A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Movie explores themes such as the oversized influence of money and endorsements in sports, whether or not student athletes should be paid, especially when talented "star" athletes help bring in millions of dollars to their school and school's athletic programs, and the long-term consequences of concussions in sports.
Positive Role Models
Terron, an immensely talented basketball player at 14, keeps his integrity in the face of questionable ethics from his father as well as his coach, the hazing of jealous teammates, and the pressure to win on the court. When he makes mistakes, he owns up to them, and tries to find ways to make it right.
Violence & Scariness
Some bullying and hazing as Terron joins a college prep team while still an 8th grader, surrounded by much older teammates.
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Profanity frequently used: "f--k," the "N" word, "s--t," "goddamn," "sucks," "t-tties," "douche bag." Middle finger gesture, masturbation hand gesture.
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Products & Purchases
Talk of endorsement deals. A recruiter for a college prep school gives Terron a new smartphone.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Basketball coach shown drinking a beer at his house.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Amateur is a 2018 drama in which a 14-year-old basketball star joins an elite college prep school and is thrust into the ethical concerns swirling around amateur athletics. There's frequent profanity, including the "N" word and "f--k." Some bullying and hazing occurs, as the lead character, still in 8th grade, has joined a team with older players. The movie uses the story to explore relevant themes in contemporary sports, such as whether or not student athletes should be paid, especially when their family is struggling to make ends meet while the school and athletic program make millions of dollars off of their talents. The father of the lead character also struggles with his mental and emotional well-being due to the concussions he received as an athlete in his younger years. Overall, the movie is adept at combining enough sports action with this message so it doesn't come off as preachy, and should inspire discussion among families with kids who play sports. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This movie is like a fictionalized version of the acclaimed 30 for 30 series on ESPN. Through the story of a young basketball prodigy, the movie explores many of the debates surrounding amateur collegiate sports. Should amateur athletes be paid, especially those athletes whose families are struggling to make ends meet as the college and athletic program they represent rake in millions on their talent? How young is too young to "brand" athletes with endorsement deals? Should young athletes representing their school be given easier course loads since they need more time to practice if the school wants to win?
Amateur addresses these concerns while also including the action and inherent drama, excitement, and fun that cause people to follow sports of all kinds in the first place. While there are moments in the story that feel a little too forced and unnatural, the acting, action, and humor keep the audience fully engaged. And there's a believability to Terron as he tries to balance all these demands -- some of a more personal nature, such as a learning disability, as well as the public challenges of being a prodigious basketball talent -- that reveals a deep understanding of character growth and development.
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.