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Battle

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Battle Movie Poster Image
Norwegian dance movie has lots of cursing, some drinking.
  • NR
  • 2018
  • 95 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Advocates being open to new and different experiences, people, and cultures. Promotes: honesty, empathy, perseverance, communication. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heroine learns the importance of integrity and adjusting to new situations. She must look beyond her previously-comfortable, upper-class community and see the value in others. Adult figures are one-dimensional, don't relate well to the young people for whom they are responsible. Set in Norway, the film manages to include ethnic diversity. 

Violence

Some tension between female dancers.

Sex

Some passionate kissing and embracing. When female dancers change their clothes in dressing room; bare breasts are briefly seen.

Language

Frequent use of subtitled profanity, including: "f--k," "s--t," "damn," "get laid," "bitch," "hell."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Young people drink alcohol in several social settings. One young woman is drunk, rages. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Battle is a Norwegian film with English subtitles about a young modern dancer who falls in love with a boy from the “wrong side of the tracks,” and is captivated by Oslo’s competitive hip-hop dance community. Based on a book, it’s a typical “two-worlds-clash" story with dance at its center. Viewers should expect some partial nudity (bare female breasts) as dancers dress and undress backstage. Lovers kiss, passionately embrace. Language includes frequent use of “f--k,” “s--t,” “damn,” “hell.” Young people (teen and/or college-age) drink alcohol, and a featured character is drunk in one sequence. Despite the profanity and drinking, the movie is intended for and should appeal to youthful audiences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent Written byMelissa M. December 22, 2018

Some things you'll struggle to explain to a tween

Some of the language and circumstances were either hard to explain to my tween, or I wound up telling her that we'll talk in more detail in a few years. Na... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byMdawg66 January 20, 2019

I love it

I’m definitely biased because I’m a dancer, but I loved this movie so much. It gave suspense that every movie should have and (of course) dancing. It was well... Continue reading

What's the story?

BATTLE introduces Amalie (Lisa Teige), a modern dance student who lives a more-than-comfortable life with an easygoing circle of friends, an attractive and attentive boyfriend (Vebjourn Enger), and a wealthy dad who is very generous. Her demanding dance teacher knows that Amalie is one of the best dancers in her class and has a chance to win the one available spot in a prestigious school in Amsterdam. One day changes everything. To Amalie’s utter disbelief and horror, the family money is gone. She and her dad have but moments to pack up a few belongings and leave their beautiful home for a small apartment in a working-class neighborhood. Ashamed and afraid, Amalie keeps her unexpected new circumstances a secret. She finds a place to practice in a community space where Mikael (Fabian Svegaard Tapia) is practicing his hip-hop moves. It's Mikael who takes Amalie under his wing and introduces her to a high-energy, new dance community populated by kids without money and social status. It’s freestyle hip-hop -- competitive and fun. It’s because of her relationship with Mikael that Amalie re-examines her life thus far and opens herself up to new and fulfilling experiences.

Is it any good?

Dynamic choreography, a winning romance, and solid acting manage to transcend an otherwise-predictable story about class and hip-hop dancing, certainly the first of its kind set in Norway. Which is part of Battle's charm. It's also the first leading movie role for Lisa Teige, who made a big impression during her years on one of that country's popular television series. The film has all the elements that romance fans enjoy: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, and the third act is never in doubt. Especially since the two principals so vitally combine two very different styles of dance as they soar toward a warm and happy resolution. The ease with which the young people swear throughout -- and it can't be ignored because it's written across the screen in English -- may prove objectionable to some, but still there's an innocence in the project that shouldn't be overlooked either. Fine for teens with the caution about profanity.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the dance that's at the heart of Battle. What are the origins of hip-hop? Were you surprised to learn that hip-hop has a place in a Scandinavian country? How did the movie's final dance sequences blend modern dance with hip-hop?

  • What defines the characters and/or events in this film as specifically Norwegian? In what way(s) does it show that there's commonality in young people that crosses borders and oceans?  

  • How did Amalie’s experience with hip-hop and Mikael affect her view of herself and her community? What character strengths did she call upon to help her adjust to the changes in life?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love dance

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