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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie is meant for entertainment rather than for education.
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Developing love interests among adults and teens are mostly innocent, culminating in one kiss and some references to women being “hot.”
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One questionable word is edited. “Butt” is used frequently, as in “kick her butt.”
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Products & Purchases
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.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate