A Warrior's Heart

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A Warrior's Heart Movie Poster Image
Cheesy lacrosse-as-metaphor film has some mature themes.
  • PG
  • 2011
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

For the most part, constant pat messages are delivered in dialogue and music cues rather than being well-integrated into the story and characterizations. Examples: "Your heart will lead you where you need to go"; "Finding yourself and knowing who you are lets others be a part of your world, too"; "Some people are made stronger by hardships"; and "A warrior gets the job done."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The movie's hero moves from cocky, egotistical teen to angry, cocky, egotistical teen and finally to caring, generous team player -- all in a very short time. Except for the scenes showing the hero's Native American mentor drinking beer while teaching respect for the natural world, the film attempts to present a positive picture of the Native American contribution to sport and culture. With one exception, parental figures, including coaches and a mentor, are wise, competent, and sensitive.


Some rough lacrosse action: hitting with sticks, tackling, hard hits to the body. Several short fights between furious teens (in a locker room, on sports fields). A jeep blows up, killing a Navy officer. 


A few romantic kisses between a boy and a girl falling in love.


Occasional mild swearing: "s--t," "hell," "damn," "kiss my butt," "pissed." A Native American is referred to as "a crazy Indian."


STX lacrosse equipment, Coca-Cola, Gatorade, and Red Bull are referred to in dialogue. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

People are seen drinking beer after a memorial service. A Native American drinks a few beers while mentoring an angry kid in an Outward Bound-type setting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A Warrior's Heart is a message-heavy, teen-becomes-a-man sports (lacrosse) film with a romantic subplot. Hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the Twilight saga films' secondary actors, Kellan Lutz and Ashley Greene are spotlighted here. The filmmakers make an earnest effort to show the Native American origins of lacrosse and acquaint viewers with the sport as a vehicle for inspiring healthy competition. There's some athlete-upon-athlete brawling, temper tantrums, and a brief shot of a jeep blowing up during wartime; there's also some mild swearing ("s--t," "damn," "hell"), and a Native American man is referred to as "a crazy Indian." Lutz's "abs" are featured in multiple scenes, and there are a few romantic kisses. Spoiler alert: The predictable plot is set in motion by the death of a parent.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDusty Fortyfives B. May 17, 2018

Predictable Coming of Age Sport Movie

This is a good film for young kids who are sport obsessed. It allows for discussions with your child regarding topics like resilience, perseverance, commitment... Continue reading
Adult Written byBrandee L. February 18, 2018


This is waaaay under rated do not let your kids watch

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's the story?

Conor Sullivan (Kellan Lutz) is a hotshot high school lacrosse player, far from being a good teammate, and very full of himself in A WARRIOR'S HEART. His goal is to be invited to attend and play for the Naval Academy after graduation. But when his military officer father is transferred from the West Coast to Washington, D.C., Conor must find acceptance on a high-profile Eastern prep school team. The new coach is cynical, aware of Conor's reputation, and complicating the young man's efforts is his growing infatuation with the coach's daughter (Ashley Greene). When a family tragedy strikes, the teen's temper and inability to cope with circumstances make an already precarious situation worse. It's only via the commitment of one of his dad's old friends and a forced trip to a Native American lacrosse camp in an Outward-Bound-like setting that Conor begins to develop the courage and maturity he will need to find his way.

Is it any good?

The film gets extra points for its efforts to portray the early Native American influence on lacrosse, a sport for both boys and girls that is growing in popularity throughout the U.S. Everything else is substandard. Clichéd characters, formulaic plotting, unmotivated behavior, and way-too-easy resolutions make this a tedious, insignificant offering. What's more, the scenes that take place on the lacrosse field are so ineptly shot that the sport's objectives and rules and the excitement of play are all missing entirely. It would seem that only teen (and maybe tween) audiences longing for more exposure of these popular yet minor Twilight characters will find this movie of any interest. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means when a movie is "predictable." Do you enjoy knowing everything that's going to happen along the way, or do you prefer to be surprised? Why?

  • If you were familiar with lacrosse before watching A Warrior's Heart, do you think it projected an effective and accurate view of the sport? If you were not familiar with lacrosse, do you think the movie was a good introduction? Why, or why not?

  • What do you think the filmmakers were hoping to do when they sent Conor into the backwoods with his dad's Native American friend? Did you believe his experience was enough to motivate the change in his character? What specifically was the purpose of tearing down the shack?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

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