Bull Durham

Movie review by
Kevin John Bozelka, Common Sense Media
Bull Durham Movie Poster Image
Winning but mature comedy about sex and baseball.
  • R
  • 1988
  • 108 minutes

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 2+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Embrace all you meet, because there is something to be learned from each person you encounter. Also, there are multiple ways to look at every situation.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The leading male and female roles in this movie are multifaceted. Annie is smart, giving, thoughtful, and comfortable with her sexuality. She is extremely well-read and teaches her lovers about poetry and metaphysics. Crash is Annie's perfect match. He has learned from his life experiences and knows exactly what he wants. He too is smart, generous, and level-headed. Crash thoughtfully comes down from the Major Leagues to help train and teach a promising rookie maturity and professionalism.  

Violence

There are two fist fights between the rookie pitcher and the catcher; however, they are short and there is no bloodshed. Lots of yelling.

Sex

The movie's plot compares sex to baseball. The film is chock-full of sex, some nudity, and frank sexual discussions.

Language

Very strong language.  The word "f--k" occurs over 10 times in the first 20 minutes of the movie.  Also, "son of a bitch," "p---y," "c--k," and "s--t" are frequent. 

Consumerism

The players drink Miller Light and Jim Beam. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The coaches chew tobacco, Annie smokes marijuana, and the players drink alcohol.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are many explicit discussions of sexuality in Bull Durham. Susan Sarandon's character spends a great deal of screen time outlining her philosophy on sexuality, especially about the relationship between sex and baseball. There are a few scenes of simulated sex with a little nudity. Alcohol, lots of strong language ("f--k," "s--t," and "p---y"), bar fights, and a marijuana reference are also onscreen.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 year old Written bygerbowski August 23, 2012
Teen, 17 years old Written byButtlicker July 18, 2018

What's the story?

BULL DURHAM is the story of Crash Davis (Kevin Costner), a Walt Whitman-quoting, veteran minor league catcher enlisted to help not-so-bright rookie pitcher Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) mature as a player. Along the way, siren Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon), an avid baseball fan and philosopher of sexuality, intervenes by offering Nuke an extended (and explicit) sexual education that she firmly believes will lead him to glory on the diamond.

Is it any good?

Writer/director Ron Shelton brings a modicum of authenticity to this tale of baseball and sex due to his own experiences as a minor league player. But you don't have to be a devotee of Annie's "Church of Baseball" to enjoy Bull Durham's earthy mix of romance, sports, and comedy. Although much of the movie takes place in dugouts, locker rooms, and on the mound, it will appeal to audiences everywhere.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about where sex fits into Bull Durham, as well as into our culture and our personal lives. What are the characters' philosophies about sex? What messages about sex have you learned from your families? How does the media portray sex?

  • Talk about beliefs. What do you believe in? What's important to you? What guides you through life and helps you make decisions?

Movie details

For kids who love baseball

Our editors recommend

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate