Best Player

  • Review Date: March 6, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Movie puts funny spin on relevant issues for tweens.
  • Review Date: March 6, 2011
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

The movie is meant for entertainment rather than for education.

Positive messages

A mixed bag. The movie’s messages about the dangers of valuing online relationships and virtual reality over personal interactions are obvious to tweens but will be missed by younger kids, who will focus instead on the enticing portrayal of the gaming world. But another positive note is found in the romantic relationships, which (at least by the story’s end) are based on honesty and mutual respect.

Positive role models

Quincy is a model of immaturity, but he realizes the error of his ways and rectifies them to save a promising love relationship and to set an example for Chris before she succumbs to the same troubles.

Violence & scariness

Most of the violence occurs on the video game plane, where the characters’ avatars wage war with guns, spears, swords, blades, and an array of other weapons, leaving them dismembered or vaporized from the game. The players’ ability to talk to each other through the game gives the avatars a human element, making their deaths more relevant.

Sexy stuff

Developing love interests among adults and teens are mostly innocent, culminating in one kiss and some references to women being “hot.”

Language

One questionable word is edited. “Butt” is used frequently, as in “kick her butt.”

Consumerism

Both of the stars grace the screen in Nickelodeon’s popular series iCarly, so kids who haven’t already seen the show might be drawn to it after enjoying their performances here.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that video games are central to the plot of this made-for-TV movie, so kids who aren’t already familiar with the scope of the high-tech gaming scene may be intrigued (or confused) by what they see. The story’s intended messages are very positive, illustrating the isolating effect of virtual relationships and media obsessions and reminding kids of the dangers of valuing them over personal interaction. Tweens aren’t likely to overlook these messages, but younger kids might miss them amid the excitement of the flashy video games. Violence exists on the game plane only, as avatars duel with an array of weapons; some die in the process. All in all, this movie will appeal to tweens’ sense of humor and serves as a springboard for discussions about online safety and screen-time limits.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Thirty-something video game champ Quincy (Jerry Trainor) is living his version of the good life. A food-delivery guy by day, he spends his nights honing his gaming skills in his parents’ tricked-out basement. But then his parents put the house on the market and tell him he has to make other living arrangements, so he decides to enter a Black Hole gaming contest to win the money to buy the place. Unfortunately for him, the game has its own top player, a teenage girl named Chris (Jennette McCurdy), and when Quincy can’t beat her onscreen, he sets out to sabotage her in person to knock her out of the running. Little does he know that the ensuing dose of reality will alter his views on life, love, and the direction of his future.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

iCarly co-stars Trainor and McCurdy face off in this hilarious comedy about the great divide between virtual reality and the real world. In the gaming realm, Quincy is the untouchable idol admired by fans, but his real-life counterpart is the poster boy for poor priorities who’s oblivious to the compounding mistakes he’s made. Only after being thrown into a real-life situation does he begin to see how his actions are a detriment to his personal life, and his decision to realign his values will remind tweens of the importance of keeping theirs in a healthy balance.

BEST PLAYER is a truly enjoyable movie with talented stars and feel-good messages about honesty, maturity, and healthy relationships. Its immersion in online gaming also raises some timely issues about Internet safety and limiting screen time, so families will have plenty to talk about when it's over. There’s no reason to sweat about giving your tweens the go-ahead to watch on their own, but if you’re up for hitting the couch with them, this comedy is a good reason to do so.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about limits on screen time. Why is it important to balance media use with more traditional pastimes? What dangers exist when media like TV and Internet are overused? What are your family’s rules about media use? 

  • How has the Internet changed the way we communicate and share information? In what ways is it a necessary tool? How can it be used in a negative manner? What dangers are associated with its use? What steps can you take to ensure your safety when you’re online?

  • Tweens: Are you familiar with Trainor and McCurdy’s show, iCarly? If so, did your familiarity with them make you more inclined to watch this movie? If not, did seeing this one encourage you to watch the show? How is this aspect of the movie an example of advertising?

Movie details

DVD release date:November 8, 2013
Cast:Janet Varney, Jennette McCurdy, Jerry Trainor
Director:Damon Santostefano
Studio:Nickelodeon
Genre:Comedy
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Best Player was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bykamal dwy JR September 29, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

very entertaning!

fun!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Parent Written byStanleypuss July 14, 2012
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Good

It was a very good movie. Personally I don't perfer video games.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old April 12, 2012
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Great for tweens!

What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex

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