy misfit" sports movie. Besides those stereotyped jocks, there are also the clichés of the "nice guy," the middle-aged administrator trying to remain relevant to "the kids" by using the parlance of today (in this instance, "cancel" and "my pronouns are..."), and the blissed-out roommate fond of yoga and hallucinogens, among other beyond exhausted character types. Also, 15 minutes into the movie, you can easily guess who the team of scrappy misfits will play in the movie's climactic scene and how that will turn out for them. Ultimately, as a movie that's trying to be a comedy, in spite of any good intentions, it's not all that funny.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.