A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The importance of being true to yourself and your background is shown through discussion and example throughout the movie.
Positive Role Models
After pretending to be Italian through much of the movie, Dave Stohler learns to accept and like his background as a "Cutter," aka a townie who has grown up in the college town of Bloomington, Ind. He also trains as hard as he can to be a winning bicyclist.
Violence & Scariness
One of the main characters initiates a cafeteria-wide brawl after some college guys beat up one of his friends off-screen. Lots of punching and kicking. Some blood is seen, but no one is seriously injured. There also are some bike-related injuries: bruises, cuts, bleeding, and a near-miss with a car. During a swimming race, Mike hits his head on a rock and almost drowns. Katherine slaps Dave.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Dave and Katherine kiss once. Characters drive around a college campus and discuss women's breasts.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Mild profanity on occasion: "s--t," "s--theads," "damn," "hell," "crap," "t-ts." Name-calling includes "retards" and "p---y cop." The father of an Italy-obsessed son refers to Italians as "eye-ties."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Characters drive past a Marlboro billboard; one of the characters points at it and salutes. Later in the movie, one of the characters points out an advertisement for Marlboro on the back cover of a magazine.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters smoke throughout the movie. Characters are shown drinking beer in a bowling alley but do not act intoxicated.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this tale of redemption offers a lot in the way of scary, tense, and violent scenes. Although no one gets critically injured, there's lots of fighting. Some kids also may want to imitate the dangerous things characters do in this film: Dave doesn't wear a bike helmet, use a bicycle headlight at night, or wear reflective clothing, and he races in front of cars on a red light. During a bicycle race, a cyclist puts a bike pump in the spokes of Dave's wheel, causing him to crash. Dave races while injured. There's lots of punching and kicking; some blood is seen, but no one is seriously injured. Characters drive around a college campus and discuss women's breasts. Several swear words are used, including "s--t," "hell," "t-ts," "goddamn," "bastards," "son of a bitch," and "damnit." Characters also call others "retard," "p---y cop," and "s--thead." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are some wonderfully realistic touches to BREAKING AWAY. Anyone who's spent any time with teens knows they try on new identities like new outfits. But it's rare to see a film that shows a teen so deeply in the thrall of his latest obsession -- without it becoming something sinister or dangerous. Similar to the fact that there's no gratuitous sex or nudity in the film, Dave's love of cycling is innocent and pure. He's a character you can root for who still seems real. It makes this cycling movie much more than a good sports movie -- though it's that, as well. It's no surprise that Breaking Away won the Oscar for Best Writing and was nominated for four more, including Best Director and Best Picture.
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.