Parents' Guide to

Chang Can Dunk

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

High school underdog tale has bullying, life lessons.

Movie PG 2023 107 minutes
Chang Can Dunk Movie Poster: Bloom Li alone on the court.

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 8 parent reviews

age 10+

Chang can do more than just dunk!

Excellent themes of mistakes and reconciliation. Feels very authentic, up to date writing. One violent scene happens off camera.
age 9+

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (8 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Ranging from giddy teen coming-of-age comedy to poignant family drama, this engaging film offers a fresh perspective, fine acting, and an entertaining and emotional tale. The set-up of Chang Can Dunk has some laugh-out-loud scenes, like one where Chang and his best friend Bo (played by actors-to-watch Bloom Li and Ben Wang) debate the appropriate alter ego spirit animal for the Asian American wannabe basketball star. There's some very clever tongue-in-cheek use of triumphant music to accompany high school shenanigans and graphics to show Bo's Michael Bay-style video editing skills. If you're not rooting for the aspirational Chang from the get-go, there's something wrong with you.

In its third act, though, the film turns from exuberant comedy to poignant drama as Chang missteps in a big way and his strained relationship with his mom comes to a head. It's an unexpected tonal change that could momentarily confuse viewers. But it eventually pays off, and the film -- and its tone -- come full circle to a satisfying closure. The characters all learn valuable lessons about themselves and how they treat and react to each other. This film does a great job conveying the importance of trustworthy and supportive friends for high schoolers, particularly those on the margins of the social landscape. Writer-director Jingyi Shao, a self-described only child of immigrants, offers a fresh characterization of the Asian American male teen experience we will hopefully see more of, maybe even in a sequel. Chang 4.0?

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