A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Bones Brigade shows that by practicing and developing skills, teens can excel at something they love and perhaps even make a living at it. Though the skateboarding world is sometimes depicted as rebellious and irresponsible, these folks demonstrate that you can succeed without becoming corrupted. It also celebrates the benefit of teamwork.
Positive Role Models
The featured skateboarders seem to have benefited from their training and their time spent in their chosen sport. Outsiders tease them for being so clean-cut, saving their money, and not spending it on partying. Some of them talk about troubles springing from family conflicts, but most of these seem to have been overcome and/or resolved over time. Tony Hawk in particular, and his work building skate parks in troubled communities, is a stand-out.
Violence & Scariness
Some skateboarding wipeouts and mild injuries are shown in some of the flashback footage.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
At an impromptu skating event, a teen girl is possibly topless, though it's very blurry, very briefly, and seen from a distance. One of the main interviewees is shown to have been married and had a baby at a relatively young age, though this isn't discussed in detail.
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About a dozen uses of "f--k," and a few uses of "s--t" during the interviews. Other words include "damn," "hell," "idiot," and "retarded."
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Products & Purchases
In some of the older footage and photos, logos for Pepsi and Coke can be seen. "Slurpee" is mentioned. Tony Hawk is a brand in and of himself.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one sequence depicting an impromptu skating event, teens are (very briefly) glimpsed drinking beer. One of the interviewees mentions this as well. In old photos, one of the main characters is shown drinking an entire bottle of "mescal" (and eating the worm).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is a documentary about a team of famous skateboarders directed by Stacy Peralta (who previously made the best skateboarding documentary to date: Dogtown and Z-Boys). Like that movie, this one has a wealth of old photos and home movie footage to draw from, showing teen boys training hard, developing skills, and goofing off. Language is strong in the present-day interviews, including about a dozen uses of "f--k" and a few uses of "s--t." One of the main characters is shown to have married and had a child while still relatively young (late teens/early twenties). In the older footage, a teen girl is very briefly -- and blurrily -- topless, and teens are very briefly seen drinking beer. In photos, one of the main characters drinks an entire bottle of "mescal." Teen skaters are shown occasionally wiping out and mildly injured. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
It's hard to believe that, more than 10 years after Dogtown and Z-Boys, director Stacy Peralta would make another skateboarding documentary just as entertaining. Though it employs a standard "talking heads" format, Bones Brigade digs a little deeper into the emotional side of things, especially given that most of the interview subjects are speaking to their old mentor; they tend to open up a bit more deeply and honestly than in a typical documentary.
The movie has tons of great footage from the 1980s, clearly demonstrating the amazing skills of people like Hawk and Rodney Mullen, even to non-fans. Yet the skaters get a good, long chance to talk about their old fears and anxieties, as well as those times when their passion seemed to slip away, and it took a great effort to rediscover it. Interviews from rival skaters and celebrity fans provide a little perspective as well. This is a terrific movie, especially for teens looking for a little inspiration or guidance.
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.