Parents' Guide to

Athlete A

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Thorough docu about U.S. gymnastics abuse scandal.

Movie PG-13 2020 103 minutes
Athlete A Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

very informative

this is a documentary very true to its pg 13 rating. the whole topic is about sexual abuse in gymnastics, so people with sensitivity to this topic should be aware.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (2):

While the terrible story of how USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar sexually abused hundreds of young female gymnasts is known, this documentary shows how a broken system allowed it to happen. As the central story of young gymnasts like Maggie Nichols (the "Athlete A" who spoke out about the abuse she suffered while training to compete in the 2016 Olympics) and her parents demanding answers unfolds, Athlete A deftly balances the forward momentum of the story with backstory and context. The sickness of a USAG culture that demanded winning and "selling that brand" over everything and everyone else is brought into a painfully vivid focus, and one of the takeaways is the shocking lengths USAG coaches and officials went to, enabling the abuse in the interests of maintaining USAG's squeaky-clean image of all-American goodness for lucrative sponsorship deals.

This is also a story of bravery, and Athlete A shows the risks these young gymnasts took and the sacrifices they made in bringing Nassar's abuse to light. Athlete A also serves as a reminder of the importance and necessity of dedicated journalists and solid investigative reporting, now more than ever. And like the best sports documentaries, Athlete A forces us to examine the larger culture beyond the headlines, and how an organization could become so obsessed with being number one and getting deep-pocketed sponsors that all values of basic human decency were cast aside.

Movie Details

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