Preteen girl looking at a cell phone with her parents

Personalized picks at your fingertips

Get the mobile app on iOS and Android

Parents' Guide to

Against the Ropes

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Uninspired tale feels like a made-for-TV movie.

Movie PG-13 2004 111 minutes
Against the Ropes Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 1 parent review

age 15+
Poorly made and poorly acted. Skip this one.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Two tips for movie-makers out there -- first, if you make a movie about a real-life character, especially a feisty babe who can go toe-to-toe with the big boys, don't let her produce the movie. And second, It takes more than a big mouth and skimpy clothes to turn an America's sweetheart girl-next-door type into Erin Brockovich. Ignore these points and you get AGAINST THE ROPES, turning a story about boxing's first major female promoter into an uninspired and uninspiring tale that feels like it comes out of the Lifetime made-for-TV-movie assembly line.

What is really disappointing is that none of this is half as interesting as the real life of Jackie Kallen, who was a journalist for Rolling Stone who became a publicist for a boxer after interviewing him for a feature story. She was a minivan-driving mother of two children who brought her inner city boxers out to her suburban home to live with her. She has detailed the ups and downs of her life in a book, "Hit Me With Your Best Shot: A Fight Plan for Dealing With All of Life's Hard Knocks". Another disappointment is Ryan's performance, which is all on the outside and is more distracting than revealing. She pitches her voice low and tahks about bahkzing. She wears teensy tight outfits and animal prints. And she has done something unwise to her lips. Ryan is a good actress who knows how to look tough and vulnerable at the same time, but the script and director Dutton try to do too many things at once with Kallen, and so it does not give her a real character to give to us.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: February 20, 2004
  • On DVD or streaming: July 13, 2004
  • Cast: Charles S. Dutton , Meg Ryan , Omar Epps
  • Director: Charles S. Dutton
  • Inclusion Information: Black directors, Black actors, Female actors
  • Studio: Paramount Pictures
  • Genre: Drama
  • Run time: 111 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: crude language, violence, brief sensuality and some drug material.
  • Last updated: January 2, 2023

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate