Best Player

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Best Player Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Movie puts funny spin on relevant issues for tweens.
  • PG
  • 2013
  • 83 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 12 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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.”


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


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

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byStanleypuss July 14, 2012


It was a very good movie. Personally I don't perfer video games.
Parent of a 5 and 13-year-old Written bygodluvin February 24, 2012

Good family movie

I thought it was an excellent family movie. Nothing of concern for my 5 year old boy and 13 year old girl
Teen, 14 years old Written bykamal dwy JR September 29, 2012
Kid, 11 years old April 12, 2012

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

Our editors recommend

For kids who love watching together

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