Parents' Guide to

All the Right Moves

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Early Cruise football film set in high school, but mature.

Movie R 2002 93 minutes
All the Right Moves Poster Image

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ALL THE RIGHT MOVES, released in 1983, shows its age. You can't blame Stefan for wanting a way out of his dead-end steel-mill town, but in this movie there's only one escape: a football scholarship. His girlfriend (Lea Thompson) laments that she's destined for a career as a grocery store clerk because only athletes (male athletes, that is) get scholarships and her family can't afford for her to go to school. Other teammates are equally single-minded -– get a free-ride to college or go work in the mill after graduation. And even then it's clear that steel is a dying industry and a poor career choice. There's never any mention that young people have plenty of options to live their own lives.

The story gets more and more depressing, until there's a surprising happy twist in the very last scene. It's not especially realistic, nor does it seem believable. It feels like a focus group said the original ending was too much of a bummer and they needed to shoot a new final scene. One saving grace is watching Tom Cruise in one of his early roles, showing the charisma that would make him a huge star. He outshines the story.

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