Bad News Bears (2005)

Movie review by
Cynthia Fuchs, Common Sense Media
Bad News Bears (2005) Movie Poster Image
Scatological remake of a not-so-innocent movie.
  • PG-13
  • 2005
  • 111 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 25 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Everyone is offensive in some way: they lie, cheat, say mean things, argue, and fight; they come together when they win.

Violence

Fighting between players, dead animals.

Sex

Coach gets "Gentlemen's Club" to sponsor team, makes sexual references (including discussion of their "genital defense apparatus"), sleeps with a player's mom, takes kids to Hooters.

Language

Lots of obnoxious language, by kids and coach (hell, douchebag, s--thead, smart-ass, bitch-slap, etc.).

Consumerism

Teams are sponsored by fictional companies, references to Cadillac, liquor brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Coach is a grumpy alcoholic (to the point of passing out in one scene); J.J. Cale's "Cocaine" on the soundtrack.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the movie features kids cursing, behaving badly, fighting, and drinking non-alcoholic beer. Their poor role model is their coach, who drinks (to the point of passing out), smokes, swears, hangs out at a strip club, makes racist and sexist comments (as well as ignorant wisecracks about a boy in a wheelchair and another who is overweight), and teaches one of the kids to make martinis. As the coach works as an exterminator, the movie also features visual jokes about dead rats and insects. Though the coach learns to be a more tolerant and mature adult, he remains ornery, and has one-night sex with the mother of one of his players.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLISAFIELDS April 9, 2008

If you want negative role models for your kids, let them see this movie

Words alone cannot describe what a piece of garbage this movie is. Not remotely suitable for children, even over 13. Billy Bob Thornton should not even be allow... Continue reading
Adult Written byG3 April 9, 2008
Teen, 17 years old Written bywaffles4waffles July 20, 2010
funny terrible coaching billy bob thorton did a good job but to much kids cussing
Kid, 10 years old January 10, 2010

Hysterical, shoud be R-rated, ok for 14+, mature 11-13

This is one of the funniest movies ever. I can't believe my 'rents see it, though. Intense profanity in almost every sentence, such as s--- , cr--, da... Continue reading

What's the story?

Retired minor league pitcher Morris Buttermaker (Billy Bob Thornton) played 2/3 of an inning in the majors, at a time "long ago and far away." Sarcastic, frustrated, and frequently drunk, he agrees to coach a Little League team that includes players of various abilities (one is in a wheelchair, another is overweight, another short and puny, etc.) and backgrounds ("I got the damn League of Nations here," he grumps). As Buttermaker squares off against the rival team's coach, a bully named Bullock (Greg Kinnear), he also comes to respect his own team, as much for their oddities as for their spirit. Everyone's happy when the team begins winning, after Buttermaker recruits a great pitcher, his ex's daughter, Amanda (Sammi Kane Kraft, a real life Little League pitcher) and a great hitter, long-haired, just-out-of-juvie skater boi Kelly (Jeffrey Davies), who has a crush on Amanda.

Is it any good?

This lackluster remake of the much-loved 1976 Walter Matthau movie doesn't bring much new to the table. Nostalgic for a time when little kids uttering obscenities was considered hilarious mischief, BAD NEWS BEARS is surprisingly unimaginative, given director Richard Linklater's previous displays of ingenuity, including School of Rock, Waking Life, and Slacker. (Sadly, the film's standout aspect is editing: scene to scene, it's spectacularly incoherent.)

Basic plot: mean coach turns nice, and team comes to believe in itself. Kraft (who is quite good) and Thornton develop something like a charming rhythm, but for the most part, the film feels sloppy, riding on the lingering appeal of the original.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's treatment of the kids' differences in skills, sizes, attitudes, and backgrounds. While the coach is equally abusive to all the children, the film also makes some visual jokes based in their appearances, accents, and first languages (two brothers speak only Spanish). How does Amanda deal with being the only girl in the league? How do the kids learn to work together as a team? How does the coach get over his long-held bitterness and learn to appreciate imperfection?

Movie details

For kids who love sports

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