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Parents' Guide to

Any Given Sunday

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Hard-hitting football drama has strong language, sex, drugs.

Movie R 1999 162 minutes
Any Given Sunday Poster Image

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This sports movie boasts a strong cast delivering committed performances. Any Given Sunday feels like a love letter to professional football by director and co-writer Oliver Stone. In addition to celebrating football, it attempts to show how its male-dominated world often marginalizes women and how African American players are kept from positions of power. Predating football's "Rooney Rule" by four years, the last point is particularly poignant.

After a strong start, it does however start to slow. The last 30 minutes resembles a more conventional sports movie telling a more crowd-pleasing story. At two hours and 42 minutes, it's runtime is perhaps too long. But it's hard to begrudge a movie whose makers clearly love the sport and Pacino's final locker room speech is a worthy climax. Its frenetic, on-field sequences broke new ground at the time and today still connect like a crunching tackle from a linebacker.

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