A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
There's a theme throughout the movie of moving past a great loss. Many of the characters are in mourning and come together to help each other work through it. (But not all of the characters are moving in a positive direction.) The team learns how to work together and not rely on just one teammate to win the game.
Positive Role Models
Georgie loves playing soccer, but he lies, steals, and manipulates to be able to play. If he weren’t so talented, he'd just be a hoodlum. His mother is a widow and struggles to get her son a scholarship to private school. The tutor she hires for him isn't nurturing (to say the least) but ends up coming through for Georgie in the end. Matt Busby is trying to figure out why he was the sole survivor of the crash. He thinks helping Georgie and his friends is the way to make the ghosts go away. Matt and his friend gamble at the race track and are followed by Georgie, who places a bet and loses his mother's life savings.
Violence & Scariness
Georgie and a bully get in a bit of scuffle. There are scenes on a plane in which team members and a woman with a baby appear nervous and scared before the plane goes down. The crash isn't shown, but the wreckage is, and Matt Busby is the only person alive in it. The ghosts of the Manchester United team appear on the soccer field.
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Slang like "blinking," which is a common term in England.
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Products & Purchases
The movie is set in the '80s, and there's no product placement other than the adults drinking Boddingtons beer.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Matt Busby and his friend drink throughout the movie. Some background smoking.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Believe is a fact-based drama about Georgie, an 11-year-old boy in who will do anything to play football (i.e. soccer, for American audiences). That includes lying to his mother and taking her life savings (only to lose it all at the dog track), and stealing a man's wallet. Georgie and his mother are in mourning after losing his father in a car accident. Younger children may find that subject matter upsetting, along with several scenes involving a plane crash that killed many of the Manchester United football team players. Legendary football coach Matt Busby survived the crash, and the guilt leads him to take Georgie under his wing and coach his football team. Adults drink and smoke (the latter is just in a background context). To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
BELIEVE is a predictable sports movie with a convoluted story. Georgie is a great football player and a bit of a brat. He's not terribly likeable, which makes it hard to understand why everyone is trying so hard to help him out. Cox is good as legendary coach Busby, but co-star Toby Stephens is strange as Dr. Farquar, Georgie's tutor and his key into the fancy private school that his mother is trying to get him into. The movie is set in the '80s, but Dr. Farquar seems like he popped in from another era.
There's a lot of talk in the movie about Georgie dealing with his father's death, his mother dealing with Georgie's behavior, and Busby facing life after his team has died, but not enough about football. Georgie is supposed to be a great player and a great leader, but not much of that is shown. It's not a bad family movie, but as a sports movie, it's not great.
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.